Last night, I missed a segment of the Emmy awards on TV. After I turned off the TV to spend some time with my son, Aaron, and my boyfriend, Michael, a comedian I admire, Louis C.K., won an Emmy for best comedy writing.
I found out, after the awards show was over, that Louis C.K., in his acceptance speech, had thanked another comedian I admire, Ron Lynch …
I was very glad to find out, through Ron’s Facebook Page, that he had gotten that recognition last night. At the same time, I had this familiar and uncomfortable thought:
I missed out.
I had missed out on the chance to experience, with my son, Louis C.K. giving credit to Ron.
Last night, as I tried to find out what exactly Louis C.K. had said about Ron, I kept thinking about What Might Have Been. I kept imagining what fun Aaron and I might have had, if we had heard that speech as it was happening.
Those thoughts didn’t feel great, I must say. And these days, whenever I’m feeling that kind of psychological discomfort, I check out some usual suspects: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy’s line-up of cognitive distortions.
I shall now consult my handy-dandy list of cognitive distortions, to see who the culprits might have been.
Hmmm. It looks like I was experiencing more than one cognitive distortion last night, including:
Negative filtering (also known as “Disqualifying the positive”).
This is when we focus on the negative, and filter out all positive aspects of a situation.
Comparisons. We compare ourselves to others, with ourselves coming out short. For example, “I’m not as smart (or good, competent, good-looking, lovable, etc.) as that other person.” Or, we compare ourselves to how we think we should be, or how we’ve been before. (Or, in this case, we compare reality to what we think would have been better.)
Shoulds. We have ironclad rules about the behaviors of ourselves and other people. For example, “I really should exercise. I shouldn’t be so lazy.” (In this case, “I shouldn’t have turned off the TV.”)
Yep. Those kinds of thoughts didn’t help, at all.
As I’m writing this, I’m still wondering what Louis C.K. said about Ron. There was no video of that missed moment available last night, but I wonder if that’s changed, this morning.
Aha! Here it is, on YouTube:
Wow! In case you can’t watch that, Louis gave Ron credit for giving him his first shot as a comedian.
My association with that, in the moment, is a kind of cognitive distortion, too, namely …
… because I can now imagine my son making a similar speech in the future (if he pursues comedy as a career).
(this photo first appeared here, last week)
Minds are funny things, aren’t they? They wander everywhere: into the future, into the past, into What Might Have Been, etc.
Last night, when I was thinking about “What I missed,” I had some trouble sleeping, so I wrote the following, in preparation for today’s blog post:
The reality is that no matter what we’re doing, experiencing, paying attention to, focusing on … we have to be missing something. There’s just too much going on, out there, to take it all in.
Yes, it’s a given that we will miss things, even if we try our best not to.
And I don’t want to miss expressing this: the things we miss aren’t actually more important than the things we catch (even though they can feel that way).
Does it help to acknowledge important things you’ve missed out on?
I actually don’t know if this is going to help, but I would like to list some things I’ve missed out on, in my life.
Here we go …
- A “normal” childhood.
- A magna cum laude, which I deserved, from my undergraduate university (a story which I will tell, in some future post).
Hmmm. That’s a pretty short list I just put together, there.
That actually surprises me, because I’m sure there are lots of misses missing from that list. For example, I didn’t include “a boyfriend during junior high and/or high school” in that list of misses.
Actually, I could even remove #1 from that list because, really … WHO has a normal childhood? What the hell IS a normal childhood? Coming up with a definition for THAT would be hit-or-miss. And pretty meaningless.
So I’m going to rewrite that list, like so:
Things I’ve Missed
- Louis C.K.’s acceptance speech at the 2014 Emmys, which included a shout-out to Ron Lynch and
- a Magna Cum Laude, which I deserved, from my undergraduate college.
Actually, now that I think of it … what good would that Magna Cum Laude have done me? It probably would NOT have changed a thing. Who cares? It’s not like that’s something I would carry around in my wallet or put on my mantle piece. And even if I did, who would want to see it?
Okay, so now the list is …
Things I’ve Missed
- Louis C.K.’s acceptance speech at the 2014 Emmy’s which included a shout-out to Ron Lynch.
And I can probably watch that speech on YouTube, within the next couple of days.
Looks like at least one of my thoughts, last night, was correct.
Anything else I’ve missed, in this post? Well, if I were paying attention to what I wrote here, the answer might be:
Of course I missed something, but that’s okay.
And I still have time, before I publish this, to include something that feels “missing” to me: a new photo I’ve taken recently. Let’s see if I have anything on my iPhone that applies to today’s topic.
Hmmm. I’m not sure. But here are some new photos I’ve taken since I’ve returned home to Boston, after five fun-filled days at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe:
Does it seem like I’m missing anything?
Thanks to Aaron, Michael, Louis C.K., Ron Lynch, and you — of course! — for everything you missed AND everything you got here, today.