Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Boringly moderate

I'm a remarkably un-obsessive and un-addictive person. I'm boringly moderate about virtually every-thing*. I have no habits so out-of-control that they soak up money, ruin my health, burden other people, or might get me sacked.

I've never smoked. I drink very little alcohol. I don't gamble. I don't visit prostitutes. I don't use porn. I don't have affairs. I don't crave junk food. I don't go in for plastic surgery. I don't self-harm. I've taken "fun" drugs just four times. As I say, boringly moderate. Yawningly restrained.

The things that blight other people's lives either don't interest me, actively repulse me or satisfy me in modest amounts. I don't feel the urge to grab more and more of something, to binge crazily on something well past the point of initial pleasure.

Many people would say I'm just afraid of living, letting my hair down, having a good time. I'm too self-controlled, too "sensible", too inhibited. Maybe that's true. But I feel I've had a great life and I'm not conscious of missing some vital experience by being so moderate.

In some people's eyes, this natural restraint makes me smug, or self-righteous, or censorious. I hope not. I really feel for people who're in the grip of some all-consuming addiction that's wrecking them and is the despair of of their helpless loved ones. Like the richly talented but so susceptible Amy Winehouse.

I suppose I've always believed in the saying "A little of what you fancy does you good." Too much of what you fancy and the pleasure will wear off rapidly, leaving you jaded and disappointed. For other people though "You can't have too much of a good thing" rules the day.

* Well, except politics. And religion. And meat-eating.


  1. What's your point, Nick? Now we know all what you ARE not. Excellent. Good. In a sort of post-modern, up-yours, pointing-your-finger at all those less fortunate than your restrained self, way.

    One of these days I will fashion a "Nick" medal. For what services rendered I am not too sure. And what shape or smell it'll take I'll leave divine inspiration to take care of.


  2. i once ate a rather suspect brownie.
    i thought it did taste funny. but then i ate three more.
    that i suppose wasn't all that moderate. LOLOL!
    then i found everything hilarious for a few hours.
    even my best friend's news that her great dane had died.
    i had much apologizing and explaining to do afterwards.

    i have always lived a small life. and that is the way i would describe what your post is about. i genuinely like living a small life.
    and i have found it to be wonderfully satisfying.
    i'm not a courageous person i guess.

    i will leave the excitement of exploration into all the excesses in life to other more curious types. in most everything really. but especially in areas of mind altering substances.
    i learned my lesson early through a particularly beloved great dane.

    i truly enjoy my role as bystander. :) it's safe.
    and not boring at all. it's actually pretty cozy.
    though on occasion i am accused of being walter tammy mitty.

  3. Ursula: Oh, you do love winding people up, don't you?

    Does a blog post have to have a point? Says who? And who exactly am I pointing my finger at? Certainly not Amy Winehouse. Though I could certainly point my finger at Blake Fielder-Civil for shoving all those drugs at her. Or her father Mitchell for ruthlessly exploiting her for monetary gain.

    Not interested in medals. There are too many pointless medals and awards and prizes as it is. Not to mention peerages and knighthoods and honorary professorships. Phooey to all this status-ridden bullshit.

    Do you ever just accept someone for what they are, I wonder, without all the carping?

  4. Tammy: Funny, one of my LSD trips was due to drinking some punch which unknown to me was laced with acid. It didn't result in hilarity though, just a complete detachment from reality that almost got me killed, if it hadn't been for my then girlfriend's vigilance.

    I wouldn't say I've had a small life. I've had quite a big life one way or another. I've travelled all over the world. I've met a lot of very interesting people. I've supported a lot of political campaigns. I've lived in two of the world's most lively cities. I shall die happy!

  5. I'm truly dull. I wasn't always, though. I'm so dull, I have nothing else to say.
    Have a nice night, Nick!

  6. Susie: Oh, I don't find you dull at all. You have a very quirky mind that I greatly enjoy. Who else could get jewellery, playing cards and a hippo into a single blog post?

  7. I'm sure you're not alone Nick.
    I was born middle-aged and just grew bigger - consequently I've never had the urge to 'cut loose' and do wild and dangerous things, with the possible exception of riding fast motorcycles.
    I like a drink, but I know when to stop. Used to smoke the occasional joint and even made space cakes once, but haven't done that for a few years now.
    I avoid junk food unless I'm desperate and there's no alternative, prostitutes have never appealed to me, and I believe cosmetic surgery should be reserved for helping those who have suffered an injury or genetic problem. I do like a bit of porn, but I think the only time I've ever had a problem with any sort of addiction was after the surgery to rebuild my knee when I ended up addicted to codeine. Luckily I'm strong-willed and managed to wean myself off it, but it was a tough ride.

  8. Ii like a drink like dave... I overeat when i want to.......but i can diet
    I dont gamble
    I ve never had an affair
    Ive never taken drugs except some skunk in a quiche once

  9. well... i did make it over to england once.
    i figure i can die happy now! though i want to see ireland and scotland too.
    and i have had a few love affairs! after bob died of course.
    that seems to count apparently. they're over rated in my estimation.

    i have had a big enough life to have some fantastic memories!
    hoping to make a few more... by traveling eventually again.

    never could get on the political band wagon though. ya got me there!
    :) now... show me a fine statesman and i'll support him/her!
    are there any still around? were there ever?
    NO don't answer that!!! LOLOLOL! like sex and religion. better off not knowing. :)

  10. Somehow I don't feel the need for most things like that either, I can take smoking and drinking or leave them. I hope it doesn't make me smug, it is more a matter of not being somehow awfully interested!

  11. Well, I've never been a big drinker, but I enjoy the occasional cocktail or glass of wine. When I was in my 20s I loved to smoke pot, but it got to be too much of a nuisance to get so I pretty much gave it up (although I always did enjoy it). And I only tried harder drugs once.....I dropped acid at the age of 19 and tripped my ass off for 12 hours, and swore to never touch the stuff again....and I haven't. It was scary.

    Ah, the days of my misspent youth!!

    Now I'm pretty boring but I like my life just the way it is. :)

  12. Some would say you are not boring, you are normal.

  13. I haven't even taken mind-altering drugs, except for alcohol in college. Yep, like you I seem pretty sensible and boring to some people, but it works for me. I love it! :)

  14. Dave: I don't think moderation is necessarily a middle-aged trait. I suspect there are plenty of young people who are also disinclined to overdo everything. They just keep quiet about it because it's unfashionable.

    John: Some skunk in a quiche? Blimey, living dangerously or what? There's your other (very positive) over-indulgence of course - all those crazy animals.

  15. Tammy: Yes, you must visit Ireland and Scotland some time, the scenery is stunning.

    Fantastic memories are one of the things that make life worthwhile. I have great memories of Australia and influential political campaigns and inspiring friendships.

    Jenny: I don't understand this knee-jerk reaction that moderation makes you smug. What's smug about it? As you say, it's often just a simple lack of interest.

  16. Jennifer: Acid can be pretty scary if you take too much of it (and how can you know how much you're taking?). One advantage of legalising fun drugs would be that the dose would be clearly stated and not total guesswork.

    Bijoux: Ooh, I hope I'm not normal, that's even worse! I'm visibly abnormal in all sorts of ways, but that's fine by me. My life has been interesting, challenging, and exciting. If it looks boring to other people, that's their problem!

  17. Jean: Like I said, if others think your life is boring, that's their problem! They should just mind their own business and get on with their own lives.

  18. I'm too lazy to be obsessive.

    I did smoke, but my lungs objected.

    I don't consider myself to be moderate. In fact, I think I'm too impatient for that to be hung on me.

  19. Rose: Ha, that's probably one reason for my un-obsessiveness too! But surely you can be both moderate and impatient? You can be impatient to try something else rather than bingeing out on what you're already doing.

  20. I was studying in London when the swinging sixties were happening...it passed me by completely. Politics interested me..pot didn't - not that anyone ever offered me any.

  21. Helen: I loved the so-called swinging sixties. There was such a sense of personal freedom, of new ideas, of collapsing inhibitions and prejudices. And yes, some very progressive and enlightened politics.

  22. Sure we're chalk and cheese, there Nick. But no judgement.


  23. www: Yes, we're very different, aren't we? But no judgment on my side either!

  24. I'm like you Nick, dead boring! I don't drink, smoke, watch porn (seen one sex video once and fell asleep before he finished!). I don't even own a TV, too boring to watch; even the British Boring Company (BBC)

    We dead boring people should stick together and form a club called "The Boring Club", but I wouldn't attend any meetings, it be too utterly boring for me.

    Sorry to have bored you. . . . .

  25. Keith: I know several people who gave up on TV and now get everything they need from online sources.

    That was an astonishingly boring comment, by the way. I just about managed to read to the end.

  26. Hyman recently had a full medical check up. When he returned 3 weeks later after the exhaustive lab tests were complete, his doctor said he was doing "fairly well" for his age.
    Hyman was obviously a little concerned about that comment and so asked his doctor "Do you think I'll live to be 80, doctor?"
    He replied, "Well, do you smoke or drink beer?"
    "Oh no", Hyman replied, "I've never done either."
    Then the doctor asked, "Do you eat grilled steaks or barbequed ribs?
    Hyman replied, "No, I've heard that red meat is very unhealthy."
    "Do you spend a lot of time in the sun, like playing golf?" asked the doctor.
    "No I don't," Hyman replied.
    Then the doctor asked, "Do you gamble, drive fast cars, or mess with women?"
    "No," said Hyman, "I've done none of those things."
    The doctor looked at Hyman and said, "Then why do you want to live to be 80?"

  27. Ramana: Nope, I don't do any of those things, but I can think of plenty of good reasons for living till I'm 80....

  28. Nick,
    You wrote,
    "Jean: Like I said, if others think your life is boring, that's their problem! They should just mind their own business and get on with their own lives."

    It is amazing how some people like to mind other people's business. And how they like to project their opinions/labels/views on other people with no concern whether or not their story has any connection to reality. I'm still wrestling with how to handle situations like that. And I hate to have to censor, but I want my blog to be friendly and welcoming, so how do I deal with comments that come cross as personal attacks? Well worth pondering.

  29. Oops. "come across", not "come cross".

  30. Jean: I find that a big problem too, people projecting stuff onto me that bears no relation to what I actually said. No matter how carefully I correct them, they take no notice. And I imagine we're both thinking of one particular person! Like you, I hate to censor but some comments are such a deliberate distortion of my opinions, I'm sorely tempted. I've only censored comments once in eight years, and I do prefer to let people have their say, however absurd or aggressive they may be. After all, I can and do respond in kind!