It's a sunny day and I am supposed to be enjoying my day off from work by fishing. But my line gets tangled, and the sunscreen burns my eye, and it seems the only thing my fishing hook will catch is my now bleeding finger. I scream, "How can this be? This is supposed to be fun! What a pain in the ass!" My most profound disappointments occur when I think that if I do something it will not have a measure of suffering. For example, I think going to the baseball game will be fun. But I am in denial about the fact that I have to park, pay for the ticket, put up with potential vulgar comments of people around me, and negotiate the weather. Another example: I think having a dog will give me love. But I forget about the related suffering of having to take care of the dog when he's sick, the expense of buying dog food, etc. Sometimes it is hard to stay faithful to my wife. So I want to cheat. But there is suffering for adultery: AIDS potential, the immorality, the potential for hurting her, the loss of trust, etc. I think having a lot of money is a great thing. However, I forget about the suffering of having to manage the money, actually paying the bills, and buying and managing the things I can get with the money.
Today I will figure out what suffering I am willing to put up with. I will remember that there is a "pain in the ass" related to everything so I will not let these pains surprise me and shock me into taking a drink or drug to escape. I will not let the fact that there are problems with everything depress me or make me become hopeless. I will also try to remember that most difficulties have another side to them which I may find enjoyable or meaningful. Most importantly, today I will not let life's inevitable pains spoil my grateful and joyous attitude!