I don’t make a very good monk. For several reasons probably.

So, I’ve read that monks say that to achieve happiness you have to perfect the art of living in the moment. They say, “Don’t wait.  Don’t think of the future or the past. Be completely in the moment.”

As much as I’ve tried, I can never master this because I’m perpetually worried about the future, but technically even when I am thinking of the future I’m still in the present moment even though that particular moment is a moment when I’m obsessing about the future. I’m not sure if this means I’d make a very bad monk, or if it makes me a very talented monk who is just really good at multitasking.


And now, our weekly wrap-up.  Buckle-up, Buttercup.

Fabulous graphic by @wedrawtweets
Fabulous graphic by @wedrawtweets


Shit I made in my shop (Named “EIGHT POUNDS OF UNCUT COCAINE” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.):


Shit you should buy or steal because it’s awesome:  

This week’s wrap-up is brought to you by How To Not Get Screwed.  It’s not a sex book.  It’s about moving, which is good because summer is when most people move and also it’s when you’re very likely to get screwed and that’s when this comes in handy.  Spot a scummy real estate agent, call them out on their underhanded bullshit, everything you need to know about buying or selling a home.  You should check it out here.

53 thoughts on “I don’t make a very good monk. For several reasons probably.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. That’s just the Monks way of getting out of doing the dishes.

  2. I would be a very bad monk. I am never in the present, always thinking about the future and sometimes the past. My mind never rests. Plus monks cannot talk right? That would kill me. I have to talk all the time. My life is complicated! Jen

  3. “People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually — from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint — it’s more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly… timey-wimey… stuff.”
    — The Tenth Doctor, Doctor Who, “Blink”

    So I think you’re doing it right.

  4. If I were a monk, and if I believed in reincarnation, I’d want to come back as monk Thich Nhat Hanh, because that dude’s got his mindfulness shit together. For real. Then I’d be a great monk. But I guess I’d have to be a good monk to get to come back as him. Crap. My logic is not working, and I am now worrying simultaneously about my future, my past, AND my present. I’m going to go meditate… on wine.

  5. I was amused to see the colouring for grown ups because I actually have an adults colouring book, which is colour therapy – and it is a good way to let the mind drift aimlessly.

  6. From a circular time perspective, I’m just waiting for it to come around again. Which, coincidentally, is also my way of getting out of doing dishes 😉

  7. I would make a terrible monk too, because of my past-dwelling, future-worrying brain, but also because I think you have to have tonsured hair? Us that the thing I’m thinking? Words are hard right now.

  8. FYI – you’d make a very good mindfulness practitioner (your guess is as good as mine on your monkishness) because the point isn’t to nevery worry about the future but to be aware in the present that this is what you are doing. You’ve got that nailed! (Here’s a question: who’s aware of being aware?)

    BTW – Then the decision becomes, is this what I want to be doing in this moment? If yes, then continue. If no, direct your attention elsewhere – for example, anything else happening in the moment. 🙂

  9. I think we should all be monks. Together we would be known as The Monkees.

  10. Huh. I would have guessed you’d have plenty in common with Monk.

  11. itzybellababy, what do monks need a wiener for? I don’t think they’re using it for anything…

  12. I’m imagining you sitting in a zen garden with a taxidermied goat trying not to think about the future… I’m not sure about that. I am also imagining the future in which I will be holding a fresh copy of you new book. That is exciting!

  13. Monks take a vow of silence. (Some of them, anyways) I. Would. Die.

    My head would explode from everything left unsaid.

  14. I misread the headline as “I don’t make a very good monkey.” and immediately thought how wrong you were. You would make an excellent monkey. Didn’t figure out this was about monks, not monkeys until after I read the whole thing and read the headline again.

  15. I’m living in the moment of one of my tweets making it into your wrap-up. I would be the best fucking monk ever.

    Wait, do monks frown upon casual swearing? I think they do.

  16. How in the hell did I miss the Furiously Happy selfie station? I WORK at the Javits Center and walked the floor all during Book Expo!!

  17. It’s probably easier to live in the moment when your To Do list doesn’t include 50 million urgent, super-important, OMG DO NOT FORGET THESE THINGS things.

    And also when you don’t have relatives who love to post, tag, and otherwise rehash every stupid thing you’ve done since you were in diapers. “Hey, remember that time when you were 2 and you ran through the sprinkler naked? No? Well, here’s a picture of you doing and I’m posting it to facebook. How does this tagging thing work? Do I tag everyone I know?” Super, Mom and Dad. Super.

  18. I’ve been all worried about getting groceries today (for the week), but to hell with that! I shouldn’t worry about the future! I’ll live in the present and go shopping for clothes for me! Those monks are really smart.

  19. I liked the coloring book for adults idea until I clicked through the pages and they were so full of “adult stuff” (like mortgages and dry cleaning and contraception) that I suddenly longed for a more “childlike” coloring book. On the plus side, Amazon recommended some other books that sound like a good read, such as “Unicorns Are Jerks: A Coloring Book Exposing the Cold, Hard, Sparkly Truth”. I mean, I’d buy that just based on the title alone. Coming to your blog always exposes me to new things Jenny. Thank you for enriching my life. (This sounds vaguely snarky and sarcastic but it’s actually sincere!)

  20. You wouldn’t be a good Buddhist monk, Jenny, but you’d probably do just fine as a Christian one, since one of the things Christian monks obsess about is the future (or, more specifically, the afterlife). Then again, that whole “poverty, chastity, obedience” bit would probably be a major dealbreaker for you anyway–it definitely would for me, even though I’ve already got the first two pretty well sewn up anyway…oh, yeah, and the “not having any possessions” bit, too…I suspect that would totally sink both of us. (“WTF do you MEAN I can’t bring James Garfield into my cell with me? I’m blowing this popsicle stand/monastery!”) Not to mention I don’t think you can have pets, either…eh, screw this whole monk business, anyway.

  21. I wouldn’t want to be one. Those bald spots are not my style. Nor the bald heads. And the barley tea would make me sick (celiac disease). Plus, I look terrible in orange, and there’s the whole issue with being female.

  22. The only great thing about being a monk is the big robe because you can hide a lot of bad decisions and lack of muscle tone in those babies. I also wouldn’t mind being separated from the rest of the world every now and then, except then I’d be surrounded by monks instead of nicely tanned young men bringing me drinks as I lounge under a beach umbrella, which is my version of nirvana. (not the band)

  23. I partied with a monk once. He was hitchhiking his way back to his monastery in Canada. He said something I really liked: “Even when you’re old, and they’re old, they still LOOK GOOD…”

  24. I just want to say that I preordered your book after I saw your name cards. I really like that and I think it will make a good bookmark. Do you think the book can have a bookmark like that?

  25. I’m pretty sure the monks would turn down my application. I have ADD (what is meditating, anyway? I can’t stop thinking about how I forgot to rinse my armpits this morning, and now they itch…), I have sex, and I have boxed wine. If they didn’t shoot me down for those reasons, I’m sure I could give them a list of others to look through. I’d never make it. Bad monk.

  26. I think we all make terrible monks. Even the monks make terrible monks. They tell us to live in the moment, but we have to think about the future. Otherwise we’d never get anything done. Even monks have to go to the bathroom sometime, and since they can’t just go wherever they have to think about where they’re going to go before the need becomes overwhelming.

  27. Obviously, we need a blogessian definition of monk. I’d suggest ‘person who worries about the future way too much, and then remembers to take their meds/get drunk/both in order to stop worrying enough that they can actually work out what they should genuinely be worrying about, if anything’.

  28. You seem tense about this all.

    Therefore, I would like to call the moment you’re in, the future imperfect tense.

  29. Ok. The coloring bit. I actually did that in my 20s to help my brain go into creative mode and out of thinking-about-too-much-shit mode. But the coloring book you showed us looks like it would have made me a lot more creative:).

  30. The Coloring Book for Grown-ups looks pretty awesome, however a few co-workers found coloring books about Unicorns being a pain in the ass, and that was HILARIOUS! Definitely search for it on Amazon when you get the chance.

  31. There’s a reason there aren’t that many female monks…cause somebody’s gotta cook dinner, dammit. Yeah, you just sit there and ponder, asshat…I’ll cook.

  32. It is sure not easy to live in the present… But I think you do it better than you think you do it. Which is not to say that I do it better than you do it. I am TERRIBLE at living in the present. However I think I do it better than I think I do it too.

  33. Heck with monks, let’s talk about Lior Shoov! She is fantastic. I am getting obsessed, too.

  34. I feel like I would be a terrible monk also 🙁 or maybe I should be thrilled about that as I have obviously not made a terrible decision and become a monk when that is not where my talents lie, at least I haven’t so far…

  35. On the bright side about monks – they brew truly excellent beer. Ergo, if you were a monk, you could brew excellent beer. Just saying. That’s one way to look at being a monk. Or you can just contribute by buying monk beer. Like Chimay. Am I hearing any arguments?

  36. You seem tense about this all.

    Therefore, I would like to call the moment you’re in, the future imperfect tense.

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