One fine morning, I woke up and decided to love and accept myself just the way I am.  It was one of the worst decisions I ever made in my life.

I loved myself through long days of eating junk food and watching TV, until I became overweight and unhealthy.  I was too lazy to work out–well, what of it?  I was the type who liked to spend her day on the couch, and I accepted myself that way.  I accepted my unemployed self, too–not all of us are a good fit for a regular job, after all.  And who was I to force my special inner child to do things it didn’t want to do?  Anyway, I was going to be a writer.  Never mind that I wasn’t writing anything, forever waiting for inspiration to strike.  Truth is, I wasn’t doing a goddamn thing except mooching off my very patient family.  But to admit this would have meant being critical of myself.  And criticizing yourself was bad and mean.

So I loved myself right into sloppiness and mediocrity and low expectations.  And one day, I realized I didn’t like myself anymore.  And it was freeing.  I looked at my existence and thought “Um…I’m kind of a loser.”  It felt great to say this out loud.  Now that I was no longer delusional about who I was, I could start to work on my life and make it better.

I’ve come a long way since then, but I make sure to remind myself of that time once in a while, when it seems like my standards may be slipping again.  Not to get all New Age cheesy about it, but the Universe gave me a learning experience about just how pathetic I’m capable of being.  I have learned and I’ve moved on, but I will still say, in my best Grumpy Cat voice: “I don’t love myself…GOOD.”

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Well, it looks like an extension of unemployment benefits will not be a part of the new budget deal.  Meanwhile, the long-term structural problem with employment in this country–that of jobs getting outsourced overseas–continues.  What are the unemployed to do?

There’s an obvious solution which would warm the cockles of even Paul Ryan’s bleak, Ayn Rand-infused heart.  It’s about time we had a real hunger games.  Except this one would involve only unemployed people.  They’re takers and moochers, so their lives are not worth as much anyway.  And there’s no way that any of the wealthy job creators should be risking their well-being in a competition like this.  We could have a contestant from each sector of employment which has been losing jobs to other countries:  manufacturing, high tech, call centers etc.  Just like in the movie, this would be a reality TV show–thus, getting rid of the jobless and producing a profit at the same time!  The lone survivor could get an extension of his/her unemployment benefits.  Or even better, the winner could be rewarded with a job.  Sure, chances are you would lose your life in the games, but if you’re not willing to do anything to get a job, you’re just not trying hard enough.

If nothing else, this would be a refreshingly honest proposal from Paul Ryan.  But I doubt we’ll ever see such honesty on Capitol Hill.