Summertime Blues

I find myself in a holiday spirit in the middle of summer.
I do not crave the sunshine, my  desire is for the joyful festivities; themed parties, colorful  décor, and seasonal sweets.  The summer months may be warmer, but they’re not jolly. I found myself singing Christmas songs in June, and missing the playful glow of twinkly lights which ornamented the neighbors houses.  But alas, the warmness of the summer months  brings me no joy.
I’ve been surprisingly busy this past month.
My leisure-hobby night-job has picked up speed and I find myself busy 4 nights a week with it. Being busy is a new sensation for me, last year I went straight home after work, but now, I don’t make it home until late. My life is now organized into little 90-minute chunks.   90-minutes for this, 90-minutes for that.
It’s not with haste, but more like a duteous lifestyle, never idle, always on my way to do something else. It’s the kind of rhythm that most people only experience during the holiday rush,  with the urgency of preparations; presents, decorations, travel plans, meals. Not all at once, but consistently, for weeks it occupies our attention.
I used to enjoy reading the news, with the hopes that something new and exciting was happening nearby, but lately, I wish the news wasn’t so ridiculous.
In the past, outrageous news was really interesting, something thrilling and curious.  But now it doesn’t even seem real.
Week after week, wave after wave, of the most unbelievable politics you could imagine.    Caged children, space-military, Chinese tariffs, misbehaving politicians, people being cruel to each other, travel bans.   I’m really disappointed with how things have been going. People are suffering; physically, emotionally, financially.
I was hoping we’d have flying cars and ethical treatment by now, but instead it seems like our culture is on the brink of collapse.

 

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What’s a Wedding?

I’m getting to the age where everyone asks if I’m getting married at every occasion possible. It’s a nuisance because I am nowhere close to getting married. So obviously, now feels like a good time to be objective about the social perceptions of weddings.
– Is it fair to say that weddings are a scam, because the location and style of the wedding will not affect how I feel about my spouse?  – I would be happy to get married anywhere, with a similar level of enthusiasm as I would be happy to vacation anywhere. If the company is good, it’ll be fine.

I think people like to have their wedding at glamorous  locations just for the WOW factor. But weddings don’t actually require guests, so those weddings are for narcissism.      Some religious formalities don’t include dancing or wine; so if the theme is dutiful-pious, then the whole thing could be done in 10 minutes [prayer, vows, paperwork]. After all, getting married is easy, staying married till death do us part is harder.
But people still usually go for classy-extravagance style weddings, just to make a big event out of it. & Force their friends and loved ones to travel distances, and buy nicer clothing.
Of course, None of it will matter if the person you’re marrying isn’t passionate about being married.
I firmly believe that modern day people tend to get married for the wrong reasons, and/or expect too much from the union.  Societal pressure, or religious expectation; confusing lust with love, or financial strain; emotional dependence, or insecurity. Most people aren’t mentally prepared for married life, and struggle with the spouse-self life-balance afterward.

I saw a Shakespeare play recently; As You Like It, and in the final scene there’s a wedding where 4 couples are married in one ceremony.  Rosalind to Orlando, the jester to Audrey, the shepherd to the shepherdess, and Celia to Oliver. The wedding ceremony is brief and afterward all the characters gleefully renaissance dance in a circle.
–  Perhaps it was a simpler time, and people were happier with their choices because of their shorter lifespans. Perhaps marriage was informal back then, so people committed to it nonchalantly. Or perhaps people were just aware that the ceremony is less important as the spousal commitment itself [which doesn’t explain why they’d get married having known each other less than a week].
Fast forward 400 years,
There’s a tv show on Netflix right now called Cheapest Weddings, where Australian couples economize their wedding spending.  About half of the couples are doing this  because of other priority life expenses, and the other half because of a previous divorce [no sense in having an elaborate wedding  for a marriage that might not last].
Most of these ‘cheap’ weddings still cost ~$5k, and resemble a regular party.
Just thinking about organizing a extravagant event is a headache. And not even in my imagination will it ever be as fun or themed as want it to be.
Specialty event costs are high, because no one owns a restaurant that already offers the location, catering, tables, and chairs. Which means that each and every thing has to be hired out individually.
Easiest-case scenario is a restaurant party thrown beside a seasonal event. Ideally, a faire or festival, or something of a similar themed ambiance.  At least that way, the entertainment and decorations are taken care of. Buy dinner and  drinks for the family at a restaurant, and then release them all into the festival.  No fuss.

People Don’t Change: this is you

The way you do 1 thing, is the way you do all things.
If you like a  [insert an adjective: creative/modest/hectic/messy/tidy/unadventurous] home, you’re a [adjective]  person, your work environment is also [adjective], Everything you do will be [adjective].
People don’t change. People lie to themselves about situations where they could potentially change, but they always fall short.

I have a dear friend, who is a slob. Years ago, when I first met them, they were this way, and now, years later they are still this way.   They lie to themselves, and to everyone else, saying things like, “when this happens, I’ll be totally different”.  But people don’t change.  This friend has traversed many life milestones, yet their behaviors have stayed the same throughout.
Trusting that you’ll be proficient at something that you’ve never put into practice   is delusion.   No one wakes up suddenly and has an innate desire to be dramatically different; people are obstinate, and it takes time and training to learn new habits.

I have a different friend who preaches about being a traditionalist-at-heart, but his life is the exact opposite of this; he’s actually a Nonconformist in every way.  He doesn’t have a traditional home, he doesn’t have a traditional career, he doesn’t sleep or eat or behave in traditional ways. He preaches about what a romantic he is, but in 47-yrs has never been in a long-term relationship.  He just likes to lie to himself and others about the type of person he is.

I have other friends that also like to lie to their dates.
They lie about being more interesting than they actually are,  having more hobbies or more talent; being more successful or more conservative. They have no reason to lie about these things, since their dates are new acquaintances with no preconceived notions, but they do it anyway, risking the possibility  that their date may figure out the truth; in essence, setting themselves up for failure.

People appreciate honesty, but Being honest with oneself is just as difficult. Self-confidence plays a role, so does denial, procrastination, humor, presentation. ect.
Question your own behaviors to see if they even remotely align with how you’ve been picturing yourself.
Do imagine yourself to be more generous than you actually are?  More kind? More social?
If you wanted to change yourself, could you? -Or would you most likely continue being  the same person  you are now?

Tech Fatigue

In the age of technology, I find myself with less and less enthusiasm for it. Especially when I think about how it’s restructured the way that humans socially interact.
Perhaps it all happened too quickly.
Over the past 3 decades tech has gone from the 8inch floppy, to 5inch, to 3.5inch, to USB, to SD, to Micro SD, to cloud. A home computer tower used to be the size of a car tire, now they’re the size of a soda can. My grandparents had records, then laser disks, then cassette tapes, then CDs, then minidisks, then MP3s, iPods, now literally everything is streamed onto our phones and tablets.
The era of intangibility.
People would rather be on their phones maintaining their digital life, than having a tangible experience. A ‘like’ instead of a visit, a Instagram-opportunity instead of date, a ‘check in’ instead of eye-contact.
With technology continually making advances every year, I find myself fantasizing about a simpler time. So I think back as far as I can remember, and then I realize that I’m visualizing the 90s.
The 90s was not a great decade, but it was before the technology era ramped up. Phones were still tethered to the house, photographs still  had to be developed, paperwork was still on paper. I remember passing notes in class, owning a journal/scrapbook, and owning hundreds of colored pens.
It’s pretty amazing how quickly smartphones infiltrated our lives; socially and professionally. It’s only been 11 years, but I don’t think we could go back to the way things were.