I sit here on a Saturday afternoon, reveling in getting all my life minutia squared away, and wanted to a moment to reflect. It’s a brilliantly lovely day, with a hint of the swamp-blanket soon to cover the region till September and for some reason it got me thinking “hey, aren’t you supposed to journal today?”. (Yes, my mind works that way, I just roll with it.)
All in all it’s been an excellent week, nothing hideous happened, and I had an interesting insight about personal passion which really charged me up. My nephew Josh is getting married in a couple of weeks, and that will bring the whole family together, something I dearly enjoy. I’m profoundly grateful to actually like all of my family, I’ve known too many people for whom this kind of gathering is akin to a cancer diagnosis. I’m stoked!
I do have a few things on my mind, figured I’d share them with you!
Nothing to Lose
It’s common to lament the passing of the halcyon days of youth, but the more I look at life the more I think the problem is the way people age into a kind of arthritic spiritual posture. Packs of young people are driven by not only hormones, but energetic uncertainty. Not knowing what’s coming really puts some imagination into your day to day dealings with the universe. I’m getting off track, the thing I wanted to discuss was how terribly boring people are when they have a lot to lose. Once I started working as a “white collar” worker, I started finding the workplace a lot less interesting. With the exception of a brief period when I was surrounded by straight-up the most fun, interesting group of coworkers I could ever hope for (the eCustomer team at AMS), most of my professional interactions have been devoid of either drama or fun.
These people have something to lose. Mortgages, medical coverage, cars, vacations, kids – they’re so afraid of losing an inch of ground the idea of being authentically human at work is just madness. On the one hand this keeps peoples baser instincts in check, but on the other they bury what makes them interesting.
In my minimum-wage days, I was surrounded by characters – these people had nothing to lose. Big problems, big dreams, big mouths and big emotion. I’m not saying it was “better”, just more interesting. Alcoholics, drug addicts, adulterers and criminals were all just a normal part of my day. Now I’m happy when people feel empowered to speak openly about the work we’re doing – it’s normally like pulling teeth!
I don’t know where I’m going with this, perhaps just some ennui for days gone by. I don’t miss sweating whether the electric bill got paid, but I’d love to have some of that transparent emotional energy that having nothing to lose brings.
Look, I’m just going to rant for minute, it’s my prerogative as I do not have a lawn to chase children off of.
- Speaking louder doesn’t make it more interesting.
- If you agree to a time, be on time.
- If you’re 95% trustworthy, you’re untrustworthy.
- You don’t get a cookie for being kind, be kind because you can.
- If you aren’t going to do what you say, just don’t say it.
- You don’t know what other’s are thinking, ask.
- If you don’t know where to go at the bottom of an escalator, keep moving anyway.
- Sidewalks work the same everywhere, being a tourist doesn’t change that.
- Checking that text isn’t going to make you more interesting.
Order from Chaos
I chose a long time ago to sell a nice, large house, and return to living in a very small apartment. There were a lot elements to that decision, but one of them was I started to think I was a crazy person for the amount of time I devoted to upkeep and maintenance. I’d find myself at Home Depot at 7:00 am on Saturdays asking myself existential questions like “do I need new baseboards?” Madness!
I can can whip this place into shape in about 1.5 hours, which is the amount of time it takes to do my laundry (another benefit of apartment living, whether I have one or four loads of laundry – same time investment). I bring this up because while I’m not a cleanliness-Nazi, I think better, feel better and act better when my shit’s tight. And when I woke this morning, I was so horrified by the state of my place, that I was moved to photograph it to shame myself from letting it get so bad in the future!
Clutter is a self-inflicted wound, and it’ll mess with your head. If you think living in squalor has any upside, well…you’re just nuts. My whole chi-biorhythm thing short circuits when I live in a space like the one I woke in, which given the amount of junk I need to do is just unacceptable. As you see, order has been restored and I’ll use this public shaming to keep me on the straight and narrow!