I just turned 37 a couple days ago. To paraphrase Marilyn Monroe “…makes a guy think….”
Approaching (hitting?) middle age for me means a few things, but the overriding feeling I have is that, obviously, time is fleeting. So what to do with fleeting time?
Here’s an idea. We live in an extraordinary moment when everyone has access to the sum knowledge of humanity. Stanford university is giving its courses FOR FREE online.
Khan Academy is teaching pretty much anything in a really great format and also FOR FREE through its app.
With this in mind, I’m learning maths on Khan and I’m reading up on the links between health, sustainability and interior design/architecture in a new book by Esther Sternberg.
Staying curious. That’s what I want for my 38th year and for any more time I get on this amazing earth. This sounds pithy but it’s true.
Happy Sunday Chimps.
Is getting bored a good thing?
In the age of Facebook, Netflix, Spotify and Fortnite it’s easy to let the system take control. If you allow them, these streaming, entertaining, dopamine tripping platforms will keep you glued to your seats all day. They won’t let you get bored.
This thing is, getting bored serves a function. As far as I can tell, the whole purpose and spiritual breakthrough of Yoga is to cope with boredom and through this to reflect on life. No time for that in a video game.
Some other activities where boredom is there to be overcome:
Taking a walk with no phone in hand. Just walk.
Listening to an album from start to finish. Just listen
Running for 30 minutes straight. Just run.
When were you last bored?
Are you more of a corporate manager, or a children’s show presenter?
Do you have the time to enter an ultramarathon or are you better off focusing on the problems in front of you?
Will a holiday away actually be relaxing for you? Or should you rather sleep in at home?
Will you benefit from buying that new iPhone, or should you put the money into a savings account?
I think all of the options above are valid. They just need to match up with the rest of your life to avoid angst.
I was referred a book today. I love referrals. They are the polar opposite of the random, googled, cold-called experience.
Whether it is for a contractor’s services, a new restaurant, a new employee, a new product, or for a well written explanation of a concept – it is far easier and more enjoyable to digest the unknown if it comes as a referral from someone you know and trust.
Can a civilisation function without free speech?
It is my personal belief that more speech is the only answer. Yes even hate speech. Even the most vile, racist, biased, twisted, evil ranting should be allowed, if only to point to and say out loud – “This is bullshit”.
If you ever want to prove the rule of atrophy, just go on a holiday.
We left the house in mostly working order. WiFi, phones, alarms, pets, cars all up and running.
But when we came back last night, the gremlins had struck. The power was out, which had tripped our alarm, which had sent the dogs into a two day frenzy. Phone and WiFi has disconnected. The car was dead. And so on.
If you throw a bunch of bricks in the air, it’s almost impossible that they will land on top of each other in a nice organised wall. Atrophy is a natural order of things. It means that everything falls apart and bends toward chaos, unless it is maintained.
Just ask my dogs.
It’s a gusty day here by the sea. our kids are bothered by the sand and the choppy water. The whales don’t seem to care.
I just saw my first breach – like a rocket launching out the ocean.
Coming up from the deep with such force, the whale’s head and shoulders pushed into the air. It looked for a moment like the giant learned how to fly.
Then with half of its body out the water, the launch failed. The rocket fell down to the sea with a monstrous crash. I could see the explosion of water from kilometers away.
They’re still lolling about out there as I type this. Viva whales.
The rain has set in. The last few days on holiday have been hot and humid but now the cold front is here and we’re enveloped in cloud and cold air.
No hiking with the little ones. We’re playing table tennis and dominos with other guests at the hotel to pass the time.
For a few years we were in a drought, missing the rain in Cape Town. One wet winter and I find I’m wishing for the drought again. Fickle and selfish thoughts set in when you get bored I guess.
For now, indoors and bunkered down is the way forward. I find I am rearranging the apps in my phone for no particular reason.
The mind is a funny thing.
Our personalities are made up roughly of 5 different traits.
- Agreeableness: Compassion and Politeness
- Conscientiousness: Industriousness and Orderliness
- Extraversion: Enthusiasm and Assertiveness
- Neuroticism: Withdrawal and Volatility
- Openness to Experience: Openness and Intellect
If you take a personality test, there is a high chance that it will grade you in terms of the above personality traits. Each personality trait and aspect (and your relative position with respect to them) has advantages and disadvantages.
It’s an interesting exercise in self-assessment. I was surprised by the results I got at first, but then upon thinking about them I saw how it might be accurate.
As with anything, you build up a narrative about yourself inside your head. This narrative is your own to create and change – and it might not be the same story that everyone else would tell about you. The more you can align your story with the outside world’s assessment of you, the more at ease you will be with this difficult life.