I mean it. I haven’t felt as ambivalent about a time period in my life before….and for some reason I’m pretty sure I’ll be saying that again. On one hand, technology is amazing….we’re casually dropping headline bombs about things like a parallel universe (which certainly isn’t a much simpler explanation), teleportation, robots….ai. Medical science has (thank god) continued to improve buttloads. More on that later. But I like that.
On the other hand, the newscape is a circus, our politics are absurd…almost as if they’re designed to make sane people tune out… and I’m pretty sure I actually know what hatred is. And oh, that reality thing: we’re in a pandemic.
(I definitely don’t feel like going into the pandemic. If you’re not overwhelmed by pandemic info, thoughts, data, judgements, and opinions….just maybe you haven’t been hit that hard.)
So, yeah compared to a little less than a decade ago…..what a difference.
Hey, it’s somewhat random blather time!
Erik Erikson is one of those textbook psychologists who tried to parse out our lives in stages. But as opposed to say, half of Freud’s coked up nonsense, there’s a value into diving into Erikson’s theory. He pretty much standardizes that there’s an internal conflict, a cool little epic of a long-term inside battle that everyone goes through at any period of their life. If you’re on the good side of this scale, you reap your laurels and get to progress to the next stage and next challenge. If you don’t, you kind of get the mud of a bad side staining the rest of your existence. And they’re 8 cool little categories that I think most people should find very relatable. No, we don’t all box up as neatly as the theory postulates, but I’ve never not found some value in applying the theory whenever I’m also randomly analyzing goals.
Anyway, his second to last stage is a nice lazy lumping of everyone into a category called “Generativity vs Stagnation”. It’s that ideal of feeling productive, vs feeling like you’re sitting around and are-you-a-waste-of-space-why-are-you-even-here. And while I think the ways I measure it can vary, I’m also ok with my weeklies in new ways. There’s numbers. It’s nice to relax financially. It’s nice to feel colder about stock losses/gains because it’s not my food and shelter that’s on the line, but something more expendable. And I know some things I used to be more passionate and active about, like weird techniques, like succeeding in weird personal games that still matter, but can take a back seat in ways that I’d absolutely refuse a decade ago. Before, generative felt like completing a manuscript, and something with real potential to invoke an internal change. Nowdays, a personal philosophy of generative….well I want to say it doesn’t exclude that, but it’s also less exclusively up my own ass, which is nice.
And, on the other hand, I think I’m a fatty mcfatfat. At least by my own standards, and compared to the way I was nearly a decade ago.
Yesterday I played Creed VR and enjoyed it to the point that I had to stop because my body was making me.
Man, could I turning into one of those middle lifed fellers who would tout the physicality of some past-tense version of their self? Yeah, I could (but I don’t wanna!) I’ve kind of always had a couple of specific feels about that kind of nostalgia 1) Everyone has a physical peak, and most peoples’ hits before they’re mid-30, so enjoy the nostalgia but also know when to get over it. Because 2) a body can be as enjoyable and awesome for as long as it’s enjoyable and awesome. The tricks are simply to be born lucky, work it up, and not lose it.
So yeah, maybe more regular dishapwine again because that helps with the last two. The above bit that I rambled about about — looking at income as a high-priority form of generativity, part of me knows how that’s regrettable if it actually displaces say, learning how to have awesome techniques, or really appreciating living in one’s own skin. For a recent example (and this is going to sound really dumb but who cares):
Preeeeetty sure I’m above average in being able to handle myself in a fight. Yet, in Creed VR where there might be a couple of differences I tried my first five pvp matches and lost 5/5 yesterday. Came close each round, didn’t feel like I got slaughtered, but they always reached the last KO before I did. A decade ago I’d be working on techniques and reflexes and feeling satisfied about gaining those, and my body would go with that ride for hours and hours, and then it would do it again.
I’m not as gifted as I once was, but that doesn’t mean it’s ok to let a chair train my body more than anything else. Oh I’m gonna have more fun with creed, and I’m going to beat some younger folks who’ve played way more than me soon, mark my words. Just wait until my lower back heals. *shakes fist*
Because yeah, I’m getting a diamond of grey in my chest. It’s right over where my heart feels like it thuds against when it pounds too hard. I kind of like it, but it’s also a reminder that time is a thing. I talked about medical science advancing, and all I’ll say is as far as I’m concerned time carries challenges and milestones. There’s really know perfect way to look at the reality that Mom beat a threatening, scary, dread-bringing cancer within a period of months last year, and still seems bubbly and vibrant. (More reasons to be fucking thankful for science and prudent people.) Dad is putting up with and pushing through congestive heart failure, resolving realities like he’s one of the oldest in his entire family now or managing having a pitiful and insane brother. No one’s perfect, but it’s new to me seeing how dad’s aged, or today when he chooses to take a seat back, relax, ask for help, or observe more than just, opine. It feels like change to me and again, reminders.
Time is a thing.
There’re three fronts I’m planning to be more generative:
One, not letting myself go physically. I think it’s high time I refocus, and avoid the negatives that will continue to come with increased aging with some goddamn exercise / cutting back on empty fats. Simple.
Two, chasing positives — getting dem habits that’ll make me prouder of my physicality in a decade. I think having a great history and doing feats that speak for themselves is admirable, but let’s say I hit 300 pounds. Well, I wouldn’t admire a 300 pound me bragging that I once ran a marathon, and no one else should.
Three, compartmentalization as a habit. Acting on wisdom more than a capacity to figure things out.
Psychologically, a person can take years off their own life. One time, when I was 8 and didn’t know what I’d believe is possible in the universe I was riding on a bus to camp. This other kid, alex asked me if he could have a second. I said sure. He said thanks, and then claimed he was going to live a second longer now. I thought, oh no, what what type of dark powers does this contract carry? Wait does that mean I’m going to die a second sooner? Wait I really want that second back! And oh now, now I’m spending multiple seconds worry about that second I lost neooooooooo!!!
And I think that’s a really good homologue for what lots of folks, including myself can do to their selves. Who isn’t a victim at some point in their life? Who didn’t have some sort of regrettable event, or wish something went better? My rational side knows: learning what you can and moving on should beat ruminating for eva. As in, there’s a time and a place for everything, and part of optimizing is not sitting around and focusing on a negative for longer than there’s a real value to it. (and man, it’s extra easy during a pandemic to do that, isn’t it?) But if you want to thrive, and not just exist or survive, you have to focus on the what-can-you-do and what-can-you-make-betters. It’s heart healthy in the end.
I’m going to go play creed now, and I miss all the special food markets being open. Anyway, that’s my shower-thought blather storm of the day. Time to stretch and play.