There is a lot of talk about “sticking with it” “trying harder” “if only”.
I also have an annoying custom to take a concept, or truths and apply them from there on out.
Good in theory, but it raises issues down the line. It’s probably most irritating, because it’s below the surface, and so I’ll be acting on guidelines, hints and principles that my friends and family aren’t even aware of, yet I’m doing so because it has been bounced around in enough sources to be shown as true.
And for whatever reason I seek for “universal truth” – rules and ideas that can stay consistent from the first Mesopotamian to the future latex-wearing, space-ship flying generations. I look for truths that apply to people with all religions, and from all countries. I test veracity by seeing where it springs holes, and how narrowly it has to apply to work.
While this does narrow down the things in which I will put confidence in, it also means that once I find a principle that seems to work over all of these variables, I also apply it to everything – a bit like some with ketchup.
So when people say “if only they’d tried harder” and chorus of nods follows, and then I see this hold up time and again – people who succeed and do great things have indeed ‘tried harder’ in the past and that’s why they’re at where they’re at and happy, successful, world-changing, etc.
Not that I actually want any of those things, but people who have gotten to that point positively influence other people’s lives; I want to positively influence people’s lives; I must try harder.
Well… here’s where it gets silly.
Free time – what do you think it’s for? You’re probably correct. *ding*
In my head it was a time to practice, try and perfect any and all hobbies I might get or set my hands on, in order to never have “not tried hard enough”.
I’ve also talked over some broad money-concepts now that I’m getting some extra spending money and what am I free to make silly mistakes on and what should really be set aside for necessary purchases? I was advised on what could really be just freely-spent money, and this was the allusion Mom referred to when she discussed this with me.
“That time is your free time! Your “mad-time” like “mad-money” as some people call it. You are not responsible for anything in it. You’ve already taken care of your responsibilities, and you can just do whatever in that time.”
Sillily, I started tearing up. It was too good to be true!
“And if you never touch those paints you bought… or if you want to stop piano tomorrow! Hey, that’s fine.”
Now I was really starting to get it. BT had alluded to this before – how he wished he’d known earlier that starting and not continuing with projects and interests was okay not only okay, but encouraged.
Now, Mom was saying it. And it’s not like they don’t have any experience in these things, both have had regrets that they didn’t stick with or finish one thing or another. Yet despite all of this, and all of their admirable work ethic, they were telling me this.
This made a lot of sense and was freeing! I don’t have to produce something awesome from my free time; I don’t even have to continue with hobbies I’ve started.
The concept of “keep going” “don’t give up” and other such well-intended missives were apparently not always true. Apparently it was okay to chill every once in a while and just make something because I wanted to! or to explore a new hobby with no strings attached, and to be told that I wouldn’t be letting anyone down, or failing someone in someway – the freedom in that was astounding! 🙂
That was pretty cool.