Let's all take a moment and breathe. Or scream!
Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash
Oh man, guys. April was rough. War, snow, war, snow, war…..covid, war, snow…..it felt unrelenting. My work has been super stressful too for the past month and I’m clinging to sanity by my fingernails. I hate work stress! Life is too short for work stress! Especially if you’re not a heart surgeon.
Anyway, I’m sure we all feel stressed. I’m not special! And that’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot. The arbitrariness of life. What’s meaningful in the face of chaos. How to live in a society when your values diverge from cultural norms. And yes, these thoughts are about as much fun as they sound.
So I’m trying to remember to come back to what I’m maybe worst at, when I’m stressed—which is having FUN. The research is there that play, or having fun, especially with others, is so important. And that social ties, be they with friends or lovers, is what makes life worth living. But it’s so easy, when you’re stressed and the world seems too sad, to forget to plan happy hour, or make a date, or schedule a game night (especially when you’re kind of an asshole about games, like I am).
So that’s your challenge this month—should you choose to accept it. Make a date to have FUN. It can be with yourself (Artist’s Date a la Cameron, anyone?). But it should ideally be with someone else. Best idea yet, make it with me because I’m losing my fucking mind. <3
And in the meantime, here are some things that I’ve enjoyed, and that you might appreciate:
A "new to me” cult podcast! It’s about influencers in the Twin Flames movement who took it a leeeetle to far. And by a little I mean followers were arrested. But it’s also about how we’re so easily taken advantage because connection with others IS so important and so many of our cultural norms around love and relationships are so focused on having a single union with a “soul mate” (or Twin Flame).
Speaking of, maybe I’ve already recc’ed this, but I LOVED this book, Cultish, about cult language and how it’s everywhere. It was amazing!
This book, Shakespeare in a Divided America, was kinda intense, especially the ending, but it was so interesting. Basically Shapiro explores how America’s relationship with Shakespeare is both a cypher for and a mirror of our most contradictory ideological impulses, as a nation. It’s a lot. But good.
I also really appreciated Arthur Brooks’ From Strength to Strength. It’s a wee bit patriarchal in a few spots, but overall I found his discussion about how our brains change as we age, and how that’s not a bad thing if we work with it rather than fight it, both instructive and inspiring.
For pure fun, I watched the shit out of Inventing Anna, The Tinder Swindler, and other shows/podcasts/articles about con artists and how, on the one hand, they take advantage of our basic human impulses for love, power, etc., but how they’re also so uniquely of their time with their use of social media, identity as influencers, etc.
Which brings me to my last rec: this podcast episode on concentration. Did it make me contemplate blowing up my last social media? Yes. Did I do it? No. Am I one step closer? Absolutely.
I hope May is better, for all of us, and that you connect with your loved ones and with yourself in meaningful ways this month. And please, for the love of Pete, may it stop. Fucking. Snowing. I leave you with Camus:
“When you have once seen the glow of happiness on the face of a beloved person, you know that a man can have no vocation but to awaken that light on the faces surrounding him. In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”
― Albert Camus
besos, darlings. xo