Why the 40 minutes it took to write this means nothing and everything simultaneously

English: Drops of sweat

English: Drops of sweat (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When we reach for the stars our arms get tired. Goals are for those who are never satisfied. Goals stand afar, out there, waiting to be reached, and then slap you in the face with their reward. It’s not a bad thing to set goals, but life is not a competition, nor a series of droll, tired clichés (although at times it may feel like that is all you hear, see, read, feel and experience).

People look for inspiration when they should be seeking perspiration. We try to subdue our perspiration each and every day as soon as we clean ourselves, as soon as we get out of the shower…what do we do? We dry off first of course and then we start the process of trying to maintain our freshness.

The old Massengill commercial had a young girl in it who asked her mother adoringly, “Hey mom, how do you stay fresh?” Well, the mother had no problem telling her daughter how she stayed fresh. It was typically with Summer’s Eve or some other douching product. It got me to thinking; thinking dumb stuff like that was indicative of the conversations women had with their mothers. After all, it wouldn’t be on prime time television –a commercial that came on during nightly newscast breaks, if there wasn’t some popular culture relevance or validity to it. Hence, I thought conversations of this kind were plausible.

But my point of containing our perspiration is not how our lives should be led. We perspire yet we try to contain it with products that may not be good for our health. If we don’t at least try to control our perspiration, however, it would at least imply a level of perspiration is acceptable. To this point I would ask, “What amount of sweat can you stand from the person next to you?”

We go through life wondering what is possible. We hear we should plan, but we also hear about the greatness of doing nothing. I was posed the question of when do I enjoy life the most? Is it when life is hectic, things are impossibly busy, or is it when I am still doing nothing, absolutely nothing and just being, well, you know, calm. I had to respond I prefer the latter. When I am calm and doing nothing, I am admittedly happier. But challenges make me happy, too. And you can’t accept a challenge if you are doing nothing and loving it.

English: Front cover of the Paul Simon music a...

English: Front cover of the Paul Simon music album Graceland. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I think goals and plans are fine for some but like I said, I like a challenge more than setting a goal or making a plan. Paul Simon sang about “making a new plan, Stan,” in respect to his 50 ways to leave your lover. If Paul would have just done nothing, perhaps his lover would have left him and he would not have had to worry about making a new plan to leave her in the first place.

Songs should never be taken literally. I heard a refrain in a song on the Internet today that said, “I just want you to know who I am,” over and over. No, I mean, really over and over, as if there weren’t any other lyrics. It made me forget if there were any other words to the song. I didn’t pay attention to any of the other lyrics, but like most songs with refrains and choruses, that’s what common folk tend to focus on or hear the most. This is sometimes referred to as the “hook.” In this instance, I thought the songwriter had an identity crisis: He just wanted the listeners of his song to know who he is. I get that, but I needed more from him or nothing at all (and nothing in between).

I used to think if we lived in five-minute chunks of time, that is, make each five minutes the most important they can be, we would be living life to its fullest. I’ve come to find out that is too much pressure to place on any given five minutes of time. We should not have to build each five minutes of living up and put it in on a pedestal. We should live in at least half hour chunks of time. Because then life is more like a sitcom. Sitcoms are minute portraits of life and if we can emulate them to some degree, we can have at least a half an hour of happiness and/or laughter. If we get that much laughter out of each day, let alone each thirty minutes, I think it’s something better than doing nothing entirely.

Perspiration, Athens

Perspiration, Athens (Photo credit: martin.mutch)

So how do we emulate a sitcom? Well, we need to do something unrealistic and we need to suspend our disbelief regarding successfully completing this something or other in a half an hour’s time. Again, trying to do anything of note in such a structured environment will typically prove unfruitful, it not disastrous.

I thought if I could do something in these forty minutes, something really cool, magnanimous, it would leave me feeling I left you a better person somehow for reading this. But now that my 40 minutes are up here, I’m really not so sure. I’m hoping at least the first 30 of the 40 minutes showed some potential. However, if you considered most, if not all of it rubbish (and I won’t be upset if you do), you can at least take solace in the fact that reading this with that mindset was somehow the equivalent of doing nothing for some of the last 40 minutes—a noble goal in that you accomplished something by doing absolutely nothing. Bravo.

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