Sunday, April 22, 2012

Losing Time Or Making Time

  My dad likes to say that age is nothing but a number. I think that's something older people say because they don't like to feel old. I think age is a lot more than a number. Sometimes it can indicate maturity, legality, and other times, it's just a social identity that shows we relate to our peers.
    I feel distinctly old today, being it's my birthday. While 24 isn't a very big number to some people, it seems pretty big to me. I'm leaving my early twenties for my mid-twenties, and I feel like this is a milestone in my young life. 23 seemed young enough to still play the college-aged young person card, and 24 seems like the real line between youth and adulthood.
    I have been really struggling with the desire to become independent and self-sufficient and the desire to remain somewhat innocent, footloose, and fancy-free. On the one hand, I want to be financially independent, but on the other, I would really enjoy having a little more free time than a full-time job allows. Not so I can go to the brewery every day or watch TV even more than I do already, but because there are things that I want to do that I don't have time for right now. Like this blog.
    I want to have more time to write. I want to have more time to read. And yes, it would be nice to have more time to go to the movies or watch them at home. But it's more than that. I want to have time to cook for myself, shop for groceries more than once or twice a month. I want to take walks and do yoga. I want to spend time with my friends and my family. Plus a million other things on my to-do list. And I feel like right now, I'm budgeting my time as thinly as I'm budgeting my money.
    I feel like I'm missing out on some of the things I should be enjoying, some of the things I think I have a right to enjoy, because I don't have time to enjoy them. Most people would diagnose this as having my priorities mixed up. If you have your priorities straight, you can always make time for everything. I don't think this is always true. There are a finite number of hours in a given week, and there is only enough room for a portion of everything you want to accomplish. We end up sacrificing so much of what we want to do in favor of what we are obligated to do.
    It isn't easy juggling your wants with your obligations, especially when time or money is the constraint. But the only way to achieve your goals and make your wants become a regular part of your schedule is to say yes to yourself and those wants instead of no, procrastinating and making excuses why you can't. You still may not be able to get all of them in every single time, but you can at least make the effort.
Coulda woulda shoulda.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Say What You Mean, Mean What You Say

  Hypocrisy runs deep, partly because so many people don't realize they're doing it. We say so many things throughout the day, the week, the years, and it's difficult to keep track of everything we say. In the heat of the moment, especially if we're having an argument or debate with someone, we can say things that we don't mean, that we wouldn't say under normal circumstances. It isn't until later that we realize what we said was contradictory to a belief we held prior.
    Unfortunately, not everybody has this realization. Some people go on contradicting themselves, not realizing they're losing people's confidence in them. These are the true hypocrites--the ones who pay so little attention to what they say or how their words and actions may appear to others that they never realize that they are defeating the very image of themselves they are trying to project.
    In spite of myself, I catch my own hypocrisy from time to time. In trying to win an argument, I sometimes end up changing my mind from the beginning to the end. It's not a conscious choice, or manipulation, but rather ignorance. Ignorance about the issues to the point that I am not allied to one side of things more than the other and I trip over my words.
    Hypocrisy stems from ignorance. We say we agree with one thing, but it's more for the principle of the issue than because we have examined it and honestly hold it to be true. In cases like this, ambivalence, or agnosticism (I mean this in a broad sense), is a better option than risking hypocrisy by allying oneself to side of an issue and then going back on your half-hearted belief.
    The best option is always to examine things. Discuss them, learn about them, get a good grasp on the issue before you automatically say I agree or I disagree. Then, when confronted with it, in an argument or just in your daily life, you can see more clearly the choices you make, the words you choose. You won't have to try so hard to argue your point, because you will know the facts and details of your beliefs so well that you can explain them to anyone.
    I've said it before, I'll say it again: An unexamined life is not worth living. Don't let yourself wander into hypocrisy merely because you have not taken the time to consider the matter thoroughly enough.
Reserve the right to change your mind--just not too often.

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