This past Friday my wife and I joined her parents down in Kingsville for the graduation ceremony of the youngest Elder daughter. (Elder being their family name and not indicative of some sort of confusion on my part about her age) With whoops and cheers and happy hearts we all watched as she was granted the satisfying payoff of long years toiling away in Academia.
…and I was suddenly struck by my own inadequacy.
Somewhere between the graduating Seniors marching out and the speeches by the Dean I began to suspect I was soon to feel some variety of depression. During the speeches, when those fancy dressed Professors and Doctors were being made mention of, including longs lists of accomplishments both academic and professional, I started to feel somewhat less than happy. Hearing of the years of hard work and sacrifice of those few students granted special merit I really started to feel low…like I hadn’t done a half of what these kids had done and wouldn’t ever be able to catch up.
Unfortunately this colored the rest of my day and for that I have to apologize to my In-Laws. I felt nothing but pride and admiration for my sister-in-law, but I couldn’t separate that from the malaise I was feeling regarding my own lack of higher education and accomplishments. To put it another way I was feeling very unsatisfied with myself…
Then, in classic me fashion, I began to remember all the fun and interesting things I’ve done in my life. Nothing that I can frame and show off of course, and not many that have any marketability or potential for fame or fortune but things I’m proud of regardless.
So, to combine a short list of things that bring me no small amount of satisfaction in my life and an imitation of the “Rules of Life” type posts that I read from The Bloggess and Filing Jointly, I give you my list:
Cook daily. Don’t worry about if it is restaurant worthy or not, just enjoy the process of choosing ingredients and putting them together in interesting and tasty ways.
Don’t be afraid to walk all the way across town for no better reason than you haven’t. Unless of course you live in a really big city, then maybe scale down a touch. Regardless of the distance, you get to see some really cool things if you just go for a walk once in a while.
Vacations to other countries make you a better person. It’s hard to hate when you’ve met “those people” and realize they are, in fact, just like you but with a different accent and perhaps a better tan.
Raising children is the hardest thing a person can do, but can also be the most rewarding. This is cliché but true and worth remembering.
When you hear a song you like, sing and dance to it no matter where you are. One, it helps to free you from being embarrassed about things which is kind of like spring cleaning for your soul. Two, there might just be someone standing near you who wishes they could dance to it but don’t want to feel odd and on the spot.
Paint on your walls. You pay the rent or mortgage right? Then they are your walls and you should cover them in trees and flowers and animals and space ships and all that stuff!
Stop reading this post right now and go do something that might be slightly dangerous or ridiculous. I’ll wait and it’ll be worth it.
Enjoy your hobbies; they are what make you more than a worker bee. For example, I like to foam swordfight with my friends. I don’t do it often anymore, but I still enjoy it…and my coworkers don’t really understand it which gives me no end of amusement.
Read books and try to write one. These two things will open your mind to several dozen worlds of inspiration and creativity.
Find a job and do the job. Those hours you spend at work complaining about being at work are what pay for all the fun shit you get to do the rest of the time.
Kiss your family every day you can. One day you won’t be able to and that will not be a fun day.
Travel. This world is pretty fucking big, see some of it before you go.
Facebook is not the same as the World. The points and opinions expressed therein do not reflect the actual reality of anyone’s personality.
Musicals are the best thing to ever hit the silver screen after Science Fiction. Watch them and sing along, I promise you won’t be singing alone for very long.
And this is just a small sample of the things that I like to do that make me satisfied with my life. I don’t have a diploma on my wall or a fancy set of letters after my name, but I do just fine I think. How about you?