Make Every Day Everyday

Make Every Day Everyday

|how.odious| Year Two: DAY SEVENTY-SEVEN

2017 January 06 [Friday]

Friday Feature

When the aspects of life that are enacted every day become everyday aspects of life, that’s when the magic happens. Once every day becomes everyday, that’s when every day starts to feel like everything. It’s only against the bland that flavor is tasted. The place at where I [my life philosophy] currently stands reveals the sort of mundane essence of my life, especially since “mundanity” continues to surface as the topic about which I so frequently write. People [read the DISCLAIMER] are constantly bombarding my consciousness with droll remarks about how I must “live life to the fullest,” “live like it’s my last day,” “make every day an adventure,” etc., &c. I fucking hate it because they’ve got it all wrong! But the masses are idiots, so they’ll believe every NEXT AD campaign, which has been specifically designed to rob them blind.

Have you ever wondered why your life sucks, how happiness never finds you, why life doesn’t excite you? Well, I have an small inkling as to a possible answer [not to say that I’m the first or only person to have come to this conclusion]. And I’ll tell you, but it’s not going to be what you think it is. I’ll also only tell you if you can accept that everything that will be said from here on out is all opinion, conjecture, my own experiences that I’m willing to share because maybe I’m onto something. Who knows. It’s all too possible that I’m the idiot, so yea. If I’m the idiot, then everything will make sense to you because that means I’m just a normy, and normies are, generally speaking, quite stupid. If I’m not an idiot, well there’s no way of knowing. So, let’s get to it.

The problem [according to me, the writer of this goddamn post] … a dun dun du da! … is that people think that every day is supposed to be special, an adventure, that every day should be lived like it’s your last. Let me tell ya, that’s the straight and girthy path to unhappiness. If the world is selling you a message that requires your money in order to fulfill, then that’s definitely not the direction in which you want to travel. Listen to how stupid it sounds to say, “Make every experience special with X and Y. Experience every moment to the fullest and remember it as the most special moment of your life through X and Y, and then every moment of your life will be memorable and special because you bought X and Y.” If every single day of your life is special and memorable, that directly contradicts the definition of special. So, what is this “brilliant” conclusion I’ve come to? Well, it’s quite simple actually.

everydayeveryday

If you want some seriously special moments in your life, you need to make every day quite plainly everyday. It’s the banal routine that exciting experiences are set against which ultimately makes those exciting experiences exciting. The same goes for things that you wish weren’t such a big deal. If you want something to be exciting or special, you can’t do it every day. If you don’t want something to be such a big deal, you have to do it every day. Does that make sense? Okay, so here are some examples from my own life.

For starters, I absolutely love [like seriously, I think it’s one of the most entertaining things to listen to people talk about] when people drone on about how hard it is to workout. I mean, I get it, but I also get it. When you only work out, let’s say, once a week, yea, every workout is going to fucking suck. It’ll be tough. And then, when people only workout for a short period of time and then take months off, yea, returning to your workouts is a nightmare. If you don’t want your workouts to be a big deal or anything special because you just want to be able to do it without it being this big production, you need to workout every, single, ephing, day. Or at the very least, every other day. It’s the stuff we do every single day that becomes routine, that we hardly acknowledge as being “special.” You sleep, shit, eat, work [maybe], do the laundry, wash the dishes, clean, shower, etc., regularly, and these sorts of things are nothing special [this is not to say you can’t be grateful for the small things in life, but this is not about that]. So, if there are aspects of your life that you wish were “no big deal,” you’ve got to make them routine. Like picking up a new hobby or learning something new, you’ve got to do it every day, and then, before you know it, it’ll become routine.

The other side of the routine is where the magic happens. Let’s say you eat out every day for dinner. Then, when a special day comes along, like a birthday or celebratory event, picking a restaurant becomes difficult because the restaurant has to be either more expensive or more glamorous than the restaurants you eat at every day. And, I’d wager to say that when you eat out all the time, it’s hard to find the special-ness in eating out for a special occasion. So, the only way to have a special dinner would be to eat in, cook. Does that make sense? Or, looked at another way. If you want to have eating out be a special experience, then you need to eat in regularly, that way, when you eat out, it’s special.

These, I understand, are typically reductive examples, but they are examples from my own life. I can’t really come up with anything astute because I am either too dull or too simple-minded to think of more … relevant examples for the every-person. All of this boils down to the lifestyle that my lifemate and I live. I’ll be shamelessly honest. We basically live at the [by U.S. standards of income] poverty level, but it sure as hell doesn’t feel like it. Our everyday life is very much the same. We live on a 15,000 KRW [about $15.00] per day, food budget, not because we have to but because we want to [this does not include the budgets we have for domestic items and entertainment {100,000 KRW/month for each}]. We basically eat the same two dozen things in a weather-coordinated [some things we only eat in the summer because it’s hot, etc.] rotation. We eat out within our daily budget about once or twice a week, and the rest of our money gets saved up or invested.

When the time comes for something special like a holiday or birthday, we greatly exceed our food budget with no financial consequence because the money’s there. We also only watched four movies in a movie theater last year, one of which was while we were on vacation. When we go to the movies, though, we only see them in IMAX 3D. As far as vacationing goes, we vacation once a year, and I’ll just say this, on our most recent ten-day vacation to Vancouver, we lived large. We spent six months saving up all the cash we’d spend on that trip, and after the plane tickets, AirBNB rental and whale-watching tour were booked, we had $200 per day to spend. We had a really hard time spending that much money because that’s a shit ton of money to spend every single day, and not a single penny was added to our credit card. But see, we live every day on a strict budget, that way, when we have the opportunity to spend frivolously we a) have the cash to do it and b) thoroughly enjoy begin able to do it.

Yes, our everyday life seems quite lame, but whenever anything happens beyond the everyday routine we heartily stick to, it’s quite spectacular, special, exciting, adventurous, different. I’m also not saying that we’ve figured it out and that living this way is perfect. Sometimes I just want to do something more, live beyond. And so, sometimes we do. We don’t stick to this plan as if our lives depend on it. We do stick to this plan, though, quite successfully because it’s what we both want. Yes, I can hear you saying, “But you could die tomorrow! If you don’t live now, you’ll never live at all!” I get that sentiment. I also get how hard it is to live a disciplined life most of the time so that you can live large some of the time, but when you do live large, it’s awesome. If you live large every day, then living large becomes routine, which means you’re not really living large anymore, you’re just living your routine life. And to the “But you could die tomorrow!” thoughts I say this, But you could also live until you’re 100. Why feel burned out by life when you’re only sixty or at the pace some people live, at forty?

My whole philosophy revolves around Life making each tier and experience available to me when I’m ready, only when I’m ready. Yes, there’s a strong case to be made for “Living it up!” Where that motivation comes from, however, is a place of fear, fear that your life will be lost without you having experienced EVERYTHING. The more likely case, fortunately, is that you’ll probably live a pretty average life until you’re old and grey. No one wants to accept this, of course. This is the battle. The struggle is real. No matter, living as if you’ll one day be old and grey is living your life through hope.

The whole point is not to point fingers at who’s living better or how to live your best life; the point, for me, is that I want to have truly significant moments and experiences in my life. And so, I consistently think about how to make this happen. If I make every experience significant, though, then none of them will be because that’s my normal. Does that make sense? So, what I do instead is I live a simple life the majority of the time, and whenever anything beyond the ordinary [which is quite ordinary when considering most of my days are filled with coffee first, writing, reading, running, working out, the yoga, some piano playing, watching old movies, shopping for groceries, making dinner, eating dinner, showering, watching basketball games, watching the lifemate play video games, and then sleeping] happens, it’s special, and more importantly, I remember each moment with more clarity and gratitude. [Again, obviously, what I consider to be a simple, boring life is something for which I have immense gratefulness. This, however, is not about that. This is about how, too often times, I hear people complain about how not-exciting their lives are even when they’re jam-packed with excitement, or how it’s impossible to have an exciting life when you don’t have money.]

*sigh. To conclude, I suppose I will end with this: You also don’t want to get too ingrained in a routine either because then you’ll lack growth through the lack of new experiences. Just like how when you go, go, go, it’s hard to grow as well because if you don’t take time to reflect and apply all the lessons you’ve gathered, then the go-getter never finds growth either. The key, of course, then becomes balance. Why, though, is balance so difficult to establish? What is it about being human that swings us so vigorously between extremes?

 


 

 

2016: From the Other Side

2016: From the Other Side

|how.odious| Year Two: DAY SEVENTY

2016 December 30 [Friday]

The end can bring such freedom or torture, unless freedom and torture are the same thing. She wakes. She soon realizes, however, that she has not awoken into her life, but rather, she finds herself at the beginning of her death. Confusion seems reasonable enough. “I must have died last night,” she recalls. Grief. She searches endlessly for an answer, and after an unknowable amount of time, she comes to terms with the likely situation that she is, in fact, dead. A person, of course, experiences much about his/her own life when forced to contemplate it [their life] while laying on Death’s bed. She, however, has been denied this opportunity, thus, she decides that she will start at the end and remember what she can about the last year of her life, the year 2016.

What does she remember? What are the stand-alone moments? Where does she live? How does she feel? What did she accomplish? What did she learn? What were some of her favorite things? “Is a chronological remembrance a good way to do it?” she ponders. “Probably not,” she concedes, “Randomness is always the most interesting.” “Where, though, should I begin? Perhaps … somewhere in the middle?”

yearendyogafave2016
*caption below [photo i]
The summer was ridiculously hot in Seoul, South Korea, for far too long a time during this last year. I accomplished much, however, regarding the yoga practice. My favorite posture last year had to have been any sort of backbending.  In other physically-capable-related news, I am also a huge fan of pull-ups. The song that resonates throughout my mind more frequently than others is Adele’s “Send My Love.” The lifemate consistently commented about how the song made me bop. It’s so hip … in the subtlest of ways. My favorite movie of the year was Captain Fantastic. If only I could’ve lived long enough to eventually live my life in exactly that way. My favorite book was hard to decide because I enjoyed quite a few of them this year, but the book I had absolutely no qualms with from cover to cover was An Anthropologist on Mars by Oliver Sacks. I made little to no progress on the piano. So the stagnation there is embarrassing at best, humiliating at worst.

yearendorcafave
*ii

During the spring we finally saw our families after three years of being apart. We all met up in Vancouver for the most epic vacation ever. Much of that has already been reminisced about to the point that it’s burned into my mind. However, I will reiterate how amazing it was to see and be in the presence of my spirit animal! I also participated in my first yoga challenge that spring. I completed little to no writing during all of the last year, and so, if I have to have a few regrets, that would be high up on that list.

tkscmrbmgportrait
*iii

The fall was, by far, the busiest time of year of all the years of my life. I published my first book, which was essentially a huge failure [as far as making me money and whatnot], but obviously, the release of my first novel-length piece of fiction was a huge triumph. We also hosted our first party here in Seoul, which was also an epic success. Oh and we also moved apartments from 608 to 308. The fall also rang in a time of true horror and mind-blowingly unbelievable … what’s even the word? … revelations about the “overwhelming” [in quotes, obviously, because that’s not actually true] lack of character within the general population of my homeland. And that’s enough about that. As I hear the echoes of people saying that 2016 was by far the worst year ever, I don’t share that sentiment now as I look upon that last year of my life.

Now as I do, in fact, sit and ponder how I lived until my dying day, I don’t regret as much as I had initially expected. I regret simple things like how I wish I had worked harder, wrote more and read more. I’m not overwhelmed by regretful feelings about how I lived my life or treated people. If anything, I truly feel as though I learned and incorporated that learning into my life very effectively. I’m sort of bummed out now, though, that I can’t or don’t get to use all of that new-found betterness. For starters, the last year of my life was clearly all about patience. At every turn, my patience was tested, and as painful as it was, I know that I ended up a much more patient person. I don’t really know what that says as a whole because there’s a strong chance that I didn’t end up all that patient. I was just more patient. *sigh.

Oh, I was able to see my brother twice in my last year, so that was sort of perfect. I saw my entire family during my last year of life, and that makes me happy. My brother, however, is someone about whom I will do much worrying, as far as his future is concerned. As for my parents, I will also worry, but not because of the decisions that they make, but rather, I will worry about the way that the world will treat them and [not] take care of them now that I’m not there to do it. I can’t even think about the lifemate and how I left him when I died. I refuse to go there at this time. I just can’t think about it.

I also learned too much about myself and life and everything to acknowledge each piece of learning. I do think, though, that the most important thing I learned was that I really stopped caring about what other people think of me. First, I realized that people don’t actually think of me, ever. So … there’s that. Second, life’s way too fucking short to be scared of your social life going down the shitter. I mean, the people who care about that sort of shit are not living their lives. And that’s really sad to me now.

yearendpersonfave2016
*iv

Honestly, I don’t know why I spent so much time writing. I never wanted to become a writer, but I also never really wanted anything else. If I hadn’t spent so much time writing, I don’t really know what I would’ve done instead. My favorite new thing to cook was definitely chicken soup. I sort of can’t believe how easy it is. My favorite person will always be the lifemate, but that’s because he’s my favorite person. As far as a new person whom I adore dearly is concerned, I would have to say that the “favorite” person of 2016 was my student, SJ. My favorite thing to eat was sort of irrelevant, but my new favorite thing to drink was broccoli juice spiked with vodka. My favorite place to go during our weekend outings was definitely Wangsimni. I acquired a new past time this year, as well as a new skill. I spent way too much time playing poker [Hold ‘Em], but I thought that it was worth my time because it’s an interesting skill to have.

In the general sense of “end,” with a quick glance back at the last year, I feel immensely proud of the life I led. Sometimes I was definitely too lazy. Other times, however, I was extremely productive. If I could’ve found a good balance, I think I would have actually, eventually found myself as someone. I suppose I have an unknowable amount of time to continue looking back at what was, unless of course, there’s actually some form of responsibility or things to be done in this afterlife. It’s just sort of dark and cold at this point. There is a small blue light, though, twinkling off in the distance, so I guess I’ll go check that out now.

Despite the twinge of grief I feel for my life now lost, I don’t feel all that bad. If, however, for some reason, I could go back to my life for one more year, I honestly don’t know if I’d really do anything all that differently. Upon first thought, the things that I would do differently revolve mostly around taking risks, finding those jumping off points and jumping, continuing on the path of not-caring about what anyone thinks, growing ever closer to the me I want to be.

If you ever hear from me again, I guess I didn’t actually DIE die. If, however, you never hear from me again, all I hope is that it was good to know me. Happy New Year!, to those of you who are lucky enough to see the sun shine on that first beautiful day of 2017. Best and farewell!


i. the last yoga pic of me in a posture I came to love

ii. seeing and experiencing my spirit animal

iii. the book I wrote

iv. the lifemate