We cannot escape the experience of being human. Everybody feels the full spectrum of emotions and lives within the confines of their physical makeups. And that freaking blows sometimes, doesn’t it? I hate that everything gets old. I hate that we always want what we don’t have. I hate that we always compare ourselves to other people. I hate that we have to fight so hard not to be lazy. I hate that we usually crave things that are bad for us. I don’t understand why life has to be designed like this. I don’t care how much you enjoy that new song. If you play it too much, it becomes familiar and tired. I don’t care how much you love that new piece of art. After a while you don’t even notice it hanging on your wall. I don’t care how cheery and optimistic you are, when Monday morning rolls around, it’s hard to get out of bed. We always need new stuff. That new pair of shoes gets old. That new car gets old. That new haircut grows out. Your clean house gets dirty. That new exciting relationship cools off. Speaking of relationships, perfect example of what I’m talking about. What is the majority of advice for older married couples? It’s usually something about trying as hard as you can to keep it interesting; consciously putting in a ton of effort to spice things up. Why? Because it’ll get boring as hell and you’ll take each other for granted. Why? Because that’s fucking human nature! And why is that human nature? I have no idea! And it is. Anyone who argues otherwise is full of shit.
I hate that everything regulatory usually trends in a negative direction. Has a new boss ever come into the workplace and the place gotten more laid back? Yeah right. Everything gets stricter. Have mundane work procedures ever gotten more lax? Nope. You used to just turn it in. Then you had to sign it and turn it in. Then you had to certify it, sign it and turn it in. Then you had to verify it, certify it, sign it and turn it in. Now you have to notarize it, verify it, certify it, sign it and turn it in. You get the idea. Things never get more laid back or relaxed. They always get more strict and uptight. That’s why old nostalgic stories exist. Back in the 50s we did this. Back in the 60s we did that. Now we’re monitored 24/7 and expected to act like robots. Everything will kill you. Everything is bad for you. Were you driving 56 in a 55?! That’s dangerous! News flash: nobody gets out of life alive. But I digress.
My dad had a poignant quote: “Why is happiness so hard to find and keep when negativity lingers on without effort?” To me, this basically sums up the design of life. Fake, overly positive types would disagree, but I disagree with them. Think about it. Everybody has to work on being positive. All motivational and inspirational self-help material deals with changing your attitude, looking at the bright side, and maintaining positivity. But why is this advice needed? It’s needed because the default setting is negativity. Just turn on a TV –murder, rape, fraud, war, racism. Does anybody have to work on being negative? Hell no! That comes naturally. It’s so much easier to be negative. Wait. I can see those head-in-the-clouds types rolling their eyes. “Life is beautiful. Life is wonderful. Happiness is a choice.” I see a lot of versions of that last sentence displayed in various quotes. Happiness is a choice. Okay, if this were true—merely a choice—why is there so much suffering and negativity in the world? Why are there so many suicides? If it was that easy, just choose to be happy, why are so many people depressed and dejected? If they could choose to be happy just like they could choose to eat a hamburger instead of some tacos for dinner, why would they ever be sad? It doesn’t make sense. That statement is bullshit. It makes about as much sense as telling an alcoholic to just stop drinking, or telling a fat person to just stop eating as much. It doesn’t work like that. And if the argument is that it’s difficult and requires a lot of effort to choose to be happy, what does that say? It says that the natural state is to be drawn into negativity. That’s my freakin’ point! Why is it designed like that? Why is positivity something that requires effort, work, and focus, while negativity is something that we are pulled into, something we easily fall into? Why does everything get old? Why are we preprogrammed to get jaded by awesome and unique experiences if we are fortunate enough to do them regularly? I have no answers about the design of it. To combat the design, go ahead and flip to the usual clichés: be happy for what you have, try to be positive, etc. Nonetheless, these clichés reinforce my point that the design sucks, or they wouldn’t exist in the first place, and it would be easy. Side note: if you can’t relate to falling into bouts of negativity, I already don’t like you and I think you’re fake—and I bet annoying.
So, has your time for lunch at work ever increased? Have you ever had a 30-minute lunch break increased to one hour? I’d bet money that if your allotted lunch time ever changes, it’s going to go from one hour to 30 minutes. Life.