Toast Note - 20 October 2017
It is not entirely my fault that my concentration is shot to hell. It’s beautiful outside. I mean a bright, blue, brisk and brilliantly beautiful. Absolutely no one should be trapped inside pounding away at a stupid keyboard. I keep looking out the window regretting my life choices. I should have been a road worker for a living. Or maybe a forest ranger.
There is something in this grass greener problem that has always escaped me. Maybe I’m just improperly wired, but I rarely find myself looking at someone else and thinking, “If only that were me.” I am not jealous of gorgeous people, and I’m not as a rule impressed by folks with lots of things – toys and money; They so rarely seem happy. I don’t see athletes and say, “Oh hell yeah, I’d like to do that.” For one thing, I have done really hard exercise and it sucks. Trust me you really don’t want to be them. I probably come closest to Wish I Were You when I read accounts of people doing epic adventures – climbing mountains, conquering distances in rickity boats, touring the world on a mountain bike. And then I remember… oh yeah… Right. Did that.
If I see someone doing something really cool, as a general life principle, I recommend trying it for yourself. Thai food? Open ocean swimming? Programming in C++? Play guitar? Give it a go. More often than not, you’ll find that it’s not nearly as fun as it looks from a distance. And even when it’s super dang awesome fun, it’s hard work. It’s always hard work. Being that good at anything takes a lot of effort and inevitably gets a bit boring.
So I’m not really jealous of the guy standing outside selling ice cream. Sure, he’s outside and it’s an absolute stunner of a day and he looks super happy in his work. On the other hand, to break out of my career-constrained box requires nothing more challenging than a fiver and the willingness to get off my ass to go get a gelato.
“The jealous are troublesome to others, but a torment to themselves.” ~ William Penn