Thursday, August 11, 2011

(My 100th!) Can We all Slow Down and Enjoy Right Now

My 100th Post!

You know I’ve been thinking about what lyrics I should use for my 100th post for a long time.  I was planning a true Magnum Opus so the title lyrics needed to be epic, something from the Beatles, Stones, U2, Pearl Jam, etc.  But the other day I was driving my daughters to camp and of course was listening to the required Disney Channel on XM Radio.  I heard the song Price Tag by Jessie J and it just stuck with me as where I am at right now.

Yep, this is what I’m all about now:

            Ain’t about the cha-ching, cha-ching
            Ain’t about the ba-bling, ba-bling
            Wanna make the world dance
            Forget about the price tag”

Of course when you are just a fry cook at Mickey D’s it’s easy to have that attitude!  J

I’ve also been really stuck on that Foster the People Song for some time but I won’t ask you to outrun my bullets! J

I did sort of write a similar recap on my Ashley Madison anniversary back in April that outlined some of my take-aways from my Ashley Madison experiences.  I guess since this is a blogging anniversary I should do something around blogging takeaways.  Or maybe not.

So Ashley Madison’s tag line is “life is short, have an affair.”  Well I won’t speculate on whether anyone should or should not have an affair but life is shorter than we think.

I attended a staff retreat shortly after taking my current job back east.  It was a very tranquil time because I was so happy to be here.  There was a very good speaker at the retreat that gave me two great takeaways.

First, he asked us to write down what age we thought we would live to.  I wrote down 85.  Then he asked us to write down our age.  For me it would have been 40 at the time.  Then he said subtract your age from the age you plan to live to.  For me 85 - 40 = 45.  Then he said multiply that by 52.  So that would be 45 * 52 = 2,340.  Then he said assuming you have to work for a living during the week that is the number of weekends you have left to live.  And then he said how many of those remaining weekends that you have left do want to invest in being miserable.  I think there were some other points he made but the bottom line is that when you put a number on the time you have remaining in the world you start to realize that you need to maximize your happiness in the time you have left in the best manner possible.

Second, the speaker also talked about going through a divorce.  He mentioned an instance when his daughter told him something that infuriated him.  He said what his daughter said “was something just like her mother would say.”  But then he had an epiphany when he realized it was “his daughter’s god given right to be just as much like her mom as she was her dad and that he couldn’t do anything about it, he could only accept it and find a way to appreciate.”

So to recap, bottom line:  not too much time on earth, got to accept people for who they are, and “don’t worry, be happy!”  Well, I just added the “don’t worry, be happy.”  Did I say I was an INTJ or C on DISC.

OK so another thing we are dealing with at this time on earth is this stinkin’ economy.  A few years ago I began to be intrigued by articles like this:

Apparently in this economy many people find they simply can’t get divorced.  Or rather, the life they have put themselves into does not allow them to live without dual incomes.  And often home values drive this inability to divorce.  When you have no equity in your home you have no leverage with which to put yourself into your next living situation.

Now another thing I have been thinking about.  I have been fascinated by Strauss and Howe’s Generations for many years.  As a proud member of Generation X I think divorce tends to be difficult on us not simply because of economic factors but as a reaction to our “Me” generation parents.  We are the first “latch key” children so I believe our way of rebelling is to be more family-centric.  Think Alex P. Keaton who rebelled against his rebellious 60’s hippy parents by being conservative.

So to recap, bottom line:  little time on earth, understand one another, economy bad, we don’t want to be like our parents, and “don’t worry, be happy.”  Wow, how does all that jive Ryan, I think your full of a word that starts with “s” and ends in “t” and rhymes with pit.

So in walks Ashley Madison.  Us Gen X’ers are already computer savvy and along with our Millennial neighbors adept at understanding social networking.  We find ourselves stuck in dead or dormant relationships, we don’t want to do to our kids what our parents generationally did to us, we know our life is finite, and “girls (and guys) just want to have fun.”  I decided to sub in a new lyric.

So is this an Infomercial for Ashley Madison.  Absolutely not, AM is just a kick start or fuel to get you where you may need to go.

So a lot of information and a lot of opinion Ryan but how are you going to bring it back to those Jessie J lyrics?

Well I guess my final advice is this:

For too long we have put a price tag on ourselves.  We have allowed ourselves to be sold into a $1,500/month mortgage, $8K vacations to Disney or the Caribbean, and unsecured debt as a result of all the latest electronic contraptions that we feel are necessary in life.  But what we don’t have is better understanding and happiness.  I won’t sing the praise of Ashley Madison as a vehicle to transport us to a better world.  But what we seek when we log onto Ashley Madison is what we really want, a connection to another human being that shares our pursuit of happiness.  Will you find it on Ashley Madison?  Maybe so, maybe not.  But, I would encourage you to take the energy you might have toward one of these social sites and apply it toward finding ways to enjoy life in any way possible.  And to do it by connecting with people not through consumption.

I'll reveal my all time favorite post on Monday.

So don’t be about the cha’ching cha’ching or ba’bling ba’bling; try to make the world dance, forget about the price tag!


BenSmarty said...

Lots of takeaways from this post, Ryan. But in your opinion, does this mean AM is useful or not useful in the grand scheme of things?

Wave Rider said...

Congrats on the 100TH POST!
You touched on so many things ... find happiness (love the one you're with or find another perhaps) ... live life to it's fullest - always great advice ... and of course our dreaded current economic state. Excellent recap. Now go forth and find happiness because we certainly aren't going to find wealth anytime soon!

Myli said...

Congrats on your 100th post! I just had my 100th post too, though I think your post was much better than mine. I am now rethinking things lol. Congrats again! Can't wait to read the next 100 posts! :)

Ryan Beaumont said...

@ Ben Smarty - Wow, looking to me for analysis. Well for me I would say it's been good. It has essentially allowed me to tread water while trying to get it all figured out. I would say be careful with AM though. It is not a solution, it is not even a means to an end. It is however a potential fuel or perhaps an ignition to get you started on a pathway toward finding the connectedness that may be lacking in one's life.

I think looking through the lens of someone else's eyes can validate or invalidate self perception or the perception of one's partner.

And of course there are other ways of achieving these but for $79 it is a fairly quick, easy, and inexpensive way to get a life barometer reading so to speak.

But remember, you are getting advice from a guy who often says "would you like fries with that?" :)

@ Wave Rider - As for the economy I am blessed with living paycheck to paycheck because my lack of net worth eliminates the need to worry about stock market volatility!

@ Myli - Having read your blog the difference between your 100 posts and mine is that your's contain a collection of facinating life experiences and and mine demonstrates a great case of written diarrhea!

Anonymous said...

I would love nothing more than to slow down and enjoy life, so thanks for the suggestion and all your great takeaways in this post. Congrats on 100 and can't wait to read the next 100!

Adam said...

Great post, thanks for that. I think you definitely hit the nail on the head as far as describing how we get on a site like AM seeking a connection. I certainly found a great one!

France said...

This song is one of my faves. Simple and uplifting.

As for pursuit of happiness on AM... perhaps. Depends on a lot of things!

Great post. :)

Kat said...

I know I'm late, but I still want to say congratulations on your 100th post! Woohoo!

I love what you wrote about taking the energy we spend on AM or otehr social sites and applying it toward finding real happiness. You are wise, my friend.