Friday, June 5, 2015

Life!!

A great, fictional robot once said: "Don't talk to me about life." Unfortunately sometimes we do need to talk about life. Life is not only a priority, it's highly important, perhaps even necessary. Life only comes along once in a lifetime and once it's gone, it's really gone. And after all is said and done, where would we be without it? After using this blog to talk about many morbid subjects, including our last entry on the topic of entropy, we at Very Us Mumblings have decided we should take this chance to look at something more life-affirming like... Life. But what is life really? What is it really all about? What's the frigging point to it? The good news is that there are plenty of great songs on the subject.

Life is About the Individual
For some people life is about asserting one person's individuality. Life, then is an expression of a single person's outlook, personality and his or her own being. In this way, life is about individuality and expessing yourself as you are and working to fulfill certain goals that you want to accomplish with your existence. It may be a sure way to face a life with more risk and consequence rather than one of simplicity or safety. For some people, life is about following your dreams and making them come true. Following your own advice and making your own mistakes, and sometimes living with the consequences of your actions. Most of all, life is about the freedom to go your own way and follow your heart in life. If living is just an expression of ourselves as individuals, then it gives meaning to our lives, no matter what we do. It means something because we feel we are meant to do the things we do.

Choosing our Path and Trying New Things
Some choices of life gather more friends of the type that are for 'networking' while other types of life choices gather friends that are more likely to mooch a beer from you at the local bar. Of course, maybe you'd rather hang out with the networking people because you're pretty much doing the same thing anyway, or vice versa. Choosing our path in life might involve giving up our lucrative law practice for the sake of a career as a magician, or it might mean venturing out to start your own company or moving to a new town where they need carpenters or welders or some other skill, but let's realize something... how do we really know that we're going to like some occupation unless we give it a real try. Not all of us have a 'calling' or some specific thing that we want to accomplish, so we have to try several different paths until we find out what fits. In this way, life is all about trying something new, and in trying new things, we learn about ourselves.
Of course, in this way, choosing how to live our lives might be more about choosing creature comforts or simplicity rather than standing  up for a cause or living out artistic and creative dreams or changing the world. If living is about trying new things, then you'd have to think that a fairly large percentage of people would gladly choose a more simple, less troubled life than go out and start telling jokes in front of thousands of people or attempt to fool people into thinking that a coin or card has disappeared.


School, Job, Spouse, House, Children, Retirement, and Last Will and Testament.
For some people, life is about the cycle of life. First getting an education or skills, a career, a life-partner, having and raising children, seeing those children grow up and leave the 'nest' and then retiring to a life of leisure or travel. The final step is to leave this world to a younger generation, hopefully everything being a little better than it was when you came into the world yourself.
  This is, in fact, one of the hardest and most difficult paths to choose. And let's face it, more people say that they want it than actually do.
  Not everyone is entirely enamoured with the whole idea of the cycle of life and raising a family and all the things that go with it. In fact, many people find that this whole 'cycle of life' business is something that has simply caught up with them too quickly and perhaps taken away their younger years or sucked all the fun out of life. Besides 'cycle of life' people, if they feel unfulfilled themselves, tend to pin a lot of their hopes on their children, attempting to live life through progeny, constantly hoping for better things from the next generation even when the current generation still hasn't made heads or tails out of it's existence and probably still has a good thirty or even forty years left. And unfortunately, things always seem to complicate this journey, often creating situations where years have passed, but all we seem to be able to remember is a lot of hard work and struggle interrupted by the occasional vacation, and sometimes we wonder how the heck we got here in the first place. 
And the last part, about leaving this world better off than when you found it, well that little equation is getting more and more difficult to figure out as the years go by. Technology passes you by when you're younger and younger, and pretty soon you find that once you've made it to the last stage of life, you'd really just like to feel useful and have a few friends. Of all the ways to live a life, this is the one way that really seems a little too difficult. But for some people there is always the cycle of life, always turning.
   Living your life for the cycle of life puts a whole lot of emphasis on family, and family-oriented cultures and people around the world are known to have long lives and a great respect and admiration for those in their senior years. So, if you are lucky enough to pull off this little cycle of life approach, then you're very lucky indeed and it seems like you're getting luckier all the time.

Ups and Downs
In many ways life is about overcoming obstacles. All of us face adversity and all of us get through tough times in whatever way that we know how or can manage.
But life is about the journey, not the destination. We treat life as a big and long adventure, and get through life knowing that tough times will come, but also that tough times will always pass and there will be better days ahead. We'll be back on top of things... It's just a matter of time, but it will be okay.
Of course, if you think a little too strongly about this aspect of life, then when things are going just great, you might spend a little too much time worrying about the next time you're 'down' because you're sure that bad times are just around the corner, and you're due for it. You just might be right, but don't be too cautious and don't prove it to yourself. It's good to prepare, but it's probably better to take life as it comes to you and just heed the warning signs.

Live for Spite
For some of us, we choose to live in whole or in part simply because we know that our continued existence will bother someone else whom we view as evil, or pester someone who we feel has done us wrong. It isn't a good excuse when all you have to live for is to be a thorn in the side of your nemesis, but it will suffice. Perhaps we carry on regardless of all the things stacked against us, and out of spite for the ones who said we'd never make it, or never believed in us anyway. Sometimes we WANT to live on just to bother those that don't like us, either individually or collectively and let's face it, no one loved us but our mothers anyway, and she could've been sh*tting us, too. So why should I have to give up my life for the sake of making others happy? They can be just as miserable with or without me anyway, so let's make everyone else just a little more miserable, just for the sake of it.
   Some people are fully aware that they are living only to spite their enemies and that is something that works for them. And why not? Outliving our enemies is certainly a far cry from committing some sort of crime, and sometimes they even deserve it.

Overcoming an Addiction/Disease/Affliction or other potentially fatal injury
Some individuals in this world, either by misfortune or their own vices, have come too close to facing the eternal nether. Some have felt their lives slip away from them all too easily and quickly because of a substance abuse problem, a terrible accident or an affliction that either could not have been foreseen or something that has been creeping up for years, perhaps unnoticed by a doctor or a degenerative problem. For whatever reason, be it luck, heroism, science or prayer,  some people have cheated death and lived on to tell their tale, and their stories often enthrall us. As a result, these people who have side-stepped a fatality usually have a renewed vivacity and appreciation for all aspects of life. Sometimes they even change their minds about the broccoli that  they used to hate and take up all the skills that they missed out on in childhood, like learning to skate or swim or ski or even ride a bike. Some people decide to take calculated risks, like sky-diving and bungee jumping. The point is that they live life with a vigour that most people simply don't share or even understand. Of course, there's always the question of whether this 'take life by the nuts' approach will truly last, but at the same we have to wonder if perhaps all of us could use a little extra life in our life.


Live for Enjoyment
Who's better off? The man with 5 years left to live or 5 days? The answer is simple: It's the person who truly enjoys what time he has. All of us have responsibilities and things that we have to do that take up our time. Unfortunately there's no judge or town elder that can step in and tell us when we've gone too far and we're no longer living life for ourselves. There's a certain point where too much work, family responsibilities or house maintenance gets in the way of the simple enjoyment of life. In our lifetimes, we have to set some time aside for ourselves, even if it's just a few hours to read a good book or some internet blogs. And there's not much point in living for a massive amount of time if you can't enjoy much of it. So enjoy as much as you can.