Yule Tide-al Wave
Posted by PintofStout on December 26, 2006
As the Christmas season matured into full blown holiday chaos, I found myself dreading the wave of rushed schedules and overly-obligated nature that these days bring to people of broken families who marry people of broken families. For people like this, the list of obligations can be four families or more. Besides gift giving, which can get expensive, the time required to participate in that many family traditions is always impossible. The usual result is a compromise on what traditions from which particular family group are most important (to the family as well as you) and some others are discarded to change or the events get rotated from year to year. However the scheduling is resolved, though, the days surrounding the holiday are usually a blur of food, gifts, conversation, lots of driving, and checking the watch.
Normally, I complain and gripe adamantly about the rush and the impatience that can accompany it. This year I still griped and complained, but I also realized that it is nice to have people who desired my company – and to have so many, at that! I seldom make a fuss about having to go somewhere due to a lack of desire to go. Instead, I think I get most irritated by not being able to spend as much time as desired with the people I desire to spend time with. There aren’t too many obligations, but just not enough time to properly spend in preferred company.
As I sit back at work, the pace of the last week has come to such an abrupt halt that I figuratively fell flat on my face and continue to lay there until time and life catch back up to me. Being at my desk, still lamenting the pitifully small amount of time I actually spent with loved ones, and feeling the chains of work weigh heavily today wells up a frustration and scorn for a culture of anti-human sentiment. Slavery was rationalized by economic advantage and claiming that slaves were not human; they were used like machines with regard only for production and bottom line. Are we slaves today then? As Edward Abbey once said, “Never before in history have slaves been so well fed, thoroughly medicated, lavishly entertained. But we are slaves nonetheless.”
I also feel like the vision of The Matrix is fitting that has humans plugged in as a simple energy source. I feel “plugged in” right now, and consequently I feel drained. Even with all the travel and the tight timeline, I still had some energy and excitement about the next lovingly prepared meal or exchange of sincere sentiments. That is until those chains started to pull and loom. The last hours of a fabulous day were stolen by the need for rest in order to go to work the next morning where apparently my energy is desired by a very hungry, insatiable machine.
My lament comes not from laziness, though I am definitely lazy. I get some gratification from tasks completed and work done, but I also get gratification from ice cream. If I ate ice cream compulsively, I’d tire of it pretty soon, too, especially if I were to spend a prescribed amount of time to eat it, regardless of how long it actually took ( not to mention eating the same stale flavor over and over and over again). My point is the way our society works and the systematic manner in which we live and work is unnatural and counter-productive. Unfortunately, it is systematic.