Leapdragon 2016 - Aron Hsiao Was Here

Life paths  §

Went with my wife to a party at her workplace today. It was like visiting another world from the world of work that I know. Personable, collegial, but also very genuine and quotidian, comfortable, everyday, informal and without overseriousness.

I liked it.

At the same time, it also lacked the big questions. There was nothing particularly grandiose about it. That means no exhausting overseriousness, but also none of the intellectual stimulation or stressful challenge that can make work so rewarding.

— § —

Fitness needs to be in my future. I think that over the course of my entire life, there’s never been a time when I could run a mile without stopping. This would surprise some people, because there were periods in my life when I lifted weights, cycled, and people would have sworn I was very, very fit.

Maybe I’m just not designed for running.

Or maybe becuase it’s always been both the thing that I equate with “fitness” and the thing that I absolutely could not and could never do, it’s precisely what I ought to take up.

— § —

On the other hand, I’ve also thought about taking up a martial art. It’s hard to say how serious I am about this; I imagine every man that grew up in the U.S. has thought about doing this at one time or another, if nothing else than during pre-pubescence and the puberty years.

But I’m not sure where the time would come from.

— § —

As is the case for so many other people, time, time management, and habit are some of my biggest bugaboos in life. The last in particular. It is holding me back.

There’s no particular reason why it should be, but for the fact that it’s so damned hard to change a routine once you have it.

The belief in tomorrow is also catastrophic. If only I could erase the concept from my memory—

But, of course, I can’t.

— § —

Every day is now an “incredibly big and busy day.”

Every day is also a day on which most of the things I set out to accomplish didn’t get done.

— § —

Back in the classroom, both real and virtual. It’s hard to say how I feel about it this time around. It was certainly nice to have summer semester off—the first real break I’ve had in years, particularly with a defended dissertation under my belt.

At the same time, in the middle portion of life, you never really have breaks, even when you have breaks. You always know that there are medical needs to take care of, that you’d like to have newer, safer cars and a larger house, that you’d like to be able to afford the best schools for your kids, that retirement is just a few years away and you have nothing at all prepared or planned, and so on.

Every break that you take is shought through with peril and precarity, and while “not working” relieves tensions of a variety of kinds, it also increases others.

And of course, there’s also the fact that I was still working 40+ over the period—just not in the classroom.

— § —

Minor changes to social groups or hierarchies can significantly alter the social dynamics of the entire group and significantly reshuffle membership, identity, status, and the levels of precarity of individuals within those groups.

Yes, an obvious statement, but one that isn’t often mentioned. An office gets a new boss. Or a new secretary. Or a new janitor. Suddenly, little details about office life change in ways as to cause some previously overlooked people to be promoted, and other previously climbing people to stagnate or depart.

— § —

Very nice to have school started again. The kids miss it.

Hell, I also miss it, but that period of my life—at least as a student—is over. Too bad—a part of me would love to take on a quintuple major and simply read for the rest of my life.

Oh well, it is what it is.