“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” ― Albert Einstein
I recently returned from a trip abroad. Travelling, as always, gives me fresh perspective on how I lead my life. I was roaming my beloved India and seeing my beloved friends – that is to say, all familiar and comforting turf. But perhaps mobility itself is like shaking a snow globe; I never quite return to my previous formation when I settle back.
Here’s what I’ve decided to do more and less of in my life:
Being intentional. This came from my friend, Imi. We were talking about how we’re now having to un-do many of our habits from the last two decades when we lived a life of grand optimism, not comprehending how unregimented behaviour eventually catches up with us. Boo. Her term of “intentional” is one I can embrace. It doesn’t sound stern and unsexy the way “discipline” does. It’s like clarity, positivity and focus all rolled into one delicious word.
Streamlining. Ah, there’s another sexy term. I’ve digitised my film collection. Family photo albums are almost done. The purpose, besides being able to move through this world with nothing more than a digital cloud, is of course to save my poor nieces from sorting through piles of my stuff when I die. You’re welcome, nieces.
Art. For the sheer fun of creating things. Like this:
Confrontation. Instead of showing my displeasure through passive aggressive means – like sulking, shrugging or silently seething at the injustice of it all – I’m now telling people when I get upset. It’s much easier than I thought it would be.
Pinterest. Sigh! I adore collecting and exchanging inspiring/moving/fun images from and with fellow geeks from around the globe. Love especially that it’s all done without saying a word. My favourite social media by a mile.
Stories. I’m enjoying the idea of writing a murder mystery that takes place on a film set on location.
Tattoos. Okay, only one more.
Buying books. At least until I’ve read the 74 I’ve already purchased and haven’t yet opened.
Social media (except Pinterest). Can anyone tell me the point of LinkedIn? All I get is a stream of requests from retired army colonels, to link with me, a film person. People I’ve never worked with endorse me for skills I don’t have, which tells me how credible the information on the site is. I would never hire someone through it. There was a valiant effort some months back from a LinkedIn staffer connected to my university trying to rouse up some interest in using it for networking purposes. It died a quick, quiet death. As has my account. (I don’t see the point of Google+ either, but at least it’s not intensely annoying.)
Settling. Doctors in Bangladesh and the UK couldn’t figure out the cause of my recurring eye troubles. I found a doctor in India who not only diagnosed it but has virtually cured it. Without treatment, the problem could have led to loss of sight. This has reinforced my pledge: when in doubt, keep looking.
Sugar. The latest evil of the food universe, and the apparent cause of our society’s ruin. I banish thee. Except for chocolate. And caipiroskas. Ooh, and prosecco. Of course.
I like to have a martini.
Two at the very most.
After three I’m under the table,
after four I’m under my host.
― Dorothy Parker
More things that make me go hmm:
If a ship is replaced part by part until none of its original elements remain, is it still the same ship? If the discarded parts are reassembled elsewhere, does that become the “real ship”? Watch Ship of Theseus, about a photographer, a monk and a stockbroker, in an exquisite film directed by Anand Gandhi.
One of the most viewed TEDTalks ever (27M+), this is witty and illuminating in equal measure. It’s also pertinent, even if you don’t have children. Watch Ken Robinson tell us Why Schools Kill Creativity.