It's strange that a vast majority of Americans favor the four day work week yet somehow we cannot make this happen. Sometimes I think we forget that we are adults, capable of altering our lifestyle and working environment if desired. We forget how much control we have over our lives if we're simply willing to stop caring about what other people think. We ignore the fact that we have the power to reject or rise up against many cultural norms and traditions if we so choose.
May I suggest you take a long, hard look at your life and find those areas where change might make you a happier person?
To do this, think back upon your childhood and all those things that you vowed to do as an adult.
Are you doing them?
Could you be doing them?
A friend and I were recently lamenting the absence of ice cream in our day when the freedom that adulthood confers to me suddenly flooded by mind.
“You know what?” I said, more excited than perhaps was necessary. “I always wanted ice cream for breakfast when I was a kid, and I don’t think I’ve ever followed through on that. I’m getting some tomorrow. Ice cream for breakfast, damn it.”
My friend agreed. We are adults, and unless it violates a law or harms another human being, we can do whatever we want, including Ben and Jerry’s Carmel Sutra for breakfast.
Sometimes even a nonconformist can forget that he is an adult and certain rules no longer apply to him. In this spirit, I have been breaking the following rules for a long time now, and I would venture to say that I am a much happier person for it.
1. Ice cream for breakfast whenever I want. I have yet to find a place that serves ice cream in the morning, but a tub of ice cream from the grocery store has sufficed.
2. No more boring greeting cards, regardless of the occasion. I routinely purchase greeting cards for incorrect or inappropriate occasions and transform them into something befitting the moment.
A pet bereavement card converted into an anniversary wish.
A bar mitzvah card rewritten into a thank you note.
A Valentine’s Day card made over into a birthday invitation.
A couple years ago, this became my standard approach to all greeting cards, regardless of situation or recipient. Even for the most formal of occasions, how could any reasonable person complain about the effort put into one of these transformations?
3. No more neckties. This has actually been a rule that I have been living with for years. At some point I’ll write about this issue with more depth, but suffice it to say that a necktie is a meaningless, arcane item of clothing that amounts to little more than a colorful noose around the neck.
I stopped wearing them to all formal occasions, including in my role as a wedding DJ, years ago, and you know what?
I attended a wedding a year ago, and I was the only man present without a tie on. Do you think anyone noticed other than me? If they did, do you think they cared?
Once you realize that no one pays as much attention to you as you think they do, life gets a lot easier.
Once you realize that being yourself and caring little about the opinions of others is far more attractive than a good looking tie or anything else that you might wear, life gets a lot better.
I've worn a tie twice in the past eight years, both times by request. My sister-in-law asked me to wear one at her wedding (I was a member of the bridal party) and a couple who I married in the capacity of minister asked me to wear one. I complied in both cases but none other.
And unless the request comes by way of a bridal party requirement or in my capacity as minister, I will not wear one ever again.
I’m an adult damn it. Let’s see someone try to complain about my new ways of living.
I just hope Elysha agrees with me.
Standing up against the norms and rigors of society is one thing. Standing up against your wife is an entirely different matter, and often a more perilous one.