I wish I were one of those people who liked to spend my time making my dreams come true. Sometimes I think about how far I would have gotten in life by now if I had just spent my time more wisely. Every day, I wake up with the sun, thinking, today is going to be different! It’s all going to happen today! And then I do the exact same stuff I did the day before.
Not so unique, right? This is a common problem of many. But even though my pastimes often yield no fruit, I find that I do enjoy them. Many of them are just so very special.
Last summer, I purchased a machine that converted tapes to DVD. I copied a New Kids on the Block concert, I copied every single special I had ever recorded involving Friends, I copied Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker (well, not the whole movie, it was too disturbing), I copied a clip from when the local news came to our elementary school in 5th grade because a sled dog guy was there. During that last recording, I fast-forwarded just to see what else was on the tape, and I came across this commercial:
Okay, not this EXACT commercial. It was this song, but with a lady singing, “listen to the scissors/ cutting all around/ don’t you love the sound of a price coming down/ listen to the scissors.” I was like, “I HAVE to have this!” It was then that I realized it was midnight, I had been shut in my room all day copying things onto DVD that I would probably never watch again, and I was perfectly happy. I thought there should be something wrong with this. I was mildly uncomfortable, but not uncomfortable enough.
A few weeks ago, I felt like watching Karyn’s Dance recitals. I’ve enjoyed watching these since I was little, and I think it confuses others. First of all, the older tapes are filmed so poorly that you can’t even see anyone’s faces. Everyone is just little balls of light. Also, I’m only in two recitals, so it’s not even like I’m having fun watching myself. But I love watching them because I like hearing the music; I like thinking about how reality changed each year; I like knowing that I was sitting enthralled in the audience.
Please, enjoy this great 80’s tune, “Good Life,” which opens Karyn’s Dance recital in 1988:
I like making observations as I watch the different years; at the end of the recitals from the late 80’s, balloons fall from the sky that little girls then viciously stomp on, causing the auditorium to erupt with popping sounds. This makes me think about how violence used to be more acceptable, even innocent violence, but now it is squandered. By 1991, everyone carried their own balloon on a stick up on stage: very civil.
I like noticing the different phases Karyn was into. There’s her country music/Disney music phase, which was the same year that she seemed not to care so much about anyone having real costumes (lots of t-shirts and shorts), and there was her recital that was all about techno (that’s the best because a guy in one of the dances falls down. I bet he was just there to meet girls. Epic fail).
The filming gets better through the years, but not by much, not until the late 90’s. I’m just a tiny ball of light in my kindergarten tap dance, which makes me think that maybe we’re all just energy, and maybe that’s what life is, and maybe that’s what God is about, and then I’m like, Hey, who stole my chocolate milk?! Then I’m like oh, I drank it all.
Another great way I spend time is by deciding that I need to find something. I need to find that one book I know we have somewhere. I need to find that picture (that’s a big one). I need to find that thing I wrote in high school. I don’t give up. After hours of searching for that one thing, my body aches and I feel hunger pains, but I am fueled almost to a manic degree with the passion of finding it. I wonder why I can’t have this energy for other tasks, but I guess it just is what it is. I feel so accomplished when I’ve found what I wanted. I almost always make a mess. (Last week, I was determined to find something, and it still looks like a tornado hit my room).
Needing to find something is not limited to objects. The internet has made my need to find things take on a horrible life of its own, mostly because so often this need goes unfulfilled. It’s the INTERNET. All the answers are there! Except when they’re not. Consider this frustration: a few summers ago, my sister introduced me to the song “Walking on a Dream” by Empire of the Sun. I immediately recognized the backbeat from an 80’s song, but I wasn’t sure which one. Do you think I’ve been able to find the song since? NOOOO!
The internet told me that other people had this question and thought they had answered it but they hadn’t, and the internet told me that other people thought the backbeat was from a 90’s song, not an 80’s song. Useless internet. For some reason, I had this weird feeling that it was a Peter Cetera tune. Today, I rented a Peter Cetera CD from the library and listened to the whole thing just to check. It was a horrible CD, and the backbeat was not in any of his songs. When I have to admit defeat during times like this, I quickly decide I need to find something else, otherwise I have to be hospitalized.
They say that time spent having fun is not time wasted, but one of my fears is that I will waste all my time all the time, every day, for the rest of my life. What is a very special pastime of yours that doesn’t change your life for the better in any way? Please share, and then we can all feel better about ourselves—or worse.