Sunday, January 30, 2011

Letting down the expectation

Gene Hackman is a great actor. If there is a Western movie and Hackman is in it then it is already going to be an instant classic. Which is why you can't always go by the name. He's no hack. I was thinking about this while watching the show Deadwood on HBO on demand. That show was fantastic. The last season was not as strong as the first three, but it definitely deserved a resolution and that the main writer decided to quit Deadwood and start some terrible series about a spiritual surfer that didn't last one always makes me think of great let-downs. There have been a lot of great let-downs. Some fantastic series have left sour tastes in our mouths because the endings were flat. This happens in sports too. Currently I'm watching a horrible Pro Bowl game that has followed an awful Lakers-Celtics game earlier in the day. All this build up and no payoff. When we strike gold it is usually luck and not planned, yet the marketing machines do their best to convince us that we are going to watch something epic, yet it rarely ever is.

Sometimes I wonder if I am marketing myself. I build things up in my head that certain events are going to be legendary, that they will surpass expectations, and that they will always be remembered. Most aren't. There may be brief glimpses of the past that shine through but they fade away in the distance. I find myself trying to repeat and relive moments when there is not the same chemistry or magic as there was on the moments that are memorable and worth holding on to. And in a way it is not fair to build up so much expectation because we are bound to be disappointed when it doesn't go as planned. What could be a moment gets washed away by the barrier we have set it to. I've created let-downs by the visualization of the events before they happened. This could be my need for instant gratification and acknowledgement instead of letting something cultivate organically. I want it simulated and reproduced. I want the microwave option instead of letting the pot of water simmer and build steam.

I can't be fully at blame for this. I work in an industry that expects instant results yesterday. There is no appreciation for the completed work, just the daily results. That it would trickle into my day to day life outside of work can not be unexpected. We start wanting instant results in all areas of our life. The daily ups and downs, the balance and the full appreciation for our lives, as well as the paths we take are bogged down by this need to make every day memorable and productive. I look at people now at 22 and 23 striving to hit a mark that I know myself doesn't exist. That was me, the constant striver, always reaching and trying to surpass the next hurdle or goal but for what? What was accomplished that creates any real value or that lasts. The monetary goods are never going to inspire. I think we cling to the monetary because it gives us the ability to fit in with society. We are embarrassed if we do not have the new Iphone that everyone else does. If we do not desire the same gadgets or prizes that our neighbor or friend does. Somehow this creates our own value or at least justifies the wheel we run circles in everyday for a bite of cheese.

I constantly want to fit in but then chastise myself for this need to do so. Am I the grown up or the young striver? Do I need to hold onto the dreams of my youth or let them go and accept the life before me. Can you embrace both? I envy my friends with children and also am grateful for my life without them. It's both shallow and my own. I know time doesn't last forever and that as the years trickle by the opportunities to build a family will not always be available. In the old west I would just get on my horse and ride into the next cow town. I guess their biggest let-down would be if they were ambushed on the trail by Indians, or outlaws and failed to survive the attack. The failure to survive a harsh winter or find enough food to eat would be a let-down I suppose. I guess that makes me appreciate this thrilling 42-14 Pro Bowl game a little more..or less.

No comments:

Post a Comment