Wednesday, 11 July 2012

While I was Painting


I am in the process of renovating my lounge. Ok not me specifically, because I apparently bring my safety officer habits with me; so my dad has taken command of the ship and is directing the hard grafting work. I have been reassigned to the very manly task of choosing colour concepts and d├ęcor. I am allowed to paint on the odd occasion, but the grinder and the skill-saw are firmly off-limits. Apparently “real men” don’t require all the safety apparel specifically mandated in the user-manual. In fact, “real men” don’t even need to read the user manual at all. Pfft.
Painting: an opportunity to daydream

This colonisation of my lounge has affected a bit of a media-blackout for me, so I have not been as up-to-date with newsworthy happenings as I usually am. It has, however, given me time to think and philosophise about many things. I’ve had musings about life and death, relationships, XX-chromosome-related insanity, ideology and even the supernatural; all while watching the tips of my paintbrush streak an uneven layer of rich chocolate-coloured paint over the wall. Some quite profound notions formed in my head, and if I had a slightly better memory than a mentally-challenged goldfish, I would relate them to you now. Unfortunately, most of them fluttered off like monarch butterflies on their long journey to their breeding ground. Something did stick though, thankfully, and that is what I thought I would share with you.

Some will say typical VW. Me, I say, typical VW.
Last year, I made a few resolutions. Since the year 2011 was speeding to an end and the promise of 2012 loomed ever more prominently, I, like many many people the world over, decided to change a few things. Some things were big, some were just minor adjustments. But they represented something that we all need pretty regularly: a fresh start. We need to clear out the cobwebbed clutter in the closets of our minds and take up a fresh perspective. Why, you may ask, is he thinking about this kind of thing in the middle of the year? Well that’s exactly the point. Why restrict one’s self to renewal but once a year? I find the more often I reaffirm resolutions, the more natural and consequential the achievements of those resolutions become. For example: if my resolution was to clean my room every day after I wake up, and I fail after a week, the overwhelming sense I would get for the rest of the year is failure, followed by apathy. At least until the next year comes along. But if I get continuous opportunities to reaffirm, then if I fail after a week, the next month is an opportunity to try again. Perhaps last a bit longer than a week. And so it goes until I actually achieve my resolution at the end of the year. I always pictured the analogy of an old car on a cold winter’s morning. You lean forward as you swing the ignition, but often, the car just chokes a bit before it dies. If at this point, you gave up and resolved to try again the next day, you will more than likely get the same result, and thus literally get nowhere in life. If, however, you take a deep breath, then try again; the car is still unlikely to respond, but it may choke a tiny bit longer. If you keep at it, there is strong likelihood that the car will roar into life, and then all the roads open up for you. Unless you forgot to fill up with petrol. But let us not ruin a perfectly good metaphor.

I am lucky, many of my resolutions are spiritual in nature, and I have an opportunity to reaffirm them five times a day. Dividing your time into smaller chunks of opportunities to realign yourself with your dreams, desires, goals and ambitions must be one of the most effective ways of not getting lost in a world so full of distraction. To make sure you stay true to yourself and your principles. To find that satisfaction of seeing everything you work for inch ever closer to your grasp..

And then I painted over the white skirting. Dammit.

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