Friday, December 21, 2012

I don't want to be a cynical Grinch anymore

I'm tired of being cynical. View my Twitter feed this morning and that may seem at odds with where my head's been at, but gimme a break, my head's full of phlegm.

Cynicism is draining. I hate when I get caught up in it. It's egotistical. It's lazy. It's easy. It's pathetic. It's miserable. It's a waste of energy and passion. It's tedious and people don't like it unless they absolutely agree. I'm quite cynical about it.

My cynicism now traditionally spikes around December, or immediately following media coverage of an NRA statement.

The primary cause - nine years working amongst the Christmas madness, three at a bottle shop where people take things very seriously on Christmas Eve. All those shitty, impatient customers and their Christmas sneer.

December is dominated by shopping and it's a jungle of materialistic animals, every man and woman for his and herself. I don't want any fucking presents, any small anonymous gifts left on my desk at work. Let's just be social. I'll even make an effort despite this fucking cold I picked up at work.

Sorry, another momentary lapse. Six years distance from those memories has actually starved my Grinch of a significant amount of bitter oxygen. Also, I spend as little time as possible shopping - either heading out once I know what I want, or at the last minute when I'm resigned to settling for crap.

This year we have a Christmas tree! First time since I left the parental home six years ago. Well we had a 'Christmas branch' one year, in a vase of stones, decorated with silver tinsel, but from my point of view that was as much a 'fuck you' to the traditional tree as it was a delightful decorative piece. I'd have kept doing it if I'd been able to find another such perfect branch, and my housemate hadn't taken the vase, stones and tinsel.

This year's is a real one though. Well, it's fake, but it's a step back towards my childhood Christmas experiences. The happy ones. We even have a Nativity Scene, if only because Mum "inoffensively" insisted. But I don't mind it for pleasant, nostalgic value. Santa isn't real either.

Meanwhile there's so much nasty cynicism from people on Twitter at the moment, who see to build notoriety and popularity by mistaking nastiness for wit. Okay, they're funny sometimes, but I don't want so much of that negativity in my world. I just want to see people more more open and accepting, because it'd make it a damn sight easier for me to be.

Last week I was a groomsman at a wedding for two of my closest friends, one of whom I've known for more than 20 years and was unspeakably stoked to share her special day with.

They think a little differently to me. Out on location a day before, the weather was causing havoc with arrangements, we ran through a rehearsal that was not quite what I'd have done and there was much frantic organising taking place, which continued into the next morning. I wanted to tell them to relax and enjoy the day for what it would be, you can't control these things no matter how much you plan. I should have taken my own advice.

It was perfect. It was their wedding, and 'them' to a tee, and amazing, and - most importantly - truly genuine. I even caught the tiniest salty discharge trying to escape the corner of my eye.

I tried a few times to express to them how amazing I thought it was and how much it meant to be part of it, knowing people sometimes to struggle to know how seriously to take me.

And then on TV last night two quotes summed up what I was thinking. Some guy on the ABC said that "tolerance is not the opposite of intolerance, hospitality is" and Father Bob said on  The Project that people are "so busy whinging you can't hear the beautiful things". Touche. Or see or feel them.

There will always be shit people in the world. Indeed, one must be grateful for it, as it makes it that much easier to be better than most. I want to bitch less, get caught up less in other people's unproductive negativity, but you'd be sorely mistaken if you think that means a reduction in passion, so there will continue to be angry rants with hopefully at least a dash of constructive thoughtfulness.

Back to Christmas. This is the most festive I've felt in years and why should I fight that. There's heaps to enjoy about Christmas. For me, being grateful for friends who continue to stand by my side and some awesome new ones I've made this year, as well as a family I don't actively appreciate enough. Time off and the general opportunity to spend time away from the desk and with special people. Not even gun-toting menaces with cold, dead hearts half a world away, or impatient, rude, selfish shoppers can distract me from that for more than few moments.

I'll do my Christmas shopping and I'll take it slow, and smile at people and let them go ahead of me if they must - unless they're being a total arse, in which case perhaps I'll just cough on them ... I can't fight my nature too much. I might even notice someone else takin' it slow and free and easy. just digging it for what it is - crazy activity in our strange world. And that will make me happy.

Then I'll go have a beer with friends and talk about all sorts of random stuff. And I'll have fun, as long as this fucking cold eases off.

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