Switch to mobile version

August 2017

Post image for I Have Another Blog

One of my obscure fantasies is that after you die you get a compendium of statistics and charts on how you spent your life—a complete list of dates you went on, total days spent on vacation, bedtimes and wake-up times graphed over years, that kind of thing. Pages and pages of it.

The thought excites me because of how statistics always surprise us. Each of us would be shocked by our reports. Did you really only go to your “favorite” restaurant eleven times? Did you really spend 3.1 years with a phone in your hand?

After doing some daydreaming in that vein yesterday morning, I grabbed my Casio and calculated that I’ve been writing for Raptitude for 23 per cent of my life. I couldn’t believe it. A quarter of my time on this earth.

In that eight and a half years, writing has become a huge part of my identity. It is now my work, my creative outlet, and a major channel of connection with other people. You could say it’s been my primary contribution to our species, whatever that says about me.  Read More

Post image for The Long Lost Thrill of Doing Nothing

Many text messages between my friends and me take roughly this form: “Are you busy tomorrow? We should do something.”

That something often isn’t defined at the time. But when we arrive in each other’s physical presence, after we’ve caught up, eventually one of us has to ask: “So… what do you wanna do?”

Then we have to decide. We could for a walk, go eat, play a board game, check out what’s happening in the city, just chat, or something else.

One of my friends—and only one—sometimes throws me a curveball here, and suggests that we don’t do anything, at least not yet. We can just lounge here in the living room. Or not quite lounge, but just relax and do nothing.

I’m struggling to pick a verb for it. “Laze” and “lounge” both have moral connotations, as do “chill” or “veg.” “Hang out” is too general, and could mean switching on the TV, opening a bottle of something, or catching up.

I’m talking about just being in the room and not doing anything in particular, usually while reclining your body in some way, with no regard for the time and no idea of what to do next. Real idleness.  Read More

Post image for When You Can’t Stop Looking Ahead, Look Backwards

There’s a particular emotion we all know, but I don’t think it has a name. It’s the distinct, perplexing feeling of remembering the first hours after waking up, and finding it unbelievable that that happened today.

It’s most obvious late in an eventful day, particularly if you woke up unusually early. Usually it’s a “big day” in some sense, with a lot at stake—an exam, a wedding, an early flight, a presentation.

You’ve probably felt it while traveling, especially on the first day of a trip, when you made an early departure, arrived in a new city by afternoon, and then started sightseeing before dinner. By bedtime, the memory of waking at dawn and loading the car, back in your own driveway, in your home city, seems so distant to the present moment that it couldn’t have been today.

Read More

Post image for The Cost of a Free Lunch

Last Summer, out of morbid curiosity, my friend Hélène and I attended a motivational seminar at our local convention center. She had obtained free tickets by clicking, against every fibre of her being, on a gaudy Facebook ad.

Hélène is, among other things, a reformed workaholic and rat-race escapee, who now writes about living life strictly on your own terms. With a background in marketing, she was curious where such a smarmy ad might ultimately lead those who click on it—and who those clickers are.

Both of those questions were answered for us, during the terrible and fascinating experience that followed a few weeks later.

There’s something to be said for inserting yourself into an environment that all of your natural impulses would have you avoid. You learn so much when you’re outside your normal channels. The experience was a gold mine of insights for people like Hélène and me, who chronicle the human condition professionally.  Read More

Desktop version

Raptitude is an independent blog by . Some links on this page may be affiliate links, which means I might earn a commission if you buy certain things I link to. In such cases the cost to the visitor remains the same.