Something old, something new…

The New Year is coming along at rapid speed. This past week or so has, as I mentioned in my previous post, been a very busy one. We had my room-mate’s parents over on the 22nd, I went to my oldest brother’s fiancée’s parents for the 24th and then my grandmother’s just yesterday. It has been a time of little more than cooking, knitting, eating, talking and charades for me, and though I am sad to see it over, I rejoice at the calm and quiet of an empty flat, the only noises the fans from my over-grown laptop and the complaining mews from Saga, the female one of my cats, as she tries to whine her way into my bedroom on her never-ending quest to destroy everything I own.

Lots of people feel the need to make New Year’s resolutions. If you are such a person, here’s the blog-post for you, written by another blogger who seems to have it more or less down to the essentials. I however, feel no need to make a resolution at 12 am on the 1st of January. I’m the sort of person who makes resolutions when the need comes up, and then rarely keep them, especially if it’s just a promise to myself that concerns no-one but me. And sure it is a nice tradition, and it might be what some people need to get them motivated, but then you can get motivated by anything and champagne and the kiss at midnight are nice traditions too, but a hug and some alcohol-free alternative works.

To me, the curious thing about New Year’s is the date we celebrate on. It’s not midwinter, which would have made sense, since the light starts returning on that very day, nor is it the spring equinox, which would have made sense because it’s the beginning of spring itself, and a time when the night and the day are just as long, and what better season to celebrate the start of the year than spring, when everything is coming back to life and bursting into bloom? Also, New Year’s is right on top of Christmas, and do we really need two celebrations right on top of each other like that?

But that is how we work. We’ve ordered our society after dates that we can count instead of seasons as they change, and right now, that might be just as well, since the global warming is slowly blurring the edges between the seasons, so who knows if we’ll have winter or fall in 10, 20 years from now? Maybe the only way to keep track of the seasons will be by the calendar and the length of the day. Maybe the giving time, and abstract concept, as much importance as we do, is of importance in itself. We have created the system and now our actions is making it a crucial necessity. Just as with birthdays, New Year is a birthday of time itself, and though there is no telling how old time is by any other measure, we celebrate the amount of time it’s been measured by us.

But just as with years, the age of humans has little to do with numbers, and everything to do with experience and development. I’m sure we’ve all met someone who appears to be beyond their years, or as in the case of a certain family member of mine, several years below hers. So the time that has passed in our lives has next to nothing to do with who we are or who we become, only our actions and what we have seen and lived can shape who we are. So forget about your years, or the age of time itself, and focus on what is happening in the world right now, in this age that we live and in our own lives. With this post I wish you all a happy New Year – though I have little faith in such measurement -, and leave you with the words of an old wizard from a well-known book and better known movie still; “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”

Advertisements

Oh the madness!

This past week or so has been absolute madness. Between studying for my finals (which are all done, since yesterday, thank goodness!), crafting (there may or may not be hand-made Christmas-cards coming the way of certain readers of mine *wink wink*), Christmas-shopping, cooking, baking, cleaning, putting the finishing touches on my bedroom and trying to follow a new work-out regime… there has been little time for  more basic things, like eating, sleeping, breathing and blogging. “Come now, you don’t blog nearly as much as you do those other things!” you might say. But don’t be too sure.

Christmas is a time of great excitement for me. As you might have noticed, I changed a few things on my blog to make it more Christmassy. Though there isn’t a single decoration up in the flat yet, I have great visions of lights, tinsel, garlands and flowers. (The flowers will undoubtedly have to be cancelled, because the kittens really enjoy eating plants, and lilies and suchlike that are the ultimate Christmas-flower tend to be a wee bit poisonous. Though maybe if they die they’d learn not to eat plants. Just kidding.)

It is also a time of watching the Christmas-specials of several shows I enjoy following; How I Met Your Mother, The Office and (please forgive me) Glee. The latter has managed to make the worst Christmas-special I think I’ve seen so far. I’m not sure how black and white, Star Wars references, old and mostly bad Christmas-hits performed poorly and some sort of cheesy moral message of goodness and giving is supposed to come out nicely, but they didn’t manage to do it here.

Mostly it’s a time for over-eating clementines. I am addicted to these small, orange fruits. I have been for as long as I can remember. I have very vivid memories of going to my grandmother’s for Christmas, dashing to see who’d get first to the giant leather swivel-armchair – which we’d then proceed to spin around and around in till we got sick – eating all of the forbidden candy – our parents were not believers in letting your children eat conventional, regular candy – and above all, the giant bowl of clementines on the coffee-table, which I got to have as many of as I liked.¨

I see this happening, very soon.

I usually never get hit by the Christmas-stress. Yet this year for some reason, I feel like there’s not enough time left in the world for all the things I want to get done. It’s the 16th already. It’s madness. 2012 is just around the corner, with all its doomsday prophecies and – for me – bright outlook, seeing as how it’s the year of the Dragon, my sign in the Chinese horoscope. The chances of me getting into university this spring are pretty slim and hanging by a thread, depending on the authorities carrying their weight and getting stuff done for me in time (and when have they ever been known to do that???). Yet I do not feel disheartened. When there’s something in your life that you can’t do, thousands of opportunities for other things that you can do open up, things you might not even have thought of before.

How are you planning on spending your Christmas? Are you as stressed out as I am? As excited? Do you still believe in Santa Claus?

 

Can you see the blue elephant in the room?

Today in class, we got to pick an article from the Daily Mail and create a debate about the topic. At first I went with the “intelligent” article, where they were discussing the financial crisis in the U.S (where they mentioned, among other numbers, $1.2 trillion. No, I can’t get my head around how massive of an amount that is either. $1.2 trillion. Try to picture it. Can you? I’m impressed.) and Barack Obama was all like “I can has veto, I can has use it, hah!” and the Republicans were like “Well you suck!” and it was all very mature and grown up and interesting.

But then me and the girl that was doing the assignment with me started talking about other things. It was my fault we got side-tracked (and that usually never happens *coughs*). I said “They only got into the crisis because today, money isn’t an actual thing any more, it’s an abstract concept, an empty number. If you can’t see the money, if you don’t have money that you can hold in your hand, then how are you supposed to grasp the idea of your actual resources?” This quickly lead into “Nothing is real any more!”, “Can you believe this years Christmas-present in Sweden is a 3 month subscription to ‘Linas Matkasse’ (Note for non-Swedish readers; Linas Matkasse is a grocery-bag with a selection of groceries and recipes, so you don’t have to decide what you want to cook for yourself any more, and if you don’t want to bother with planning a meal and finding the recipe yourself, you probably don’t want to go to the store either, so yes, it comes to the door for you) how sick is that?”, “I can’t remember where someone said this but you know how if a guy wanted to ask a girl out in the good old days he had to turn up with flowers on her door-step and now he can just scroll through a list of eligible young singles and click ‘send flirt’ on the ones he thinks are hot enough for him (e.g, way out of his league)… Oh, I’m pretty sure that’s what Drew Barrymore says in ‘He’s just not that into you’. Yeah, that’s probably it”, “In fifty years from now people won’t even talk to each other in real life because you never have to leave your house to do anything!!!!!” and other similar remarks.

Seeing as how I felt this conversation became so interesting I figured it would be more fun to start a debate on this topic, so we quickly scrolled… I mean, looked through the page… I mean, newspaper, to see if there was an update… I mean, article about Facebook. Lo and behold, there was! According to this article we’re now several steps closer to anyone else on the planet… getting in touch with them, that is. The question me and the other girl decided to ask was this; do you feel that iPhones, laptops, media in general and networking-sites such as Twitter and Facebook brings people closer together or makes people more detached?

My own response was instant. “More detached, of course” I thought to myself. Then I stopped and mentally chided myself for being so hasty. Because think of all the people we would not even bother to keep in touch with if it wasn’t for Facebook? And all the people who would not spare the time out of their day to see what was up with you if they couldn’t read it all in a tweet? In this sense, the social networking does help us keep in touch with people. Ok, so I guess that’s determined. But wait. Keeping in touch with people, is that the same as maintaining a friendship, or a functioning relationship of any kind? If there were blue elephants and I was friends with one on Facebook, we’d be able to poke each other and hit the “like-button” every once in a while when one of us posted a status-update, but “Phoowro-proooo-pheeeuut!” (< what it would look like if a blue elephant could type. Assuming they exist) doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me, and so even though I might think that the blue elephant is an all right dude, I wouldn’t really know the blue elephant, or care to get to know him. (In case any blue elephants are reading this, I’m really sorry, I apologise for my race’s inability to understand any language but its own, I know, we’re very ignorant.)

If they exist, the probably look like this.

With these questions in mind, maybe the social networking of today brings people closer together while making them more socially dysfunctional at the same time? Or are we just developing a new way to socially interact, which might be different but doesn’t have to be wrong just because it’s not like we used to interact? We don’t bow to people and kiss their hand any more (if you do, that is totally rad. Keep it up), just like we’re now starting to get closer to equality between men and women and in certain awesome countries and states, gay marriage is legal. So who’s to say that only some change is ok, but some things have to remain the way they’ve “always” been? Maybe this new way to socially interact is just another step forward in our evolution, and not a step backwards into social awkwardness and seclusion.

I’m sure you guys have a lot more interesting input on this, so I would like to hear your thoughts regarding networking-sites such as Facebook and Twitter and how they’re affecting social interaction today. If you can be bothered to comment 😉