I derive a lot of pleasure from the simple things in life.
And today, I wanted the simple things to be my primary focus.
Like having a "Hoppy & Refined" Brooklyn East IPA (er two) on a gorgeous sunny day on my quaint little rooftop in Central Harlem. And hearing the familiar jingle of the neighborhood ice cream truck. And listening to "Sure Thing" by Miguel - amongst many other songs - where happiness is a sure thing in my current scenario: https://youtu.be/q4GJVOMjCC4
We complicate things in life WAY too much. In most cases, simplicity is the best way to reset. A walk in the park. Coffee with a loved one. A hike through gorgeous terrain. Maxing and relaxing at the beach.
But the culture in the US makes it so difficult to just RELAX. We work so hard only to "enjoy" our vacations so much, we come home more tired than at the start of it. We have a lull at work and feel like we need to DO more even though there may be nothing more to do and take it as evidence of a job efficiently done.
And nothing has changed for many even during this pandemic. This is the IDEAL time for simplicity and to focus on things you have been putting off for so long.
Reconnecting with friends.
Writing (possibly a book).
Learning a new language.
Binge-watching your favorite shows.
The guys with "great" personalities outshining the dudes with brawn and no brains on the dating scene.
Expanding your wine collection. Or bourbon. Or beer.
Being able to go on a jog at precisely 6:66am or pm everyday if, you know, Satanism is your thing.
You do you. But actually follow THROUGH with doing you. Besides, uhhh, Satanic rituals. Keep those to yourself.
And look, I have friends who have been let-go from their jobs. I cannot understand their stress, nor will I ever make this claim. But I also know they are making the best of a situation they cannot control. And it is inspiring because they make no excuses and choose to remain positive in an overwhelmingly negative environment. And they have plenty of loved ones, like me, who will support them the best they can until this is over.
And to those who feel trapped: REACH OUT FOR SUPPORT. To anyone. Because you would be surprised by the number of people who actually care about you.
But unless you ask, the effective answer will ALWAYS be no. Stop answering for us. Please. I have been asked by many how I have been spending my days since having shoulder surgery. And honestly, I have never in my life communicated more through written word than I have during this period, whether through my posts or through texting.
It is not I prefer texting or over actual conversation - QUITE the opposite. But it allows me to connect with many at once if I do not have the ability to connect with each one more intimately.
A running text dialogue with a loved one has its own value just as a phone conversation with a close friend does. If there is value, I am happy.
I have had incredibly stimulating conversations about mindfulness, science, how healthy skepticism is essential to move science forward (key word: HEALTHY), life, my Netflix binge list, my beverage of choice (picky only in certain situations - love a craft beer, but not saying no to Miller High-Life and a game of flip-cup. I am not an elitist asshole at ALL times 😬), and God-knows what else.
The level of support I have received has been unprecedented. And I do not take any of it for granted.
The science-talk for me though is the biggest difference for me - and likely SHOCKING for many who do not know me as well.
I am usually the doctor friend amongst a group of doctor friends who tries to change the topic away from medicine or runs away and finds a person who is non-medical to talk about more "interesting" things.
But unfortunately, pandemics that influence all our lives make those topics relevant to all parties.
I want you all to take a moment to reflect on how you have shifted your life towards the positive during this time.
What have you changed? Both externally and internally?
How have you taken advantage of your free time?
What have you gained as a person?
If you are busier than ever, what is one thing you are grateful for?
Or has any free time of yours been filled only with negativity that threatens to overflow into your daily life once things start shifting back to a "new" normal? Does the term "new" normal itself make you shudder?
If the latter is true, please reach out to me. Seriously. Because I want to support you to the best of my ability.
A good chunk of my time is focused on things that bring me happiness, that bring a smile to my face.
So here are a few of those things. And I hope you all share some of your favorites too. I have to say, the level of absurd creativity that has come out of this pandemic has been epic.
Wardy Joubert III becoming a legend: https://www.vice.com/…/the-untold-story-of-wood-the-well-en…
A 3 Michelin star restaurant/mid-century museum hybrid with patrons and all has come into existence: https://www.washingtonian.com/…/inn-at-little-washington-c…/
A South Korean soccer team got, uhhh, creative (I neither support or oppose this decision 😅🤣): https://www.nytimes.com/…/asia/south-korea-sex-dolls-soccer…
The genius of Brad Ableson is on full display during the Zoom age: https://mashable.com/article/simpsons-zoom-backgrounds/
And SO many more.
If you think this post is flaky, stupid, immature, pointless, and makes light of the current situation, you are MOSTLY right.
But it is not pointless.
Because I do not always want to be serious. Happiness and laughter and silliness are great ways to deal with the shitty things in life.
Because not only is it free. It is also
So stop being so serious all the time. Life does not have to be this complicated.