One of the most frustrating things about living is that as we advance as a society, fun new innovations come along that weren’t available when any one of us was of a certain age.
The classic example, of course, is the 20th century grandfather hearing his grandson upset over waiting for the school bus in the rain one morning. The World War II veteran then goes on his diatribe about how “back in his day” he had to walk 5 miles, uphill, in the snow, just to get to school, where they had no heaters.
I have rarely ever experienced this in my life. I never resented cell phones or the internet being invented long after I could have used them as a teenager. Most of everything else that we consider “advancements,” I want no part of now, or as a child; things like anti-bullying crusades, social media, no-contact-football, helmets for bike riders, ADD, peanut allergy awareness, and all forms of political correctness are all making us soft and lame as a society and I am so glad to be well past having to care about any of them.
But eventually, the universe gets you.
I am not one for regrets or living in the past, but damnit, sometimes you hear about something that was never available for you (or never will be, but right after you’re too old to enjoy it will be) and you scream sarcastically, “Well of course! Isn’t that just great for everyone else who get to do what I always WANTED to do but it didn’t exist or wasn’t allowed!” Insert boo-hooing to follow.
The classic example for many baby boomers today is legalized marijuana, something their generation spent a lifetime advocating for that is now practically settled law in America. After decades of hiding from “the man,” while enjoying the reefer, kids these days can just head to a dispensary and get as high as they want on weed 40x stronger than what they had in the 60’s and 70’s….maaaan.
Whatever…I never cared about pot.
But, damnit…the dye is cast. Pandora’s box is open and this may move as quickly as legalizing gay marriage did. Very open discussions are being had about legalizing all sorts of drugs, most notably LSD.
Now, to be clear; I’ve never done any drugs. Alcohol is my jam and I play it like the ghost of Duke Ellington on “Big Mouth,” leading Connie the hormone monstress though a sultry rendition of “changes.” (If you don’t get that analogy you are simply not living life).
The rumors of casual, small dose LSD use throughout Silicon Valley are well-known. Artists throughout time, most notably Jimi Hendrix, have used LSD to invigorate their inner creative juices, resulting in some of the most amazing creations known to man, and, sadly, horrible deaths that usually involve the swallowing of one’s own tongue.
I’ve been told by more than one source that LSD, used properly, has two effects, depending on dosage. The first, taken in what we’re referring to today as a “micro-dose” is to give you just enough of a mind-opening experience that you’re able to reach deep into your own creative abilities and allow you to harness all of those amazing ideas that live inside of you, but never seem to come to fruition. The second, is the full-on-trip, which has been described to me as being akin to the “cocktail” that an anesthesiologist gives you right before fully sedating you. This is where it gets real for me. For those of you that have never had the pleasure of surgery, let me tell you, it’s worth it. Lemme tell you…regardless of why you are on that table, those 8-9 seconds of euphoria are the most amazing moments of your life. I’ve had three surgeries in my life and I can say, without question, that those 25 seconds combined have been the happiest of my existence. The idea that such an experience could be replicated without having my back sliced into almost brings me to tears. And, it seems, we’re approaching that reality…most likely long after I’ll be of sound mind and body to enjoy it. Well, of course!
And then, there’s the greatest insult of them all.
For decades, I have been bemoaning the five-day-work-week. It is unnecessary and harmful to the human experience. I have laid out my case countless times and won’t bore you again with the specifics, but suffice to say; imagine if we could maintain our productivity professionally, yet always hav a three-day weekend! Meaning, of course, that holidays would become four-day-weekend! Halleluiah!!
We need down time. We need interaction with the things we love that aren’t work, whether it be people, pets, hobbies, or substances.
Weekends today are soul suckers. Most people barely get home by 6pm Friday night and then try to cram something fun into their exhausted minds and bodies before passing out, only to wake up to a Saturday filled with chores, soccer games, pre-planned events with friends, family obligations, horribly boring parties, BBQs, or showers, or maybe even a day-trip which ends in total exhaustion and the realization that tomorrow is Sunday and we have to start thinking about the week again already. There are lunches to be made, some work-prep to be done, unpacking from our day-trip, those chores we didn’t actually do on Saturday, and oh-crap…it’s time to go to bed Sunday night.
Four-day work weeks for those who have standard jobs that can tolerate such rigidity are the answer and always have been. And now, of course, as I head towards the beginning of the end of my career, after 30 years of 5-day-work-weeks, the idea of making 4-day-work-weeks is gaining steam exponentially across the globe. I’m fairly certain that the day I retire will be the eve of the announcement that America is transitioning immediately to 3-day-weekends for all, year round. Well, of course!