I always like writing about universal truths. As I come across them in my life, I try to point them out for a few reasons. One, I know they will resonate with a large audience, as we’ve all gone through these situations. Two, it helps me cope with the world around me. Today’s universal truth comes from every time I try to have plans on a specific weekend. No matter what the event is, or how long it’s been since the last time I tried to plan a weekend, there will be multiple things I want to do planned for the same weekend. Typically with the weekends before or after being completely void of anything I want to do.
It’s a mathematical constant, though, like the force of gravity (g) or the speed of light (c). There will be something I’ve been waiting for, say a specific musician playing in my favorite venue, or a car race that comes only once per year. I’m guaranteed that those two will land on the same weekend, with overlapping times, so it’s not possible to do both.
It shouldn’t be like this
What kind of witchcraft is this? Isn’t there some sort of cosmic omnipotent calendar that realizes we don’t need to have choices all the time? Conflict is bad, right? We shouldn’t have to sacrifice one thing we love to do another. We should be able to pick one thing and know that we’ll be happy that we got to see our event without having to question our choice. But no, what will happen is I will have to choose which one I’d rather do, causing me to lose out on the other, which again, is something that I’d like to do or see just as much. And I’ll be at the one event thinking about the other, I can be sure of that.
It’s frustrating, even infuriating because like I said, there will be weekends where there isn’t a single thing I’d like to do more often than not. Most definitely the weekend following an event will be devoid of anything interesting. Then I find one thing… and then ultimately at least one other. There are times when I have three or more things that happen to land on the same weekend. Again, I just shake my head. Life’s not hard enough without some cosmic force making my choices more difficult.
It’s almost like there’s a formula. The rarer the event that I want to go see, the more likely there will be something almost as rare happening at the same time. I have to choose between something that’s probably never coming back, but might not be as good, with something that I know is good, but I don’t get to see but once per year. Old vs. new, new experience vs. old experience. Chance vs. known quantity. If I didn’t know better, I’d think someone was doing this on purpose.
I imagine our Puritan ancestors would plan an annual event – like Thanksgiving, and I’m sure there was something else that popped up that day, like a public shaming or witch burning. What to do?
I don’t go out much
I struggle with this because my nature is not to do too many things anymore. That means I only go to events I really enjoy, and that only happen once in a while. I think this is the universe trying to tell me something. I just don’t know if it’s trying to tell me to stay home, or that I should get out more. One would think the if the universe was trying to speak to me, it’d be more sure about its method of communication. I mean, I strive to make sure I’m not misunderstood. Clearly, the universe doesn’t worry about being misunderstood, rather it seems to revel in its own obscurity.
Possibly, it’s just my imagination running away with me again. Since I don’t go out much, maybe I seem to only go look for things once I have one event chosen. Kind of like when you buy a car, and you start to see the same make and model everywhere. My logical brain knows there’s no power that exists just to fuck with me, but good lord, it sure seems like it. This is the kind of thing that drove the Greeks and other primitive cultures to do animal sacrifices. “If I just sacrifice this choice fattened sheep, then maybe I’ll get to see the global chariot races this year without anything else conflicting.” I could see that happening.
I’m not sacrificing animals to see a show just so we’re clear. I can’t even pass a dead dog on the road without getting upset.
Where should we go next?
My wife and I are just starting to plan a week’s vacation, and I can already see what’s coming. There’s going to have to be a choice. A coin toss might be involved. Worse is that my wife doesn’t like to make decisions where I might disagree. In this case, I want her to make the decision because the vacation is for her, not me. I’ll take a break from my day job, but I’ll still write every day. No rest for the wicked here. But she’ll hide behind “I don’t care” which I know is a lie. She does care. She just doesn’t like getting her hopes up because inevitably, something else will get in the way. The dog will get sick, or a cat, or a man-child, or a car will break down, or, or, or. Life will get in the way somehow. It’s why we don’t plan things like vacations too far out. We’ve had too many things change at the last minute hence screwing up our plans to feel comfortable with the future. The last great vacation we went on ended with us hitting a 100 lbs dog in the middle of the night, almost totaling the new car we were driving. It was a great vacation that ended so badly it negated the entire vacation. Now, when I say, “Hey we could go do…” I get, “why bother?” in response. She’s defeated. I should be, but I’m too stubborn to let life win.
The problem is that there’s no margin for error anymore in my life. We’re so busy, with so many things packed together that one little change throws everything out of order. Once missed meeting causes other missed meetings, causes a missed annual appointment, etc. It’s a huge chaotic butterfly effect that ripples for years, it seems. After I think it all through, I may just stay home and miss everything.
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