One day I was driving home from my parents when I realized something about fictional worlds.
Actually it’s something I’ve been slowly grasping about fictional worlds and my mind finally came to a theory. (I don’t really believe in radical change in any way, but that’s another story)
I considered this realization and build upon it my theory.
We live in a complex world, don’t we?
I don’t necessarily mean that whatever we face is complex, we just face an awful lot of things and that makes it all complex and even overwhelming at times.
I’ve read quite a few blog posts. A lot talk about changing your life, or doing x, y, z to make it better. All this type of advice and it’s all wonderful advice really. I just often miss the mundane.
Does writing a popular blog post mean that writing anything about mundane things is off-limits? Doesn’t that cut out some things that you do in life anyway? It makes things like productivity and being successful and happy seem awfully straight forward, but is it really?
That’s what my realization is about. We don’t live in a fictional world where we as the protagonist only need to worry about our one very important quest. This is especially true in the fantasy and sci-fi worlds, where making money often isn’t an issue. Furthermore, often protagonists travel, so having a house isn’t an issue either.
Wouldn’t life be great if you could just wander around, get food just because, and other supplies just because, stumble into a furnished cave by night fall and live just for getting to this evil wizard you need to defeat?
So truly if I have to implement the “Getting Things Done” method, so that all my life is out the way and I can spend it with my family…… wait……. now hang on just a moment. Who’s doing my laundry? Who’s cleaning my house? Who puts away the dishes? Who feeds the cat? Who cooks dinner?
Oh the significant other does that? Or something, because that’s the only conclusion I can make based on advice I’m getting over and over. This advice never includes my household chores. Sometimes it doesn’t even assume my job.
We live in a complex world with many responsibilities and obligations. I can tell you I’m pretty busy and I’m not at all social, I don’t watch TV, I’m barely on the internet at home. So really, what’s going on?
Well I do my household chores and then try to destress and then do some more household chores. Between that and this, I don’t really seem to find the energy to work on any of my interests.
On top of this I have a full-time job, guess what, that doesn’t leave much wiggle room.
And my significant other? Oh that person is still hiding somewhere out there, but I can’t seem to get to looking for them. I live alone, I’m responsible for everything. Often I don’t even wanna cook my food, but I still have to anyway.
All this is going somewhere, though it seems to be one big rant. It was really different when I was driving, but hey if a muse/genius/what you may call it, decides to show up at that time and not wait for me to come home, it can’t expect me to make a great blog post. (With special thanks to Elizabeth Gilbert, I’ve watched this video many times)
So my preference goes to a simple world and it’s probably the reason I love fiction so much. Video games, books, tv shows, they are all the same basic format: a protagonist and a mission. In fiction people don’t do the dishes while wondering what to do with their lives. Or maybe just in the opening scene, but after that they have a mission.
I have a mission too, but I also have a life that keeps finding new ways to block my path. Maybe I should view my dishes as a horde of goblins keeping me from the jewels they stole from my castle? Oh… oh so that’s how it works.
I’m not saying I don’t have time, I have plenty of that. What I lack is FOCUS. I can’t focus on my “one quest”, because I have to focus on other demands and often my cat steals my focus away too (though that’s often an enjoyable distraction).
In all the very solid advice I find nothing about combining my “remarkable life”, with mundane tasks like household chores. And because I’m also worrying about those I can’t truly focus.
So to work on my mission to become great at sewing, I need to find a way to get focus. More importantly a way to deal with the demands of my household.
My theory is that our lives are very complex and this complexity is stealing away from focusing on what we truly want to be doing.
I’m not even talking about obligations you may have, which just add to the complexity.
If all you had was a full-time job, and a house to keep clean, and dishes to be done, and laundry, and maybe unwind and destress somewhere in between too… then how much focus would you have for that “one mission”?
What happens if you have even more on your plate?
I call this post MY complex world theory specifically, because I don’t claim to know how anyone else’s mind works. If this theory is something you can relate to, then great! If you can’t, then great!