I owe a certain artist an apology.
Back when I did my other post based on his artwork, he was working on a piece based on a prompt that I gave him. After completing this, I was then to take the prompt and his work based on it and write another post. This was supposed to be an awesome collaboration that produced fun and unexpected results. Right about the time he finished, my story posts started. Here we are way later than it should be.
The prompt was ‘Tension’.
The first thing that came to mind here was the overwhelming amount of pressure that exists for most of us on a daily basis. It’s almost too much when you really take the time to lay it all out. Especially when you consider that most of these things are continuous and they overlap.
For instance, say you’re talking about someone working as a waiter in a casual dining restaurant, with a long term significant other, that lives in an apartment. That certainly doesn’t seem like an overly complicated existence. Let’s look deeper: Pressure to perform at work, to be accurate, quick, and friendly, all while getting paid not enough and dealing with difficult patrons. There’s pressure to make enough money to afford rent, and other assorted bills. To make enough to have spending money, but you shouldn’t be working too many hours. You have to leave time for that significant other. You also have to leave time for yourself to be able to recharge.
Without adding in any sort of grand life plans, or internalized pressure, it’s beginning to look a little daunting. I know what some of you are thinking, “That’s nothing. Life is just like that. We’ve all got to juggle lots of balls and we make it work. That doesn’t seem like that much. Don’t complain.” That’s not the point.
The point is, should it be that way? It really does take a lot to survive the overly pressurized society that we all live in. Most of us are taking on to many things, while also expecting results of a level we may not be capable of. That doesn’t matter. If it’s not right, we’re a failure. So we take on more to prove to someone, maybe ourselves, that we can handle it all. Wouldn’t it be nicer if that wasn’t how it had to be though?
I wasn’t thinking about this because I’m especially stressed or anything. This is just a long-standing query of mine. What are we all working so hard for? Most of us work so hard or so long that we are actually inefficient. As a society, we don’t get enough sleep or relaxation time. We plan every minute and we organize ourselves to structure our stress.
I’m not trying to tell everyone to slow down and take more vacation days. I was just noticing the culture that has been created. Wouldn’t we all be happier, and therefore more productive, with less stress, less pressure, and less tension?
Sometimes that much tension causes you to drop something…