Tuesday, November 27, 2012
I recently read that chimpanzees (in captivity) have a U-shaped happiness curve (something that goes like this: youthful exuberance, middle-aged despair, old-age contentment as reported by their keepers). Apparently the middle-years are stressful due to 'jockeying for social status'. It resonated with me. I'm just shy of middle-age – still on the right side of 40 – but status anxiety has been hitting me hard lately. I know: Compare. Despair. But even keeping this sage mantra in mind has been a challenge this time of year. I get to the end of November and I wonder why this year I haven't picked up an Oscar for my terrific film or built my dream home. This year, I have done neither. When I reflect on what is an episodic discontentment I think it has clearly something to do with my expectations. Like, maybe I need to keep them in check. But other factors are environmental. There is no doubt that that I am inhabiting more complex social spaces (like work and school). They play a role.
So even though I am working extra hard at containing my sense of envy I will still be heading over to Windsor this weekend for Open House by my favourite design blogger Lucy Feagins of design files fame. No doubt I will want to carry everything home. Basically I am looking at an hour of sweet torture.