Not only has the day job been incredibly wearing and demanding for what seems like forever, but i’ve also just received the thrilling news that due to the dire state of the double-dipping economy, (never double-dip… ask any chef!), if i still want to have a job after June, i’m going to have to re-apply for the job i’ve been doing perfectly well for years and be interviewed for it – nothing like being asked to prove you’re worth keeping to boost the confidence. At least the weather’s been sunny!
At times like this, sl offers the perfect opportunity to escape… at least, that’s how it should be, however the reality is that over the past few days, sl has been absolute pants for me. Textures not properly baking, crashing on almost every TP, objects failing to rez and inventory simply not loading; throw in an equally borked internet connection that drops half a dozen times every couple of hours and you can imagine that the sought after respite has pretty much eluded me.
It’s a good thing that i’m stubborn – not generally appreciated as a particularly desirable quality to have, nevertheless when it comes to computery stuff, bitter experience has taught me that it’s us stubborn so-and-so’s that somehow or other always manage to make it through the miasma of despair, trial and tribulation that technology at its worst wreaks upon us, and with an almost zen-like mastery, manage to make the best of a badly borked situation. In the same way that the superstitious – try as they might – have to accept that the number 13 or 666 is going to crop up at some point in everyday life and simply can’t be avoided, so the enlightened technoholic comes to accept that 404: Page not found, is a fact of internet life, against which it is pointless to rage… it happens and it will happen again, the circle of life continues.
Those of us who stubbornly push through the closed portals, page faults, bad code, leaky memory (happens to people too!), and poor connections may eventually reach the Nirvana of acceptance that ‘this is as good as it’s going to get’ and, rather than rant about our hair not rezzing, or losing the entire contents of our inventory, we just shrug, accept that there’s nothing we can do about it and make the most of whatever’s left over. Unsatisfactory, maybe – but ultimately, far less stressful.
So it was that i found myself stranded in a badly rendered and infuriatingly slow world – my longed-for haven from the grim reality of rl and the infuriatingly fast-paced real world was not to be… or was it?
Allowing the red mist to clear, i realised that this was exactly what i needed. Forced to slow to a crawl that was barely anything more than a complete standstill and made to wait for the world around me to slowly resolve into something recognisable, i found myself embracing the very things that sought to drive me bonkers. SL – by virtue of being its normal, hobbling self – in a strange reversal of fortune became the antidote to the pressures of the real world.
Many of us, i’m sure have been in the position of being on holiday, or have taken a break from the routine, but been unable to unwind or relax. Our environment might well be conducive to taking things easy, but someone’s forgotten to inform our bodies and our brains. Yet, over time, the imposed slowing-down that we’re forced into, eventually brings us to a state of relaxation and peace. In some ways, being in an environment that refuses to allow us to hurry, become stressed or otherwise get caught up in the rush and thrust of what we are used to, is far more rewarding an experience than that which we’d get from relaxing in a more familiar environment.
So, there i am – stuck in an unfamiliar Sim and unable to TP away; made to wait for the world around me to resolve into recognisable textures and forms, i slowly began to adapt to the pace being imposed upon me. Rather than rushing around and becoming impatient when things weren’t ready for me, i relaxed into a more leisurely, laid-back attitude – frustration turned into mañana; haste changed to dawdling and running around became sitting and contemplating… and boy, did it do me a power of good!
Can it really be that i’m singing the praises of lag, slowness and inconsistency? Believe it or not, yes! More to the point, i think i’ve learned a valuable lesson from this one spell in sl – these are the very things – let’s even go so far as to call them qualities – that form far too small a part in my own rl existence. People are fundamentally not machines, not in any sense of the word, yet in the same way that machines wear out, fail, break down and lose their efficiency, when run at full tilt constantly with no concern for their state of repair, so do we. Unlike machines though, we can’t be put back together with new or spare parts, serviced or repaired – the only thing that really works for us is downtime and, no matter how much we realise that important fact, many of us are very reluctant to hit the ‘off-button’ and permit ourselves the luxury of shutting down. Here’s a case in point – nobody asks me to produce a blog post a day, but i insist that i do and when i fail, i punish myself and make myself work harder to be productive – i find it extraordinarily difficult to stop production and ‘clock off’. Over time, i can’t help but think that without that essential element, things will eventually grind to a shuddering halt, ‘gears’ will mesh, ‘pulleys’ will sieze and the ‘batteries’ will go flat. Throw in the pressures of everyday life and it’s a wonder that sometimes i function at all.
i need – we all need – a bit of lag in our lives, and many of us need some technical glitch to throw a spanner in the works, just occasionally, that will force us to slow down and become people again.
Today’s song? Oh… no clever connections, links or connotations – it just makes me smile, and maybe that’s something else that i don’t do nearly enough of. 🙂
Assim você me mata
Michel Teló – Ai Se Eu Te Pego