Interesting times

‘May you live in interesting times’: The old Chinese curse is a phrase that occasionally finds resonance in my life. I’m not in the habit of insulting Chinese people, as a rule, so I’m not altogether sure why I should be cursed in such a fashion, but I guess that we all have our interesting times, now and again.

Today’s interestingness began early, although it really should have been a whole lot earlier, thanks to not one of the three alarms I’d set to wake me could be bothered to go off at all. So, I’m lying all cosy in my bed, enjoying the fact that the Springtime mornings are finally getting a little brighter, when the thought began to percolate through to my sleep sozzled brain that it was rather lighter than it really should be. That’s how, at ten past seven this morning, with a train to catch at 7.35 and a 20 minute walk to the station in between, I realised things were not going well.

Foregoing my usual final check of the suitcase, morning coffee and leisurely perusal of the news and weather, necessity demanded calling for a taxi… But, of course, none were available. Nothing for it, but to grab the car keys, tear off down the road, abandon the car somewhere where I hope it will still be at the end of the week, and miraculously, still manage to catch my train. To build on the morning’s interest, three hours later my train ground to a halt and everybody was offloaded onto a new one. It was only after leaving the second train at my destination, I realised that my phone – aka, life support system – was no longer on my person, and was presumably now heading off on one or other of my two trains, now each destined for opposite ends of the country! The taxi I’d booked to meet me at the station was – of course – late. Interesting times!

Such things are sent to try us, and I will admit to being just a little bit miffed at what was turning out to be something of a disappointing day, but I’m really not the sort to get wound up about such things – stress is not really a word that features in my vocabulary and I tend to breeze through life, even when everything seems to be against me, in much the same way that most other people don’t. I’d probably make a good UN peacekeeper, lion tamer, or hostage negotiator – y’know, the sort of jobs where a cool, calm disposition should come in handy.

Hardly surprising then that I can struggle at times to understand how people can allow themselves to become super stressed over some of the quirky irritations of SL, far beyond what they really deserve. I’ve seen any number of ragequits when the music stream drops; tantrums over broken scripts; and stress levels going through the virtual roof over things as simple as clothing failing to rez, or textures not loading. Somehow, the petty failings and inconsequential dramas that are part and parcel of everyday virtual life can have a far greater effect on people’s wellbeing than you would ever credit. Interesting.

Why do people allow themselves to become so riled over something so unworthy of their emotional pain? I’ve known people to disappear for monhs, even years, as the result of a simple falling out, a technical breakdown or a just one bad occurrence inworld. It all seems a bit crazy to me, when it would be be a simple matter just to grin and bear it, put up with the inconvenience or simply ignore the nonsense.

What I find even more bizarre is that so many of the silly little annoyances SL specialises in are quite frequently the very things that make the virtual world, for me, such fun. Yes, it can be irritating when something goes wrong, but cracking on with the business of virtual living or finding a workaround or alternative solution can often be a whole lot more fun than whatever was planned in the first place.

And that, is what I call interesting times!

s. x

Why do you have to go and make things so complicated?
I see the way you’re acting like you’re somebody else gets me frustrated
Life’s like this you
And you fall, and you crawl, and you break
Avril Lavigne – Complicated

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