Another day, another Starbucks. I’ve legitimately thought about contacting their Marketing Director and pitching myself to become a sponsored blogger if I always tag Starbucks whenever I blog from one of their locations across the East Coast. I would happily take payment in form of free drinks or money. Or if they wanted to do both, I wouldn’t be mad.
I’d probably have to start taking prettier pictures with good lighting and simplistic backgrounds and wingtip eyeliner to be seriously considered for a Starbucks sponsorship, though. Ugh, I’m such a regular mom, not a cool mom. Oh, well.
Today I’m in the Starbucks on P Street NW in Washington, D.C., but by the time I actually post this for all of you lovely people to read, I’ll probably be in a different city. Ah, gypsy life.
As I slowly sip my Tall Iced Soy Chai that I had to have the barista remake because I’m an annoying customer who won’t pay a whopping $4.52 for a drink that I won’t enjoy because it was made incorrectly, I was just staring out onto the D.C. streets and thinking about how upset I am that Nashville has been cancelled on ABC. I don’t watch many shows, but that has been a favorite of mine for the last few years. I’m pretty peeved that they’re prematurely ending things before we get to watch Scarlett and Gunnar’s romance fully unfold.
I swear, if they replace Nashville‘s time slot with yet another political-murder drama, I’ll lose it. Not that I ever watch it during its time slot (Hulu all the way), but still.
While we’re on the topic of shows taken from us too soon, do you ever think about how much of our lives revolve around entertainment? I don’t mean just T.V. or Buzzfeed articles. (Is Buzzfeed still relevant?) I mean the general act of being entertained. Last year, I shared this story in a different post, but I’ll never forget sitting on an airplane once, bored out of my mind, and thinking, “Holy crap, I’ve got a long life ahead of me. How will I possibly keep myself entertained for that long?”
I know that sounds kind of pessimistic and dramatic, but think about it: Most of what we do outside of work is simply a way to pass the time in an enjoyable manner. Yes, life is exciting, and most of the time it flies by way, way too quickly. But at the same time, our lives are often defined by how well we entertain ourselves.
If we choose to entertain ourselves with binge-watching show after show on Netflix or eating bags of potato chips while staring at social media for hours, we’re usually pretty unstimulated and detached from the whole “I’m alive!” feeling. If we entertain ourselves with workout classes and painting and travel and adventures, we’re far less likely to be overwhelmed by the very vast or very little time in front of us (whichever way you think of the future, probably depending on your hormone levels at any given moment).
Personally, I believe in humans serving a purpose in their lives on a spiritual level. We’re not just here to live and die, but I mean, that is kind of the gist of what happens. No matter how much we align our lives with our moral codes or belief systems, our day-to-day lives aren’t defined by much more than what we do with our time.
If someone says, “Tell me about Shannon,” here are a few things I think people would say:
- She writes a blog
- She’s married to a guy in the Coast Guard
- She is a Christian
- She was Miss New York
Everything on this list has to do with what I do/did with my time. Writing a blog means I write with my time, being married means I hang out with my husband, being a Christian means I pray and revolve my behavior around that set of ideals, being Miss New York means I entertain(ed) myself by doing pageants and all of the things that go along with pageants. Obviously, I would hope some other things on the list would revolve around my personality, but much of a person’s personality is also tied to how they socialize…which is, yet again, something I do with my time.
If we’re not actively entertaining ourselves, we wouldn’t even have a personality, because personalities are built by reactions, opinions, humor, and all of the other things that have to do with stimulation. So basically, your life is one big blank movie script, and you’re the Screenwriter, Director, and Star. Maybe this is why everyone on Instagram thinks they’re famous…?
I guess the point of all of this is to say this: Make your movie interesting. Entertain yourself in ways that help you feel “alive.” Entertain yourself by praying, if you pray. Entertain yourself with travel. Entertain yourself by following your dreams. Entertain yourself by placing some of the focus on some of your costars (i.e. other people) through acts of support, volunteerism, or simply spending time together. Entertain yourself by doing things you love, thinking for yourself, and intentionally noticing the natural beauty in the world around you. Join a soccer league. Rescue a puppy. Call your friend who just went through a breakup. Bake a cake. Go camping.
The good news is that there’s plenty to do outside of social media, television, and drinking wine. (As much as I enjoy those things at times.) If you’re feeling bored or unvigorated, it’s because however you’re entertaining yourself isn’t yielding any fulfillment. When you’re living unintentionally, just waiting for each day to blend into the next, you’ll miss out on life altogether. So, friends, choose your entertainment well, and take advantage of all the time you’re given.