Monday, December 11, 2017

Rambling II: The good life.

Recently I asked my first year students the following question:

At this time, what constitutes the "good life" for you? What person, activity, or thing will need to be an integral part of your life for you to consider it fulfilling and meaningful? There is no correct answer to this question, and your response might come from a wide range of possible choices (e.g. family, living in a certain geographic location, a particular lifestyle, a hobby or activity, a special person, career, etc.).

I just read their responses, some of which were inspiring, some of which were worrisome.. those ones sounded a lot like me. Given some things that are going on right now I thought I'd ask myself this question.

My good life is one in which I'm teaching design full-time at a college that also supports my research work into mixed reality performance and publishing about it; it includes students in whom I am incredibly invested. I love helping them figure out what their paths might look like, whether that's in theatre, art, or life in general. It has a home with Travis, we are both healthy, my body is cooperative and pain-free and I'm in shape enough to do Tough Mudder and my knees don't suck and migraines aren't a thing because sleep isn't a problem. Our house, which we own, is beautiful and has a back deck where we have parties with friends. We have both cats AND houseplants that coexist peacefully. I travel for work all the time, I design for all kinds of theatre and create original work - immersive/participatory/mixed reality theatre, installation art, video art. We live in a community we love, preferably someplace warm, but that isn't a dealbreaker. I hike a lot. I write a lot. And we are debt free.

Yeah. That feels like my "good life" needs at least 17 more hours every day, and explains a lot.

Since I've also come to the end of my first year of advising, and have been thinking about a philosophy of advising, I remembered Chris Hadfield's "An Astronaut's Advice," which I adore:

Decide in your heart of hearts what really excites and challenges you and start moving your life in that direction. Every decision you make, from what you eat to what you do with your time tonight, turns you into who you are tomorrow and the day after that. Look at who you want to be and start sculpting yourself into that person. You may not get exactly where you thought you’d be, but you will be doing things that suit you in a profession that you believe in. Don’t let life randomly kick you into the adult you don’t want to become.

Plus he sang David Bowie in space.


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