Thursday, August 27, 2009

Consumerism and me

I'm obsessed with cars lately. Even more so than usual.

One week I want an Opel GT, the next an Audi roadster, the next a Lancer Evo. And so on. My latest obsession is the Triumph Daytona Triple, a British motorcycle.

I know Ab thinks I'm nuts and she's probably right. As she so correctly points out to me, her fits of consumerism point her towards the dollar bins at Target, and mine point me towards car dealerships and stereo shops.

I don't want to be that person who isn't happy with what they have. Because truly, I am very happy. We live in a materialistic culture, and there's always something bigger and better and shinier and we're constantly bombarded with all sorts of people telling us we need all these things to be happy.

I don't need a flashy Italian car, or a 125-inch plasma TV, or even a car stereo with Bluetooth and iPod controls to make me happy. That's one of the things I've come to understand in the last couple of years.

I already have plenty of gadgets and gizmos. We're fortunate to live in times with such readily available technology to make our lives easier and entertain us. I can surf the web on my laptop while sitting in front of my 42-inch HDTV watching a blu-ray on my PS3 and listening to music on my iPod. And I'm not exactly in a high-income tax bracket.

At the end of the day all the "stuff" in the world can never make a person truly happy. That doesn't mean it's not worth having, but in the long run it's not terribly important. Not compared to family, friends, or that special person in your life.

Just clearing that up. :)

New challenge

As an update from my last entry, I was offered the new position at the paper and I took it, mostly out of fear. I've just heard too many horror stories about folks who lose their job and are still unemployed a year later. It's tough out there.

So now I'm the high school sports beat writer. It's a tough job, one of the toughest in the building. I knew that going in. And I've never really thought of myself as a very good "reporter." Writing comes naturally to me, and I do enjoy it. It's the "reporting" part of the job, you know, going out in the world and *gulp* talking to people, trying to think of the right question to ask and trying not to make a fool of myself that I've never been comfortable with. That requires confidence and adequate social skills, things which I've never really had in abundance (if at all).

Which is the major reason I was perfectly content to sit behind my little desk designing my little pages. Even if the hours sucked. I was good at it and it required a minimum of interaction beyond the small circle of people in the newsroom.

So far I've done a few stories and they've all been pretty good, so I'm easing into it nicely. I may even be gaining a little more confidence in myself, something that's always been a problem. So I'm looking forward to a few new challenges. Things have changed a lot but I'm still here, still standing, maybe even thriving a little bit.

So I got that going for me. Which is nice.