Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Life on the Edge

An interesting term that. One more commonly used for rock stars, stunt (wo)men, and people who jump off buildings with parachutes. Base jumpers.

Lets look a lttle closer to home though. There are people who are expert at what they do for a living. The ability probably comes naturally to them to a point where its second nature to them. This tends to breed complacency. Which breeds the desire to to something stimulating. I know a great many intelligent people who spend there time after work seeking there thrills in one way or another. Take one example. Getting hammered every night and waking up the next morning with an almighty hangover and still doing there job as expertly as though they were sober. Then there are the people that hoover up huge quantities of Columbian marching powder and do exactly the same. People who have sex with different people every night. There are other people that play sports or read or do group activties. For the majority of people I know it just doesn't quite cut it though. What is stimulation? What is thrill seeking? The science bit makes these things explainable but I for one do not wish to approach this subject from that angle. It takes all the fun out of it.

Does anyone remember the buzz out of getting drunk or high for the first time? Yes most probably it felt nauseous. After which it gets better and better and better. People who relax by taking drugs or drinking are regular normal individuals that get a thrill in a different way to other folk who prefer to watch TV or read a book. What I'm particularly fascinated by is why some people push the boundaries of getting high to an extent that it becomes dangerous. Is it about seeking ones limitation? I think its a little more simpler than that. Whether its doing drugs or drinking lots it really points to something else. Hands up who enjoys their job? A few people here and there. I raise my hand as I have a fulfilling job. Who thinks a job is an obligation? The majority of people will raise their hands to that. The trouble with working is that the majority of peoples lives are spent in a constrained environment without much ability to express ones self. Some people do feel shackled. How many people can't wait for the end of Friday to go out and have some fun? Again loads of people. Why? Because people see it as a reward and go out and get hammered to the point that the precious weekend that they had is spent recovering from Friday. What if those rewards are given during the working day and so there is less of a need to get mashed at the end of the day? Am I suggesting that people take a quick line here and there? Or a few pints every couple of hours? No. Rewards come in different forms. Its really up to people to find them out. That in itself could be reward enough.

Why do I mention all this? I work for an organisation where the drinking culture is massive. The majority of people I know drink at my local drinking establishment day in and day out. All social activities centre around one place. There is no such thing as a lunch time drink. Its a "anytime you like" drink. People have been reprimanded for drinking all day before but it never changes the habit. Personally I think it is a shame this happens. Does anyone do anything about it? No.

Going for a drink doesn't have that same sense of occassion in that place anymore. Celebrating a birthday or something like that would have made no difference. Except that those people who normally don't buy rounds would.

I used to have a friend of mine who used to go mad on E' s and coke every Friday night. Working out a quick calcuation that amounted to about one hundred and fifty quid for a night, well a night and day. That's a lot of drugs. I have no problem with the kind of drugs that were taken, it was the quantity. That was too much. Interestingly though this person now lives a relatively Buddhist life. Healthy eating, no smoking, drinking once a month, goes cycling out in the country etc. What fascinates me is what was that trigger that made them stop such a life style and replace it with one apparently less stimulating? I'll have to ask that question one day.

I know of a person who is retiring soon and I must admit it got me thinking. What will I do if I get to that age? Spend my days in the local boozer from dawn till dusk? Or will I use my time wisely? More importantly, do I have to wait that long to make that decision? I do wonder sometimes how much people of my age/generation spend on things that only give us a quick fix and a hangover.

Seeking thrills for an otherwise unstimulating life.....

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