2017 has passed merrily into the void of the past and the first week of 2018 is already drawing to a close. I have started keeping a journal again and the process of reflecting on each day is already showing its benefits. I was given the actual journal itself as a gift from my brother and the format is a five-year diary with a short space to record what happens each day. It is kind of a long-term commitment but personally, I am looking forward to some big changes over the next five years so I am sure it will be a worthwhile time in my life to record.
Last year was not as eventful for me as 2016, but it was a year of gradual change and reinforcement of positive endeavours. I did turn 30 in 2017 and celebrated the milestone in a way I had not bothered to with previous years birthdays. I feel my character is continuing to mellow from the angst-filled days of my youth and that is a good thing. The sharp edges that were a feature of my younger personality are being softened and while I still take risks occasionally, I generally feel much more sensible.
Yesterday, I updated the look and feel of this site by changing the theme of CamZhu. The changes are mostly cosmetic, the content of my artistic attempts and blog entries are all still online, and the website still functions the same. The reason for these changes is that I plan to ramp up my use of the site as a blog and I wanted to change to a different WordPress theme that gives me more options and has a more original feel to it. I had been using a portfolio style theme and this was fine when I just wanted to upload images of my latest artworks but would have been less fit for purpose going forward.
Last night I had a pleasant and mildly surreal dream, one which I awoke from feeling fresh and motivated (at about 5AM) to use whatever resources I had to ensure my life was on course. As with most of my dreams that make me feel enough to remember them, I was in the house I grew up in. I was chatting with my parents in the study about equality and resources. I cannot remember the conversation verbatim but the outcome was that I became convinced there are enough resources on the planet to sustain the human population. This was a bit odd as it is not a belief that I hold. Essentially, I am now questioning why I hold the views about the scarcity of resources that I do.
Are we the Product?
A friend told me I was the product of social media the other day. Given this statement, one would assume I use too much Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc if someone is referring to me as a product. However, as alluded to in this inciteful little article from a few years ago we are not the customers of social media sites. They use us as ‘products’ that they market to advertisers. Incidentally, I have found Facebook becoming too insidious so I have deactivated my account for the duration of 2018. If by the end of 2018 I find I have missed that blue border and incessant, irrelevant information about acquaintances then I will reactivate my account.
But it does give me pause for thought on this still dark and probably cold (outside) morning. We are a product of our environments. I have mellowed with age because I have become much more satisfied with my life and circumstances. My belief in the scarcity of the planet’s resources comes from the information that I am fed through the media. We are a product of the forces that we choose to have in our lives in combination with certain environmental factors we cannot control. I would say it it is important to be mindful of the people we consciously surround ourselves with and the activities we undertake. It is not always possible to control your surroundings and events, but it is possible to control how you react to surroundings and events. Hence, we may be the product that helps produce itself and if we want to progress we should cultivate an awareness of this.