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Thursday, March 09, 2023

Putting Effort into the Effortless

For years I've always envied my parents sipping a martini after a long work day and thought to myself, I can't wait to experience moments like that; they're boring, routine, mundane. They require no effort. Or so I thought... 

Shaking a martini on a Tuesday with my loved one, hanging out with my quirky neighbours, and lacklustre dinners with incredible friends. We were sold this narrative as kids. These things will happen SO often they become mundane.

And yet, as I continue to get older, I'm feeling further away from what I envisioned as my 'ideal' mundane life. My friends don't live in a way that allows for easy hangouts - the TV sitcoms of our youth lied to us. No one comes over before breakfast to tell you about their day. Work starts at like 7am anyway?! When did we ever think this would happen... 

Dinner reservations with Seinfeld and crew, brunch with Samantha Jones and company... we figured they did this every day, all the time, due to the casual nature of it all. But what they didn't tell us was that this was a highlight reel. This isn't normal mundane life, this is scheduled, planned, and requires effort. The casual nature and conversations that happen between these people, reflect on how close they are as friends, despite how far away they live or how infrequently they see each other. 

What I neglected from my narrative of my parents life was that my dad travelled for work most weeks of every month. That moment that I witnessed, and figured was common, they fought hard for it. It was a moment that was rare and valued, and they aren't easy to get. The casual banter, knowing when to make another drink, are a result of years of making time for each other. 

The effortless moments I thought about as a kid, teen, young adult... they're not effortless. It's fucking hard. You have to make moments happen, and when you stack up all of those hard earned moments, you have mundane silly conversations to recall. You have a comfortable relationship to fall into that is anything but mundane.

It's no wonder I always prioritized 'mundane moments' in my life, because to me they were memories. A memory I cherished and hope to enjoy myself. I just didn't realize how hard it would be to create those. 

Everything is global now, including my closest friends. I have to make moments happen with them. I hope to make so many moments, that eventually they will become mundane to us. But until then... Trips to New York, trips to LA, a movie night, a walk to the corner store. It's not as easy as I thought it would be, but it makes it far more valuable. 

So, at the end of the day, I'll hop on a plane, and fly across the country, to experience my friend missing the subway I'm on by a millisecond, because of a sketchy looking dude. The mundane moment we finally reconnect on a 100 degree day sweating and laughing. Reminder - we both flew hours to get to the biggest city in the world, and this turns out to be the moment I won't forget. 

At the end of the day, I'll go to a movie that I'm dying to see 2 weeks after it's released just to make sure it's with the person I want.

At the end of the day, I'll coordinate a trip with all my friends where none of us live, and remember playing chess by the pool and buying hundreds of dollars of In N' Out late at night. Surely we could have done these things anywhere, but we needed to be together to make it happen. 

At the end of the day, what makes something memorable is who you do it with. No matter how frequent or how far. That relationship you have with people is what brings that sense of comfort, that sought after repetition, ease, mundane, and effortlessness. 

Don't forget to put effort to get these effortless moments. The lengths you take to make them happen will be overshadowed by ease and comfort they bring you. If you invest enough in your friends, in your family - these rare mundane moments, will become less rare, and will always be memorable. 

Thank you to my friends for making the mundane, not only memorable, but possible. - The Undomesticated 

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