Unless you’ve been hiding under a bushel for the last few months, then you may have heard the hype surrounding Squid Games, Korea’s equivalent to the dystopian Hunger Games trilogy.
For the first twenty minutes, I had to stop myself from crawling into the screen and strangling the protagonist.
If you watch it, you’ll understand what I mean; the main character is a complete loser; factor in the overdubbing, which can never match the timing in Korean, and you’d be right in thinking that twenty minutes was probably overdoing it.
But if you find yourself at a loose end, watch it and stick with the first episode as it is worth the tension and the protracted hype.
But while this week’s post is not sharing the merits of a T.V. program but rather what I experienced by watching it.
I won’t share or spoil the plot, but a twist of fate and a solid moral tale runs through the series.
And so the idea for this weeks sound bite was born.
I was a teenager of the 80s.
Everything was big, from music, films, hair, T.V. programmes (remember Dallas and Dynasty).
I loved the time because it depicted everything I wanted in life – the big house, the car, the career and of course, the husband.
Think Working Girl, Bonfire of the Vanities and Wall Street.
All were blazing films designed to make a statement selling sex, money and greed.
“Greed is good,” Michael Douglas said in Wall Street.
While I secretly coveted the big way of life, my own life didn’t quite follow the path I had planned (whose does?); undulating between jobs and boyfriends and living for the moment was my incantation.
Step forward to my mid-fifties, and life is different, and I want small scale.
Recent global and national events have made me reassess my way of living. The potency of what is going on in the world is ineludible.
The constant distractions followed by a holiday in Spain have made me appreciate the little things.
Is this as good as it gets?
As the world has become a smaller place with accessibility on tap, have we stopped appreciating the nuances of life?
There’s so much choice, so many variables and constant push notifications.
I find myself oscillating between apathy, struggling to see the point of working and self-flagellation about feeling the way I do that my head feels like it’s going to detonate.
My life is busy, packed with additional work I’ve taken on that I almost resent compared to the holiday downtime.
All of which brought into sharp focus the essential things.
I enjoyed the simplicity of not exercising. Instead, yoga and walking were my anchors.
Watching the local Spanish people enjoy the simple things like eating local seafood, drinking local wines and sharing stories made me realise that it is a misconception to think we want or need more.
We don’t need endless variety and choices to have a life full of adventure and meaning.
The locals live a small-scaled back life. I know that might sound condescending, but their life from observation makes sense.
They have a purpose and a reason to get up in the morning. They don’t have vast amounts of money, so the choice is limited, which means they can focus on what matters to them.
Some locals I spoke to have never travelled further than the city boundary; they prefer a more simple and scaled back life to city living.
And I can’t say I blame them.
Not once did I miss the T.V., preferring a book or listening to music, talking with my husband and drinking a glass of local white wine.
Here are my recent affirmations for changes to scale back my own life
I am focussing on what I have and appreciate it more.
I am making time to listen to natures song and study what is around me by being outside more.
I am doing my best to distinguish between what I want and what I need. We all want that nice watch but do we need it?
I am taking the time to congratulate myself for all the things I’ve achieved this year, from a job well done during my daily work to household chores, rather than criticising myself for not having done enough.
I am making time for sketching and writing by carving out some time during the week and making it mine.
I have chosen my environment and no longer feel compelled to be someone other than myself.
External distractions like social media aren’t necessary because my life is full of the things I’ve chosen and not what the world dictates I must have.
And as Oprah Winfrey says in true imitable style: I’m a firm believer that whatever you focus on grows – especially feelings and thoughts.