Saturday, August 01, 2009

Midsummer Update

canoe-dusk
Man, just like that, it's August. The updates have been few and far between, so this is a grab-bag:
  • Great start to the weekend with brother Mark and his friend Roel from NYC -- they hit wineries with Tannis Friday afternoon, and we ended up at the lake both days. Fun and mellow.
  • The heat has been intense...mostly mid-to-high 30s with one day of thunderstorm rains about a week ago. Smoky sunsets, long evening swims, nightly picnics at the beaches where our crew congregates, fresh cherries and peaches, a happier toddler, ice cream and cold beverages -- these are the things that define the past month.
  • Old friend Chris Eidse posted a photo of a recent mountain biking excursion in which he was rocking an older fully-rigid bike, which reminded me of the incredible ride I had on a similar 1992 Kona Explosif a couple of weeks ago. 10 pounds lighter than my usual bike, it felt like a rocket on the climbs and flats, and the descents were so challenging because of the high-stakes line selections and omnipresent fear -- every root and rock is a legitimate obstacle! Of course this appeals to my Luddite sensibilities.
  • Recent movies watched: The Simpsons (decent, but really just an extended episode), Amadeus (amazing film, funny and intense) and The Squid and the Whale (incredible...I haven't stopped thinking about it since).
  • I've been reading The Hobbit to the girls as a bedtime story over the past week or so -- they're so into it!
  • Ivy did a drawing class all week, and Ella had Irish dance classes every day.
  • I've spent a lot of time working on a new viola piece that's coming along well. Tannis got an early preview, but it's not quite ready for prime time.
  • Online bits that caught my attention this week: Think having children will make you happy? and a fascinating story Andrew recommended about a famous violinist busking anonymously in a subway.
  • I've been ignoring the orchards, but got a few shots this week: diagonal ridges, looking down on rows from the trestle, and perfectly bushy rows.


apple-orchard

ivy3

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I like your link on "think having children will make you happy?". How did you come across this article, a google search perhaps? haha.

As soon as I opened the link, I wondered if they would reference Daniel Gilberts "Stumbling on Happiness" theories. His ideas that the "children bring happiness" mentality propagates through generations better than "children bring misery" due to his super-replicator theory is intriguing, and often used througout his book.

A sobering read for sure, and to be honest, one that I battle with daily (actually - hourly) during this horrific terrible two's phase.

Greg S.

Jules at 7-Imp said...

Yeah. I'm with you. Where has the year gone?

Thanks for the link. And photos, as always.

Jeremy said...

Thanks for the comment (and the call the other night), Greg. I subscribe to a handful of psychology blogs, and that link popped up in one -- it doesn't extend much beyond Gilbert's work, but I liked the summary. Glad you're still stewing on Stumbling on Happiness...I still think of it often.

The original article was actually taking the other angle, based on some newer research. The researchers found that parents tend to report very low levels of "pleasure" or in-the-moment happiness, but when they talk about a sense purpose and longer-term rewards, it sort of balances out. To me, that was nothing new, because it's pretty obvious that most parents believe that their kids are extremely important and that parenting will be rewarding in the long term. It's just not much fun in the process, apparently.

This rings true for me, and I'm seeing more rewards as the kids get older...and there is lots of happiness, but is my overall life more pleasurable right now with kids compared to a life without? No. Doesn't mean I'd trade them in, it's just that much of the time, in the moment, I'd rather be doing something else -- not much different from my job, really, just way more important in the bigger scheme of things. It makes me think that the problem is the expectation that parenting should make us happy...most of that don't expect that from our jobs.

Jeremy said...

Thanks for the note, Jules. We've had plenty of summer already, so I don't know why it feels like it's going so very fast...