For a moment I was feeling disappointed that I hadn’t come up with any simple theme for the photos I’ve been posting this week. (I don’t know if anyone even noticed them, but the matching sets of red and blue and crafty ideas and so on were making me more comfortable.) I got to thinking about the ways I use gimmicks like that whenever I make things, as a way to add automatic value to whatever I produce. Obvious extra effort. If nothing else, the project will look like a lot of work, which is impressive in certain ways, by default. I’m trying to stop doing that automatically and cut to the chase more. Be more honest instead of more impressive. Probably every adult thinks about this at least a little bit, in some context. I thought I was doing alright with this personal growth project, but then at a festive feast with my extended family, a cousin’s friend commented that I seemed well read. That’s probably my number one trying-to-impress-you habit, being smart. It’s complicated, because I do like to learn things and I do like to share what I find out and not hoard it, but if I want to be your friend I will almost surely start telling you a lot of fanciful trivia related by a larger theme instead of, for example, asking you to tell me about things you seem to know that I don’t. Reading about DIY education is helping me work on this. It makes nonconsensual teaching really, really embarrassing.
So. As my early morning mind-map hopefully explains, I was all set to embrace the non-patterned nature of my really low-effort holiday posts. Then I got to thinking about how much I love the way the last week of the calendar year can get divorced from daily reality and kind of out of time. Students and lots of workers are on holiday from their regular schedules, you never know when shops are going to be open, many households have visitors or go visiting, a lot of people eat really strangely… Regular patterns don’t hold. It reminds me of an ancient Roman intercalary festival that I can’t remember the name of. So now of course, that’s my theme for this week’s little photos. Intercalary disorder. I think this sort of doubly violates my goal of not acting so impressive.