I found happiness once

Years ago, I found happiness and actually had it hang around for six months or so.

Like actual happiness, I would wake up at peace and look forward to my days, there was joy every day of the week. I slept well at night and honestly can’t remember anything wrong happening at that point in my life.

It’s taken me 11 years to figure out what it was that made me so happy. Yes I had quite my job to chase my dreams to be an artist, and I got up when I was rested and wasn’t governed by clocks, or any other societal norms.

Over the years I tried and failed miserably to recreate that situation in a more stable and financially stable manner, and be truly happy again.

But I’ve come to realize that the art was a byproduct of what was actually making me happy.

I did art in a park downtown and there was always a stream of people that paraded by. In that stream there would be a random that would plop themselves down on my painting blanket and let me listen to them.

They would share a piece of life with me and I would actively listen to them and cultivate this spark, and as the conversation unfolded somehow one of the paintings I was working on would come to life. It would evolve from a bunch of colours and lines into something tangibly interesting.

I was happy because I had a fluid audience to listen to and communities with. Each fleeting micro-relationship special and entirely unique. And I thrived on experiencing the beauty and mutual vulnerability of it all. It was raw, natural and didn’t follow most social rules.

I had women and men alike, people in poverty and Versace wearers, Bikers  (yes leathers and Harleys) and the most prim and proper devout religious individuals. All hanging out on my little painting blanket, sharing life and just existing as they actually were… deep down inside, without judgement or criticism.

Obviously this lifestyle probably wouldn’t make most people happy, but it was perfect for me at that point, and I wonder if I can find a way to incorporate it back into my life now.

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Embracing the singularity

I had a discussion with my mother in law today about my children’s future.

As it stands, providing we don’t blow ourselves up, most jobs will be gone within 25 years.

How does a parent prepare their children for that? There will be technology and activities that are past our wildest dreams on the horizon and interconnectivity that will be nearly or certainly impossible to completely shut off.

The fundamental framework already exists and the change is inevitable.

My mother in law is in her late sixties and has three PhDs and feels that the kids will be able to get menial work, and I let her know that those jobs will be some of the first to go.

She balked.

We are making ourselves obsolete and what then? This discussion has been rampant in amongst my friends on Facebook, and there really are no good answers.

Best case, we become a Marxist technocratic non consumer society, filled with transhumans. Worst case we get overzealous or elect a bad few leaders that blow us up.

I would assume that we are headed somewhere in between for the short term.

That being said, I’m also looking for employment that I can do at home instead of paying for childcare and using almost and entire paycheque to do so.

I mentioned that to her as well and told her what I needed to do in order to keep up with the changes to business. Everything is cloud and app based, remote collaboration being a major shift in how many projects are being handled and that pay might not be coming from Canada. 

She tried to play it down saying that I should be looking locally, and I told her that this is where the workforce is changing. There are less and less borders and I would also have to educate myself in taxation abroad if I got hired elsewhere.

She really had a lot of difficulty digesting it. I don’t blame her. Her chosen career hasn’t changed much in several decades but if she knew what was on the horizon.. if she knew that it is likely to be completely automated, I wonder what she would think.

My spouse builds custom mansions, in 25 years his skills won’t be necessary. It will be printed or poured by machines, and he isn’t very technologically savvy. Where does that leave him?

I suppose I’ll be the breadwinner providing that I can adapt and keep up. If not, I don’t know.

I’m not great at programming, but I can merge concepts and do basic architecture for those concepts, is that a possible venture for the short term?

So many questions and not enough time.