Tooned Out

Suburban mommy talks about kicking her online gaming habit.

Location: Redmond, Washington, United States

Just another face in line at the grocery store...

Sunday, July 03, 2005

The Meaning of Life

Today I was really, really, really bored so I googled "the meaning of life." Guess what? Plenty of people think they know the meaning of life. Unfortunately, they mostly disagree with each other. Do I have to read all of the crap that they've written in support of their pet scientific, or pseudo-psychological theory, or particular religious belief to try and deduce which one is right? Ugh. They're probably all at least partly wrong anyway. Man, I never had time to worry about this kind of stuff when I was addicted to my online game.

What got me going was seeing Chekhov's "Three Sisters" last night. The play is pretty much all about the meaning of life, time, work, boredom, and marriage. That is also pretty much what my thinking is about right now, only in reverse order. There was no easy answer provided by this play either, but you could tell that Chekhov, in his short life, thought about the question a great deal.

Chekhov did seem to value work a great deal which makes sense. Work equals flow which negates boredom. Flow is that pleasant state of absorption that you get when you lose track of time in a task. After you have finished your work and have been in "flow," you are pleasantly tired, physically and mentally. You are receptive to interacting with your loved ones. You have an appetite and savor your meals. It's all good.

Flow is different from the time and life devouring obsession of online games and internet addiction. Flow is temporary and when it's over, it's over. The switch is off and your mind can engage with something else. Obsession means that the switch doesn't ever get turned off. You have to leave the room and hope that if you stay away long enough the bulb will burn out.

What does this have to do with the meaning of life? Well, nothing really. It's just a little nugget of common sense to make living more pleasant and maybe even more meaningful. So what is the meaning of life? I've no idea. Go figure it out for yourself, but don't bother with the internet, I've already looked and it's not there.