Fun amidst the Funk: What we can learn about “someday” from books

When “someday” rolls around, we will have time to read all the books and volunteer at all the places while it will be easy to cope with jerks in the checkout line and our dogs won’t leave us presents in random places around the house. Our spiritual lives will be neatly sorted and perfect. We’ll work out enough that we can subsist off chocolate while having killer abs and be able to quit the daily grind, so on and so forth.

Some people expect “someday” to be at graduation, when they land the dream job, start a family, move, retire, or any other milestone. But it doesn’t work like that.

If you stand around waiting for “someday,” you’ll miss all the stuff that could happen right now. The truth is, things are never going to be perfect. No matter how good your life gets, there will always be snags and complications and inconveniences, but it’s okay.

Because I am me, I can’t help but think literature offers the best example of this concept. Harry was being hunted by Voldemort for literally his entire time at Hogwarts, but that didn’t stop him from having the time of his life. The Pevensie siblings were thrust into a civil war involving a psychotic witch with a penchant for geomancy, but they had an adventure like no other. Éowyn was literally trying to commit suicide after Aragorn rejected her, but she ended up meeting the love of her life. Eragon was fighting an all-powerful despot and lost everything, but during that time, he also gained a host of dear friends.

The point is, you don’t need to wait for “someday.” There are going to be bumps and potholes along the road, but it’s possible to enjoy life in the here and now. In short, work hard for the future, but remember that you can only live in the present.

Lessons from Greek Mythology: A little party might kill everybody

I have never been one for parties or clubbing (a noisy room full of sweaty strangers, who wouldn’t love that?), but apparently that is what people my age are expected to do. Nonetheless, I am a reader and as Edgar Allen Poe (The Masque of the Red Death) and Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet) taught us, such gatherings are dangerous things. But perhaps the hazards are not so perfectly illustrated outside of Greek mythology. Seriously, it was a wonder people kept going to these things.

The Trojans learned the hard way.

They thought they had just won a long and laborious war that had lasted over a decade. As far as they knew, their enemies had run away and left this big wooden horse as an offering, so what did they do? They threw a huge shindig, got plastered, and while they were all passed out, Greeks climbed out of the wooden horse and opened the gates, letting in more Greeks who killed/imprisoned them all.

And Andromeda’s old flame…and all his buddies.

There was this bloke, Phineus, who was engaged to Andromeda before she was bound to the rock and left out for the sea monster and so on and so forth. When Phineus heard that Andromeda was now supposed to be married to Perseus—who had rescued her from aforementioned sea monster—he was a little upset.

Therefore, Phineus barged into the wedding feast with a gaggle of his friends and a whole bunch of swords to claim the princess. Needless to say, Perseus was not particularly pleased about this. After a bit of bashing each other around, Perseus got sick of fighting and uncovered the head of Medusa, turning Phineus and his friends into stone.

Not to mention the suitors of Penelope.

Firstly, if a woman puts you off for close to two decades, I think it’s safe to say she’s not all that into you. In any event, these creeps hung around the apparently dead Odysseus’ house, waiting for Penelope to pick a new husband.

It was one big feast that went on without end and they started to eat Penelope out of house and home. Then all of a sudden, her wayward husband returns from his seven-year dalliance with a goddess and locks the suitors into the banquet hall while he and his son proceed to kill everyone in the room.

I could go on, but I think I have made my point. Greek stories were not big on morality, but there is one thing they have taught me—no matter what happens, no matter what you do, DON’T GO TO THE PARTY.