Wow, I had a busy Memorial Day Weekend. The campground I host was packed with about 100 people. Most of which were children. To make matters worse the pool was still closed Friday because of broken tiles, our west end bathroom is broken because someone found a broken fire hydrant and decided it would be easier to pave over it and now there’s a sink hole (then my predecessor forgot to drain the water heater in the winter and that blew up), the east end bathrooms were closed because the men’s room toilet was broken and the showers were filled with bat droppings, most of the picnic tables were still in storage and I can’t operate a front end loader (at least not without fatalities) to haul them out, and I was the only one working here because… yeah, why is that? I like my bosses and co-workers here, but on the busiest day of the whole year for our business everyone went missing and left me holding the check. Also, I’m still really bad about keeping track of all the used spaces because of a combination of inexperience (first busy time here) and incurable incompetence.
So I spent my week getting yelled at. Strange fact, yelling at me for an hour does not give me the knowledge, skill and materials to build a new bathroom and connect it to the plumbing system. I’m the host, security guard and fee collector. I’m not the architect, the treasurer, the director, the maintenance guy, the janitor, or anything else. I swear, if I ever get sick of this place and leave, they could replace me with a brick with googly eyes hot glued to it so people have something to yell at.
I do love this job though and my bosses seem happy with my extreme tolerance for verbal abuse. Of my two jobs (medical transcription and campground), hosting is my least stressful. Part of the reason I’ve been effective in this job is that people who break the rules get bounced, but if someone just gets angry I let them stomp their feet and get it out of their system like a 3-year-old. The trick is not to get angry. Let it wash over you. People who get angry easily expect you to get upset too. They want escalation. They are nourished by drama. Give them none and like an internet troll it withers and retreats.
I’ve become quite convinced in recent years that maturity is an illusion. Kids get taller, but they never grow up. Most of what people call maturity is nothing more than buying into the trappings of their society. Maturity is drinking the Cool-Aid.
I’ve occasionally been told that I’m too immature because of my somewhat nerdy ways. All my closest friends are on the internet spread out over the country. Video games take up a decent amount of my schedule. I’m a major sci-fi fan. Now luckily all these things have become a little more mainstream, but admittedly I was doing them when they were expressly uncool. But every now and then a well-meaning totalitarian (all totalitarians mean well) will say that I need to settle down, start a family, get a mortgage and more “adult” hobbies. Even the service that I use to watch my credit report advises me that my bad credit might look better if I had a mortgage on there. So, because right now I owe too much, one possible solution would be to owe more vast sums of money. Got to spend money to… pretend you have more money… that just makes too much sense.
The odd thing about these sources of advice is that they are rarely from people I would want to emulate. As far as my maturity goes, I’ve been taking care of my mom since she had a stroke when I was 17, I’ve got two full-time jobs, I pay my taxes, and I don’t drink, smoke or do drugs. None of these things is special and I have it a lot easier than literally billions of other people on this planet. Nonetheless, I see maturity simply as doing what is necessary. I see no reason to actively seek out more responsibilities and burdens as people recommend. I do what I have to do when it has to be done.
As far as correlation between hobbies and maturity, that’s a dubious proposition. Immature hobbies: Video games, comic books, anything in the sci-fi or fantasy genres, table top or collectable card games, etc. Mature hobbies: Getting drunk, watching cars drive around in circles on television, casual sex with someone you just met while getting drunk, clubbing (X and glow sticks optional), tracking down and sniping defenseless animals when you aren’t hungry, having a car propped up on blocks on your front lawn that you promise to fix up one day, any game that involves physically conveying balls from one arbitrary area to another to gain imaginary points.
Every human being needs to have fun to distract themselves from the hardships of life. In fact, I recommend that you pack every second you’re not working with as much fun as you can, because time goes fast and no one ever died regretting how little time they spent working. The problem is that it’s really easy for all of us to judge other people’s sense of fun. The things we do to unwind have no point. The most entertaining things in life are mental constructs. Art and entertainment are necessities without ever having a purpose. The more you enjoy your life the better a person you’ll be. If you don’t, you’ll end up one of those people telling everyone what they should be doing instead because you need them to validate your life.
I meet way too many people who plan to enjoy their lives once they retire or after they’ve achieved some goal. First, there’s no guarantee that you’ll get there. The best laid plans can go to ruin at a moment’s notice and the strongest foundations can fall into a sink hole because someone paved over a broken fire hydrant. Or you could shot by a drunken Nascar watching hunter who mistook you for a deer because you decided to wear brown that day. Finally, once you retire, the best years of your life could be behind you. Nothing wrong with working hard or planning for the future, just make sure you’re living in the present too and, equally important, make sure you’re doing what you love to do no matter what others think. As long as it’s not hurting anybody, it’s no one else’s business.
Entertainment and art isn’t good or bad. It’s all about individual tastes.