It's been some time since I've sat down and did a free flowing thought piece. I do have a lot on my mind these days...
A hobby like traditional wet shaving is unique in many ways. Occasionally a person will have a hobby that impacts their daily lives but usually not. Hobbies are more often escapes, something to occupy your time and mind when not working or taking care of home and business. Some would view a person who spends a lot of time and money in a hobby as being wasteful and unproductive. I can see this point of view having been raised by a very frugal child of the depression era. Yet in our modern world we do have quite a bit of free time although our fast paced lifestyles seems to argue the opposite.
It wasn't until the passing of my wife recently that I have come to realize just how much unfilled time a person can have, even when meeting yourself coming back taking care of business day after day. Even between the daily chores and the work deadlines, answering emails, text messages and phone calls there are countless moments that must be filled. A few seconds here and a minute or two there doesn't seem like an issue or really much of a problem in the total scope of things, but it isn't until you have had a life changing event that scrambles every aspect of your previously grooved and familiar lifestyle that those random moments rise to a level of conscious awareness.
I think before those moments would have been filled with thoughts about shaving...my passionate hobby. I would reflect on the past shave, the products used, how they performed, what different combination I would try next...stuff like that filled many of those free gaps in my day. Of course sometimes there would be thrown in the other things of life like...remember to pick up a carton of milk on the way home tonight...the car needs an oil change...I need to make that dentist appointment.
I suppose over the past months I have truly been fighting depression from setting in, which I suppose is a normal and expected situation. I've found myself not thinking as much about my shaving hobby in one sense. Occasionally I have ventured onto the various product producer's websites and binge purchased many things I would not have normally purchased. Again, I guess this has been a form of "shopping therapy" and is another mechanism we use to fight boredom, pain and depression. How can we help it when our lives are constantly bombarded with advertisements and marketing that tells us the only way to be happy and satisfied is by possessing something we currently don't have and according to the advertisements they are just the thing that will bring peace of mind and contentment. They lie!!!
Those of you who suffer from the various AD's (acquisition disorders) like I have been lately would be well advised to dig a bit deeper to discover possibly why the "acquiring" of "things" has been so difficult to resist. I'm not saying that the "collecting" behaviors intricate to an acquisition disorder is necessarily a bad thing. It can be beneficial in many ways...if you can master and control it and understand the "why's" behind it. I understand most of my reasons for my recent acquiring behaviors and it does sooth some of my life transition anguishes.
I guess the stimulus for this article is coming from my recent thoughts the past couple of days. Many times I have pondered "what does the future hold" and "how will my life return to a happy normal?" I have examined the contacts I have with people on a daily basis lately. I have more interactions and communications with family now on a daily basis. Of course living with only teenagers doesn't help since they are generally so self absorbed and narcissistic I often feel invisible unless it's as a source of money or transportation. I have hundreds of people viewing my videos and reading my blog every day. I answer questions and messages frequently. I read, respond and post messages on Facebook regularly. Friends message me and we chat. I meet friends for lunch or an occasional cup of coffee or drink far more often than I used to, nevertheless none of this seems to remove those random empty moments of loneliness that now usually carries a sting that they didn't before.
I am a connected person. I am connected in so many ways to so many people yet without that single significant personal connection with that someone we call a spouse, partner, companion, lover, or best friend there is a hole that nothing else can fill. I am a spiritual person and have a strong faith and personal relationship with my Creator. Prayer and meditation helps but it isn't a cure all. Human beings I think are designed and purposed to have that one Adam or Eve that will make them truly whole as a person. I look at the divorce rates in our world today and it makes me very sad. I wonder how often people separate and divorce needlessly and for all the wrong reasons. We live in a throw away society and are conditioned to believe that nothing lasts forever and few things are of enough value to preserve for tomorrow. I fight that kind of propaganda and I guess it's the reason why I cherish and value vintage shaving equipment as much as I do. There are things and relationships worth maintaining, restoring, and preserving for the future.
At the core I'm a very impatient person. When I want or need something I don't like waiting for it. I guess that is one of my major weaknesses. The saying "all good things come to those who wait" has never been a soothing phrase to me. Yet in so many situations I have been patient and I have "delayed" seeking immediate gratification. So often I have resisted pulling the trigger on a new shaving product and a few weeks or months later been happy to discover another similar product that fits my needs better. There have been other times that I did pull the trigger and on initial impression been disappointed but in time discovered to appreciate the initially unsatisfactory item in ways I hadn't previously known. Patience is a blessing if you can learn to fill those crazy random moments of anxiety, pain and numbing loneliness in between all the other moments that take up the business of life.
Bottom line: My advice to you who have a spouse, best friend, companion and partner...take the time to cherish them a little more tomorrow than you have today. If your relationship isn't as good as you would like it to be, take the time and make the effort to improve it. If you are like me and currently without that special someone in your life, try and be patient. Try and be happy even in your moments of loneliness as I am striving to do. All of you continue to enjoy this great hobby we have and enjoy and cherish the happiness that can be obtained through traditional wet shaving. Just don't let your passion for the hobby harm those things that are really important in your lives, like your spouse, partner, best friend or family. Don't let your hobby try and fill the voids in your life. But especially if you are currently without that special someone in your life, because it will fall terribly short. Instead cultivate patience, peace of mind, and hope. It's a challenge, but I'm trying.
Good Shaves, Be Happy, Be Safe