You can never go back, so let’s keep it moving

The Jumpstack: Birthday Edition

Good afternoon and welcome to the birthday edition of The Jumpstack. I’m your host, a newly-minted 38-year-old woman who’s only slightly disappointed that she won’t spend her birthday at the community pool because of the thunderstorms. Now, let’s Jumpstack!

Punch-drunk love

Here’s a well-known secret: my followers on Twitter are what makes Twitter worthwhile. This random musing brought forth such alcohol-laced horrors that I can’t help but share them with you. There are three basic recipe categories in which the previously juvenile delinquents concocted their drinks.

The first is the “All-In”:

The second is the “Mixed Drinks of Mayhem”:

And the third can only be described as “Thinly-Veiled Hazing”:

I love my followers, and am only slightly afraid of them—because my Dr. McGillicuddy’s Peach Schnapps and Coca-Cola mistakes of youth pale in comparison.

This used to be my playground

Children’s Village is a lost playground that I’ve mourned since my son was born. It was wild and chaotic, one of those places where you worried but also secretly hoped you’d get separated from your class and lost among the forest of punching bags.

Nick Hune-Brown’s article on the now-lost village and its mysterious designer is a must-read on the forces that changed the playground and the amusement park over the decades: from empty lots strewn with nails and boards, to soft wood-chip planters and plastic climbers with no hard edges.

There was something thrilling about the idea of a place where adults couldn’t see you all the time and were loathe to enter, leaving decisions of safety and society to the 30-50 feral children that would race into the village every 3-5 minutes:

Here, at last, was a place that had been built specifically for you and then left to your dominion. There were no parents to help you in the chaos of the punching bags. Exactly how you chose to scramble your brain flinging yourself between the giant vertical rubber bands was your business. The place was yours. It was your village.

The weather, underground

From lost playgrounds to lost civilizations, there are forces out of our control that help determine which places full of the sounds of laughter will turn to tears, or to silence. Kate Marvel’s piece on how a previous round of climate change shook societies around the world is not to be missed.

We humans are not passively dragged along by temperatures and rainfall patterns. Climate change did not cause the fall of Cahokia any more than it forced northern Europeans to eat their pets and abandon their children. But the adversity brought by climate change caused societies to break apart, magnified pre-existing divisions, and made desperate people easy prey for dangerous people.

OK Go already addressed this

This article addresses the concept of happiness and how it is separate from the concept of satisfaction, despite how we often confuse these ideas:

The fleeting feelings of happiness, though, don’t add up to life satisfaction. Looking back, a person who has had many happy moments may not feel pleased on the whole. The key here is memory. Satisfaction is retrospective. Happiness occurs in real time.

If happiness is in the moment, and satisfaction after, then we should strive for the balance of contentment, which is a state of satisfaction with the ability to experience moments of happiness. We must allow for ourselves periods of being unsatisfied and unhappy, for that provides up the opportunity to review the circumstances and create positive change (within ourselves or the world at large) as well as appreciate the small joys that surround us. If the key to satisfaction is being able to enjoy and appreciate happiness for what it is, then the key to contentment is being able to enjoy and appreciate what satisfaction is.

I’ll hand it off to OK Go, because it’s my birthday, I love marching bands, and I said so:

And that’s it for the weekly smoke break with your work wife. If you liked it, how about hitting that heart below and sharing it with your friends? I’ll take it as a birthday present.