An ode to my mug, inspired by Daily Post. Happy Valentines’ Day, by the way.
There’s this mug that I bought fairly recently that I favor over all of my other mugs.
It’s a fat white mug with a cute Santa on the side (see above).
Whenever my cupboard is full, I will look for this pretty and simple mug to hold my water, my juice, my milk, my tea, and my coffee.
I bought it myself over winter break! It was very cheap and probably on sale and a purchase that I made on a whim.
It’s quite simple to use. You just put your food or your lotions or your knicknacks in it and it will hold it for you patiently, like the obedient little mug it is.
The rim is wider than most, and thus much easier to clean than other mugs. It does not give me a hard time. While most mugs have a greater height than they do a width, this mug is special. It’s fat and stout and reminds me of Santa Claus himself. This perception leads me to believe that the cup can hold much more than it actually can; it’s potential surpasses that of other common, ordinary mugs.
It’s a versatile mug, yes it is. It can hold whatever you want it to hold. Apple slices, goldfish, marshmallows, and any drink, hot or cold. It can handle anything.
At this point, it’s still new. It doesn’t matter that it’s only come into my life recently. Even though I have other mugs that I’ve had for years and years (decades even), this one stands out. When this mug chips, each exposure of the earthenware underneath will demonstrate how much it’s loved and used.
In reality though, it’s a mug. It’s a mug. IT’S A MUG. IT’S A MUG. It hasn’t changed my life. The day has not come that I wake up, glance at my mug, and decide to be a better person. I just enjoy the presence of the mug. I’ll set it on a table, and instantly the table seems more classy. I’ll feel fancy and warm and happy, holding a warm cup of who-cares.
The bigger picture is that we tend to love things that are not only useful, but something that we ourselves have selected. It makes us feel as though we’ve made the right choice for once, the indirect effects of which can be seen everyday through our serenity.
We all have that one inanimate object that for some indescribable reason sticks with us. It just seems inappropriate to give it a name, as it is not something to have a conversation with, but rather something that just stays with you and gives you silent, unspoken comfort. Like a pet. Or a plant.
Do you have something like that?
(photos pulled from my instagram @catdiggedydog)
If I underestimate you, I put myself at a massive disadvantage. Suppose that I go ahead and underestimate you. I might assume that you’re a loser who will never go places in life because you’re simply NOT GOOD at one aspect of your life. Well that’s just great for me, because one of two possibilities will result:
- You’re going to work your butt off in that one region of life and eventually become really successful at what you do. As in like a lot better than me. As in like, I might not pay attention to the progress you make because I’ve already cast you as a failure who will never achieve anything substantial (in that one certain aspect of life). I tell myself that there’s not a chance that you could ever reach, let alone surpass my level of “success and expertise” for whatever we’re competing for. Perhaps I disregard your ability, and I underestimate you. Grand mistake on my part. I’ve undervalued your determination, your perseverance, and your willpower. And by the time I’ve pulled my face away from the spot on the wall I’ve been staring at much too intently, by the time I’ve taken a step back to evaluate any potential “threats” or “competitors,” it will be too late.
- You’re going to realize that the one aspect of life that we’ve been focusing on isn’t such a significant part of your life, and that you’re probably better at something else for which I am inadequate. It might hold more value in your eyes, so it might just make sense for you to abandon the competition we’ve been maintaining. You might take with you the experience and lessons you’ve learned, so that overall, you are a well rounded person. You are going to instead invest your time and energy into something else and leave me in the dust. Because you know what? That one particular aspect of life doesn’t define who you are, and it certainly doesn’t define your value as a person. If I am foolish enough to think that it does, then that’s just an arbitrary, self-serving assertion made that will only come back to smack me in the face in the future.
Do you know why these things are going to happen? Because I don’t know you as well as you know yourself. I don’t know what you go through, and I certainly don’t know what your life is like. I don’t know your past, present and future, and I don’t know your morals and values. I know, at best, just one side of you, and it’s wrong of me to assume that knowing just one side of you is enough to reflect your entire character, because chances are, it doesn’t.
Assumption leads to stereotype, which only yields generalization and arbitrary misinterpretation.
The moral of the story is: don’t assume unless you have to. It will only end up hurting others and yourself. You have nothing to gain from assuming, so why not just evaluate everyone equally, because nothing positive has ever resulted from underestimation in the past, and it certainly won’t lead to anything good in the future.
At this time next month, we’ll be counting down the seconds until a new year (assuming we live through the 2012 apocalypse scenario). I find that the New Year always brings about so many interesting mood swings and behavioral changes in everyone. Yet, it’s still a bit of a cliché.
Celebrating the new year isn’t simply about toasting with champagne at a lavish, extravagant party, and welcoming the new year with a picture perfect new year’s kiss, is it? Not in my opinion. Of course, I’m still young and I don’t go to those types of parties at this period in my life.
The movie New Years Eve seemed to exaggerate all of these aspects of the cliché, portraying the holiday as a moment that your entire life has led up to, and that if you don’t accomplish your resolutions from last year, then you are a complete and utter failure. On the other hand, look what resulted from Zac Efron and Michelle Pfeiffer’s outstanding acting: an older woman ended the year with a kiss from a devilishly good looking man.
Whether you’re at a block party, in New York City to watch the Big Apple drop, or at home in your PJ’s with your seven cats, New Years seems to represent more of an occasion characterized by mental anticipation. It’s all about the resolutions, the clean slate, the new opportunities, and the bright outlook that nearly everyone starts with.
Even though you might not end up keeping the resolutions you make, it’s still probably important to try. No matter where you end up in terms of your goals, know that you are not alone. Everywhere around you, people are laboring to maintain their resolutions to spend more time with their family, work harder, sleep earlier, get healthier, etc.
On December 27th, your neighborhood gym could be as deserted as the Earth is after the Rapture in Left Behind because no one thinks exercising is a priority and because they are still in a food coma from delicious meals of the holiday break. But I wouldn’t be surprised if on New Years Day, the gym is packed full of people who yield hopeful, new outlooks on life that inevitably fade sooner or later in the year as they realize that they have more arbitrarily- “important” things to do.
However, on New Years Eve, some nostalgic and sentimental people will think back to their elementary school days, where they brought home a list of simple goals for the new year (do my homework, sleep before 9, stop eating candy). This select group of people will inevitably try to rekindle their childhood memories by writing down their resolutions on a paper and taping it to their steering wheel, adhering it to their bathroom mirror, or tacking it onto their bulletin board.
These goals will demonstrate hope and the notion of possibility to not just yourself, but those who care about you. They will be equally inspired by your “firmly established” resolutions, and follow suit with their own personal goals.
In reality, you can and should make resolutions and goals to accomplish whenever you want, at any time of the year. It’s a good idea to do so, because it gives you something to work towards. New Years Eve is simply an established time of year, when you know for certain that you are not alone, because millions of people around the world are probably making the exact same resolutions as you.
I wanted to write this article right around the time of year before exams and major tests generally occur, and before everyone else on the blogosphere starts writing about it, so I thought this moment of time was appropriate.
Thanks for reading; care to share some of your potential New Years Resolutions?
Here are a few of mine:
- Do well in debate
- Push myself through the last few weeks of SAT and ACT successfully
- Exercise more
- Develop this blog into something I can be proud of
Tea gets cold.
A song ends, and a new one starts.
Children grow up.
Paint dries, and
Records are broken,
A pen runs out of ink,
The earth revolves around the sun.
People fall in and out of love,
Opportunities disappear and others open up.
A plant lives
A plant dies.
New ways to save humanity
Go out of style.
Is entirely worthwhile.
Paper turns yellow.
A friendship is formed.
New ways to destroy humanity
Someone grows impatient,
A lightbulb burns out.
Without a doubt.
Priorities are reevaluated.
A body decomposes.
A relationship ends.
I sit alone at Panera Bread on a windy Saturday afternoon. I look up and notice a family of 3 sitting close to me, consisting of a mother and her two young boys. My headphones are in and I’m blasting music but the littlest boy looks over at me every ten seconds and mouths something. I just smile back. He is just so cute. I absolutely love young people.
They’re ignorant and innocent; they know relatively little but are entirely content as long as they have something yummy to eat and a toy to love.
I pull out an earbud and listen to the boy’s voice. The spontaneity astounds me; his voice could be extremely shy at some times, and loud and booming the next. His voice is too underdeveloped and high-pitched to be taken seriously.
I fall in love with kids so easily. It seems like their lives are a million times easier than mine, and that my life is a million times easier than an adult’s. I love thinking back to when I was as young as this boy, and about the things I could easily get upset about…
Kids can get upset about the smallest things, and are concerned with the strangest things.
I love how they look up to their parents as if they were Superman and Wonder Woman.
Their bodies are so small, and I love the way it takes five of their fingers to wrap around one of mine, and the way it takes them ten bites to finish what it could take me three.
I love the wide-eyed look that glazes over their eyes when they look around and try to take in a new environment. I love that the bright-eyed expression doesn’t need to be artificially created through makeup.
It’s sad that the possibility of them never being able to do anything bad eventually fades as they get less innocent and more experienced.
I love the way it’s utterly acceptable and totally adorable when they have food on their faces. I love looking at little kids in their puffy jackets in the winter, with their little feet and little hands.
I love how they start off with a clean slate, soft skin, and perfect vision. Their sense have not yet been impaired by late nights, loud music, and their posture hasn’t been destroyed by slouching in front of a computer screen.
I love the way they don’t really care what they wear, and ask questions in all seriousness that can bring tears of laughter to someone else’s eyes.
I love the way they aren’t ashamed of referring to their parents as “mommy” and “daddy”.
I love the way they stutter and repeat what they say and pronounce words wrong.
I love that they are too short to reach door handles and too young to get samples alone in Costco.
I love how they don’t have a reason to worry about what they eat.
I love little kids. They are so full of hope and possibilities.
At least, that’s the way I think kids should be.
I wish they were all like that.