I came across this video a couple weeks ago, and it’s given me much food for thought since. And now that we’ve arrived at the Canadian Thanksgiving holiday weekend, I thought it’d be a great thing to post in the spirit of the holiday.
So as you get ready for the time spent with family and friends, perhaps over a large feast of sorts, if you have time, check out this video. And for those of you not residing in Canada, it’s still a fantastic video carrying a great message and reminder of a special thing that carries a lucky byproduct: happiness.
I won’t say too much more. Just watch the video.
Happy Canadian Thanksgiving, everybody.
“It’s snowing still,” said Eeyore gloomily.
“So it is.”
“Yes,” said Eeyore. “However,” he said, brightening up a little, “we haven’t had an earthquake lately.”
― A.A. Milne
We’ve all had those times when we feel at our limit. We’re not able to keep up, and the smallest things trigger feelings of frustration or anxiety. At times like these, it can be difficult to find the lighter side of life; and even with the knowledge that all things must come to an end, no solace or comfort is felt. Sometimes, it feels that there really is no rest for the weary.
Gavin Aung Than had always found his greatest inspiration and influence from Bill Watterson, the creator of Calvin & Hobbes. Although Watterson retired more than ten years ago in 1995, when Gavin was still young, in the years that followed, Gavin began to immerse himself in the world Watterson had created and still draws inspiration from his favourite comics. Recently, Gavin took words from Watterson’s 1990 commencement speech to Kenyon College and brought them to life in a comic done in a style that mimics Calvin & Hobbes, as a tribute.
Watterson’s words themselves are thought provoking and inspiring – particularly for anyone in the process of figuring out the famous “what do I want to be when I grow up” and carving a niche out for themselves… So, most of us? The journey of self reflection and the pursuit of meaningful work certainly doesn’t stop after landing the first job and starting a career post-graduation. Usually, it’s only the beginning, and Watterson’s words reflect that.
Gavin’s tribute is beautiful. And it seems the world and old fans of Calvin & Hobbes think so too. The comic has since gone viral and been shared globally. It isn’t available in print, as it would go against Watterson’s own principles around licensing. However, you can see more of Gavin’s art and read about his tribute on his blog at Zen Pencils.
Along with the buy ban, I’ve been focused on the concept of simplicity lately. The serene, nature-filled days of Tulum brought on a lot of thought and inspiration since returning home around how much more simply I could be living… and how much more space I could be creating in my life for new ideas, new inspiration, new activities… new priorities.
It was hard not to notice the sharp contrast between worlds. Of course things will always be very different on a vacation when compared with every day living. However, there was something about getting power from the sun, water from the rain, getting up with the sun, and getting in tuned with the moon and tidal patterns that are invigorating and pure. Life in the city means a whole other world of thought, decision-making, and priorities. The constant barrage of noise, cues of what’s important, things to buy, and conflicting things competing for your attention and time.
Coming back, I wanted to simplify and maintain some semblance of the connection I felt while I was away to nature, the natural cycles and rhythms of nature, and more space for more inspired thought.
All very conceptual and abstract, so naturally, the first place I started was… my closet.
Why the closet. I see it as a material symbol of how much clutter I have in my life. It’s also something I have to see and make decisions about daily. As a physical, tangible thing, I felt it would be worth attacking as a step towards the larger effort to simplify. Not a shelf, rail, or drawer was left untouched. On average, I purged a third to half of what I had, and the result has been incredibly liberating and eye-opening. I simply haven’t needed all these things – but better yet, someone else may have use for it. So the bag of clothes and other accessories are going to a Mennonite-run clothing drop-off location, whereas I have more space already.