I get a lot of email from people asking for advice. I don’t always have time to respond, but when I do, I like to remind them that the only reason I can offer any advice is that I’ve lived through so many of my own mistakes. In the coming weeks, I’m going to start putting out a series of short videos to answer some of the most common questions that I receive. I already have dozens of questions to choose from, but if you have a question that you think might be applicable to others, be sure to drop me an email. If I end up using some portion of your question, I won’t include personally identifiable details. I don’t know when the first video will go live, but I’ll be in the studio working on them.
Modern culture disturbs me. Sane lives are mocked and insane ideas are celebrated. I just read a story about a woman in England who “married herself” in 2015. A man had chosen another woman over her, so her response was to show everybody that she had no need for a partner — and she had a “wedding” with a dozen bridesmaids and they all danced around in the street as she “married herself,” with some guy dressed like a high-church priest. Nothing says, “I didn’t really need you,” like this sort of bizarre exhibition, huh? The woman then wrote a novel about a woman who married herself. None of this will affect me, of course. We’ve always had iconoclasts. I’m a bit of one myself. But it seems as though modern culture has become one huge freak show — and it seems unhealthy.
When I was a child, one of the highlights of my year was getting the Sears Christmas Wish Book. For about six weeks before Christmas, my sisters and I would go through that catalog over and over again, choosing exactly what we wanted and marking our top choices.
I remember wanting walkie-talkies and chemistry sets and electronics kits, among other things. There were always things I hoped for. Some years, I even got what I wanted.
Did I enjoy the gifts I got? Very much. I have fond memories of playing with other kids in the neighborhood with my walkie-talkies. I fascinated myself for many hours as I learned about electronics. And I joyfully mixed up disgusting things with my chemistry set. (I tried to dye the hair of one of my sister’s dolls, but I somehow turned the plastic hair green. Ooops.)
As much as I enjoyed playing with the things I got for Christmas, though, the gifts never matched the excitement and anticipation of looking forward to Christmas. Eventually, I came to understand that having something to look forward to is even more important than the things I have at the moment.