Whimsical Wonderment

“If ever you feel weighed down by the bureaucracy and often mundanity of modern life, don’t fight the frustration – let it be the catalyst for whimsy.” – James Veitch

I go to school. I come home. I work. I eat. I sleep. I go to school. I come home. I work. I eat. I sleep. And I realize that this is life. This is what the real world is like, the endless tedium of repetition. Whenever I look to the future feel weighed down by the fact that life is so often just constant routine, I am reminded of a book I once read titled The Phantom Tollbooth. It is an excellent exploration of education and the meaning behind learning, and allows the reader to take a trip down the lane of the fantastic that will help them in their everyday lives. The main character goes on a trip throughout a world that harkens back to real life while maintaining the ridiculous and the magical, and has experiences in various locations metaphorical of situations he will encounter in his life. One of these experiences that sticks with me more than all of the others is the visit to The Doldrums. There are a bunch of little creatures here called “The Doldrums,” and they are lying around motionless, doing very little, and they try to get the main character to join them by force, and he must escape their clutches and continue his adventure. If there was anything that represented how I often feel about the monotony of life, this is the perfect picture. It is so easy to get caught up in the doldrums and forget that there is adventure around us, and it is a constant fight to remember that every day can be exciting if one makes it exciting. There are many ways we can make the best of the world around us, and instead of seeing the grey, see the color all around us that vibrates and shines if you look close enough.
Each person has a very different perspective on life, and therefore will go about embracing life’s adventures differently. For me, one of the things that I have always loved about myself is that I have the gift of whimsy. The dictionary defines whimsy as “playfully quaint or fanciful behavior or humor,” and this fits my profile rather concretely. I have a rich sense of humor, and the wheels in my mind are constantly spinning. I love the random, the obscure, the odd, and the bizarre. They fascinate me and intrigue me and lead me to imagine. As a child, this came through quite clearly, and though as an adult I don’t necessarily share this whimsy with others, I often open my mind to the whimsical study of the world around me. Taking the normal and transforming it into the abnormal, creating what-ifs and I-wonders. For an example, what if you were going to interview for the position of Monkey Management at a local zoo and your interviewer was a flamingo in a fadora holding a pad of paper with a thick german accent? How would that look, how would you react? My imagination runs wild with different things such as these, filled with whimsical thoughts. That often helps me break free from the mundanity of life, and instead focuses on the fantastic and the bizarre, the abnormal and impossible that an bring a smile to one’s face.
James Veitch, an amusing and quirky inspiration of mine, has given three TED talks on his various experiences with technology and relates it to life in general. In one particular talk, he discussed his struggles with unsubscribing from company’s emails. The quote I opened with is the final line from this talk, and I believe it to be a motto one can live his life by, but one thing that I really got from his speech was his discussion on finding the game. Instead of being bogged down by the difficulty of life, look for something whimsical where some would least expect it, like in an email to a supermarket or a folder full of spam. Whimsy is a gift we all can embrace, just look around your world for something to make you smile. Wherever we go, there is always a trace of whimsical wonderment. We just need to train our eyes to see it. And then, once we do, the doldrums fade and life becomes one adventure after another, a whole world of games and excitement ready to be embraced. So don’t let your life go with the gems of wonderment unnoticed. Allow them to make your life sparkle, and you will see the lives around you beginning to sparkle as well. And in a world of sparkling whimsical wonderers, one cannot help but smile.

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2 thoughts on “Whimsical Wonderment

  1. Hi My Darling Stephen,
    Okay, now I’m confused. I love this post so much that I don’t know which one to publish. I could publish one in May and one next September. You are such a fabulous writer and thinker.
    Love,
    Grandma

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