Something Stupendous: The Overthinking Cycle

I’ve been overthinking these posts. Which is exactly why they’ve stopped coming. I’ve started overanalyzing, over planning, over editing, and generally overthinking every word of every post of every single thing that could possibly be overthunk. This paralyzing overthinking has ground my post production to a halt.

This was brought to my realization by discovering that I could still write a post a day (see this blog) if I just turned the old analytical part of the brain off a tad and let the funtastic words fly. My thesis advisor would be brandishing fruit flies at me for saying such a thing. Sorry Doctor Drosophila but Something Stupendouses are less about my editing and statistic prowess and more about feeling it out.

Of course it’s not quite that easy to turn off the overthinking. However, this has become stupendous. Forget the negative connotations associated with overthinking and really start thinking about it.

That’s right. I want you to overthink overthinking.

Because that’s the point where it all gets stupendous. When the circle loops back around to the origin point and internally combusts in on itself. You realize that you’re overthinking. You start thinking about your overthinking. You overthink the overthinking. You then overthink the fact that you’re overthinking the overthinking. Finally there’s just so much overthinking that you stop overthinking entirely because it’s not possible for the human brain to maintain that level of meta-ness.

Maybe I just really wanted a Charizard on my blog…

And being able to write again? That’s stupendous.

Also anything that feedback loops on itself and then combusts in a sea of Charizard level firewheels is stupendous too. Those are enlightenment moments at their best. 

Something Stupendous: Running With the Microphone

Today I was one of the girls running around handing microphones to everyone who wanted to ask questions in big conference rooms. It was stupendous. Certainly the event itself was great and the fact that people can pose questions is even better, but the ‘mic running’ is the thing that I deem stupendous today.

I’m sure we’ve all experienced that awkward silence, the moment when someone asks for questions and no-one wants to raise their hand. When mic running this feeling of awkwardness has vanished into the night sky, you’re posed to act, determined to never let a question go unheard. Your eyes are ever watching the crowd, trying to catch that hesitant hand in the air and hoping that you won’t miss it and leave someone hanging. A hand goes up and you scoot over, praying that you don’t trip, knowing that the entire room is waiting for you to hurry up and move. You get there, hand over the mic, hoping against hope that you remembered to flick the switch to ‘on’. You try to appear invisible as you stand nearby the questioner, take the mic back, remember to switch it off for fear of everyone hearing you breath.

You fade back into the background until the question is answered and the silence starts all over again.

The whole experience is stupendous. For starters it keeps you engaged in the conversation before you, it makes you feel important (I’ve got the mic, I control the questions) and best of all, there’s a weird feeling of both adrenaline and connection.

The five second rush to get the mic to the correct person is equivalent to a baton-pass sprint and the payoff feels just as good. People appreciate you getting them the microphone, they all quietly thank you, give you a smile. You’ve successfully enabled interaction between employees; you’re ensuring that the issues are heard. Just the fact that we can freely converse with/criticize our government is amazing; the fact that I could facilitate it is stupendous.

Yes, it’s a little thing, but the little things are the most stupendous.

Plus exercise and adrenaline = bonus

The Bus Driver Salute

I’ve spent over a thousand hours on the city bus, that’s not a hyperbole. We’re talking two hours a day, five days a week, for four years. I’ve seen many a bus driver, male, female, old, young, fat, thin, every combination of person that exists and a couple that I’d believe were secretly aliens. But they all do the salute. When one bus passes another bus, the bus drivers salute each other. Always.

I call it a salute. Really, it’s mostly a wave. Sometimes it’s a ‘cool dude finger point’ or a raised hand or a full on ‘hey it’s my long lost friend wave’, but there’s always something. It’s stupendous. Every time I see it I break into a tiny awkward smile because I’m afraid to release the big one that will make all the other passengers thinking I’m a maniacal serial killer (buses have rules about smiling and eye contact).

But the Bus Driver Salute is stupendous because it creates a system of unity amidst severely isolated people. Sure bus drivers seem like their high on the social interaction scale but how many people actually speak to the bus driver? Maybe 20%. And of those how many are nothing more than a ‘hi’ or ‘thanks’. If they get a complete sentence it’s just ‘how do I get to this place?’.

bus driver happyThey don’t have the chitchat cubicle conversations of regular office jobs. They drive their routes and go home, that’s it. So they created the salute. There’s nothing more stupendous than say ‘hey, I acknowledge you, you’re doing a great job, have an awesome day.’

What’s even more stupendous is that this can’t have been an implemented rule. I strongly doubt it’s in the handbook. This was started by a couple of friendly bus drivers who just wanted to wave at everyone and brighten their day. And it grew into something great. Something all encompassing. This isn’t just city buses. It’s Go and Greyhound buses too.

They created their own community and made their own moment of joy because one guy wanted to create smiles with a wave. How is that not stupendous?

Erasers: Real Life’s Undo

What you wanted something big to start us off? Well let me tell you, we are totally starting with something big. Erasers. Such as the ones on the end of pencils. That jazz is thoroughly stupendous to the unquestionable degree. Why?

Because it’s the only undo button that exists in real life. You can draw some kind of symbol that will permanently remain on that scrap of paper and the only thing that will remove it is a pink bit of rubber. That’s it. Your only other option is physical destruction of the paper with bombs. Or eating it. Or a shredder.

The eraser is easier. No physical evidence. No whiteout smears. We love the digital world for its delete and backspace buttons. The eraser is the magic of delete with the practicality of existing in this dimension. Unless you’re a dimension jumper (call me) it’s all you’ve got.

But there’s more to erasers than their erasing power. Eraser shaving collections. I still don’t know why this was a thing but every elementary school kid has saved their eraser shavings in a tiny little box they made out of paper. Then you’d compare with your friends. We use to spend our time erasing nothing, we simply wanted the shavings. Stupendous.

Erasers bounce. That’s right bounce. Drop a pencil eraser first and it springs back into your hand. Drop and eraser and it suddenly becomes a slightly deranged bouncy ball. That’s even better than a normal bouncy ball because of the unpredictability factor. Bouncing is, quite simply, fun. High how can you get the bounce? How quickly? It’s one of those small personal, seemingly pointless triumphs that brings a smile to your face.

Do you really need more? Multiple shapes, multiple sizes, multiple colours. Variety is always good. There are even erasers that erase pen (the verdict is out on actual functionality). They make fabulous, non-lethal office/school projectiles.

But most importantly they’re a reminder that mistakes can be fixed, so don’t freak out. The eraser has your back. That certainly sounds stupendous.

Got anything to erase?

Stay Stupendous

Something Stupendous Starts Again

Boom bam baby we’re back. And by back I of course mean on a new platform where the whole wide world can see inside our tiny corner. Why the change? Because sharing is stupendous. That didn’t surprise any of the old timers. To the new school readers, you’ll get use to it. It’s always stupendous.

EeyoreBecause that’s what we do here. We talk about things that are stupendous. What does that mean? Stupendous – the ever helpful dictionary.com defines it as “causing amazement, marvellous.” It comes from the Latin word stupēre meaning ‘to be stunned or amazed’. When was the last time you were stunned by something?Defined it as awesome and truly meant it? It’s been a while for me.

The initial experiment contained 77 stupendous things and in that time we evolved. Every good thing grows. Nobody likes the stale, old hat side of life. We discovered that there was something stunning in everything.

The stupendous doesn’t come in a big shiny package. There was stupendousness in something as simple as sticky notes or as seemingly awful as paper jams. The stupendousness abounded. So that’s what we became, a place to find the stupendous. To see the silver lining. To find the awesome. To examine the cool.

Pick a phrase. I’m flexible.

I’ve decided to bring it back. There’s been almost a year and a half between the Summer of Stupendous and this post. And in that time I’ve decided that I need a little stupendous in my life. So because I need the smiles and because smiles are contagious…

happiness-can-be-this-simpleBOOM BAM BRING IT ON WE’RE BACK.

I’m going to find stupendous things that occur in the big ball I call life. Last time was daily but just no. Not this time. Sorry. But we’re still going to find the cool stuff that should stun us but we no longer take the time to look at.

I hope you’ll all join me, either by reading along or by looking for the stupendous in the ordinary of your own lives. I think we’ll have some fun and hopefully catch a few smiles.

Stay Stupendous