I love cliches, but not as much as I love to debunk them.
Is there such a thing as too much of a good thing?
We’re being told that it’s certainly possible, but, to that stance I say phooey. All the “good” I have met in my life – the intrinsic goods like love, friendship, purpose, belongingness – are showing no sign of diminishment, yet. The snafu in our colloquial usage then? We deploy the quip incorrectly and during the wrong circumstance.
After scarfing down a tub of Ben & Jerrys ice cream, it’s the card we throw. It’s then the euphemism that lightens the rage that is sleeping through the better part of a Saturday, and, thereafter, it’s the band aid statement on the last day of vacation, when the gift of sun turns from tan to burn.
The cliche at hand is rooted in consumption, which society has made into a science, a behavior, and a ploy. The cornerstone is the law of diminishing marginal returns, i.e., the tendency to lose excitement as quantity raises. Diminishing margins of return explains why happiness stops increasing with money at about the $70k mark. Why a roller coaster turns into a hell bus after 2 consecutive rides. Or, why nothing will be as sweet as your first Fortnite win. It’s not that things get worser when we do them repetitively, they just get less exciting (or, show less return). Things, good or bad, never divorce with their value, so instead what changes is the value we feel it to have, on us! A dollar is a dollar no matter what, right? That’s why too much of a good thing, isn’t a question of quantity, so much as it is a question of time.
If there’s such thing as “over consumption,” then it’s foiled around things with hidden evil, or, a dark side effect. Ice cream was never a good thing. Not on lick one or when the spoon is scraping across the bottom of the pint. Ice cream just makes us feel good, and, as importantly, feel good enough to forget it’s bad. For me, feeling good doesn’t mean that I am good. Not when there’s net loss. So it’s time we adjust the cliché and only us it for what is truly good. For things like love and honesty, there’s no such thing as having too much. But, I can make a case for having a good thing for too long. Like what happens when you’re too excited.
Excitement. Something we should glut. Something we should carry in droves, because excitement lights fires and makes people show up. But, it’s something we need be careful of. Being excited for too long skews.
We like things most at the start, or, we at least feel them most impactful then. But, when those same things lose their novelty and when our expectations kick in, ultimately, the romance we once found begins to wane. Our excitement builds up the grand image, then we go and see the Pyramids, and after a taste, we’re over it. That’s not life. That’s people…picking shit up only to put it back down later and that’s okay. That’s how we learn ourselves and adjust our circumstance. By trying and by seeing what gets us sweaty and then after, realizing what hasn’t aged well with our palette. Tasting staleness.
Excitement is a great measuring stick for us and excitement is absolutely a “good“ to be slurped with no maximum, but, it’s a gauge with foley. Excitement shares a bed with expectations, and those are things we are wary of.
But alone, I know that “excitement” is “good” because it helps me on an amazingly cerebral level, and, as a mechanism for my survival. My progress. Excitement is the alarm clock I wish we all had, the emotion that should drive us from bed instead of the puppet strings that normally pull us up. We should all have a reservoir of excitement and fireworks. Those jitters I feel before clocking into a basketball game. When walking into big days for work. Even when my phone spits a blootitioblop at me…excitement tells me I’m going toward things I actually want to go to, antithetical to my irksome nerves or cumbersome loathes. Excitement helps me ward away the admonishment that my life’s rigidness. The daily-ness of it all. The, predictably . I notice excitement most when I’m not.
I wish my brain flushed the adrenals more. That my heart beat butterflies into my belly. Somethings are just autonomic.
We can’t choose when to be scared or brave or shocked or sad and that’s why we remember the bits of our live’s where the autonomous pieces of us are in the driver seat. Love, hate, comfort, hardship. Nothing is better than just feeling. We always try to control ourselves, and never let it all just be.
But we also need to turn it off . Excitement is the epitome of starts and urges, the leading emotion in making us do so, but I’ve learned excitement is dangerous because it’s not based in a real thing. It’s misleading to rely on. We feel it only before or after. Excitement, by design, isn’t ever apparent during our endeavors or outings or kisses or jobs. And, I think that’s where excitement gets us into trouble. Excitement is the preamble to let down. A diving board over a puddle. It’s a fun jump and a screamer of a descent, but excitement makes for a rough landing when reality doesn’t always fit the bill. That happens a lot too, so sometimes, I try to stop my excitement.
But excitement is true North.
And I’ve met the unexcited man and he’s drab, disengaged, depressing, and pitiful. He’s also much safer than you and me, because he never paints pictures in his head that he doesn’t have the Crayons for. I don’t envy him no not even with all his measurability and stoicism. He’s lost one of the best parts of life in dampening his expectations on what’s to come…he’s lost the heartbeat. The goosebumps.