It's eerie how much my dogs remind me of myself sometimes.
1) They do very well on a schedule. We wake up at about 6:30 am every morning, rain or shine or weekend. This is such a strong habit that I even woke up in Vegas at 6:30 am after a night of drinking until 3. Humans like the schedule, as do our bodies, as do our dogs.
2) They love to repeat the same activities. Walking every day is the least of it. If you want to train your dog, simply take some time and repeat the activity. The repeated activity will not only become learned, but needed. We humans get comfort from the repetition of activities; traditions, holidays...all comforting repetition.
3) They have meaningless lives. We have gone over this already, and it might be my age talking but the uselessness of life has struck me pretty hard. What good am I while millions of people starve around the world, or while I am not achieving all of the goals I want to? Dogs have their goals, and love to repeatedly go after those goals, but they do not hold much value outside of your home/neighborhood/play-group.
4) They have a love of play. Play, being the most pointless of all pointless activities, is something loved by dogs. While puppies need it for growing muscle development or for growing coordination, adult dogs (especially two like mine that live together every day) do not have as much a need for it outside of for my (and theirs) amusement. Of course, it is a form of exercise, but even dogs like mine that get their daily long walks still do it with all the passion of an obsessed raider.
Of course, we can argue enough to find meaning in almost anything, but it is safe to say that anything that falls under the roof of "normal living" is pointless, meaningless and often useless. Only extraordinary living (such as helping the needy or aiding the sick) can be seen as needed, wanted or meaningful. Of course, some might see "meaningless" as having a negative connotation, but it does not. It just is.
Now that I have cemented these cheesy, goatee stroking Kerouac-reading silly thoughts into my head over the last year or two, I need to grapple with it and move on. In fact, I have moved on I realized, and moved on in a pretty healthy way.
Watching my dogs go through life has taught me to not only take chances, but to be brave and to face the unknown with their same grit. If my dogs hear a strange sound, they prick their ears and go towards it. If I am half-asleep and think that I hear some kind of odd noise, I look at the dogs (or even cats for that matter) and see what their reaction is. If they are still sound asleep, then it was nothing but my imagination.
Then my gaming came into play as something that I love to do, but not in ordinary ways, and not for the same (seemingly) "normal" reasons. When I read the line "...realize your life is meaningless, but live your life as art despite that fact.." I had me one of those nice moments in which a million pounds seemed to fall off my shoulders. I have been struggling with the purpose of gaming, with this hobby of mine that was not only physically unhealthy but sometimes a little stressful (try dealing with hate-stalkers. As tough as I am, I hate doing it.) Why am I gaming?
But, I can realize the uselessness and pointless quality of my gaming hobby (also with my art and music hobbies) and enjoy the fact that there is no point to it, just like a couple of adult dogs playing. Yes, there are social bonds being formed, and there are bits of etiquette being learned here and there, but otherwise I feel as though gaming (especially for me at my age) is becoming not only useless but silly.
So why go on doing it?
Because, like my dogs, I can live my life as art. I can create whatever I want, when I want, and can do it how I want. I will not be worried about the end of my days, or about the consequences of enjoying myself, or about what might come after the play-time. I will realize it's meaninglessness and enjoy it because of that.
It is a nice thought, at least. I do feel much, much better about all of this time put into this hobby. After all, I do enjoy it. Strange how something so enjoyable can be attached to so many ideas and feelings that would seem to contradict the enjoyment!