Lena’s been known to be a little stubborn sometimes—a lot stubborn, really—especially when sick. It’s a remnant of a Luthor upbringing, of course. She’s willing to admit that to herself now. Never slip up. Never lose decorum. Never show weakness.
‘Perfection, even in the face of a pitiful case of the sniffles, Lena. We’re Luthors. It’s what we do.’
Lena still remembers those words from Lillian. They always float up from the depths of her memory whenever the first signs of a cold start to linger about her. A constant reminder to just suck it up, which Lena does with almost dangerous efficiency. She rarely ever misses work. After all, if she can get back to work immediately after being kidnapped and shot at by her brother’s henchmen, why should she miss work for a simple, little cold? She’s fine.
Of course, her wife would argue that she shouldn’t be working in either situation. Which is probably why a sick, sniffly, and feverish Lena has found herself carried out of her office by Kara on more than one occasion for some superhero-enforced bed rest.
(Lena is pretty sure that Jess has Kara on speed dial for just such occasions, and if Lena weren’t so comfy—and maybe a little loopy—in Kara’s arms, she might actually find it in herself to be annoyed about it. … the narc)
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Just a few points on western party culture and my bog-awful neighbors.
So is it too early to call out that idealized, western “alcohol/party culture” is just a complex form of self-harm and a public pacification tool, designed to appeal to corporate interests, undermine community-building efforts, long-term relationships, and halt personal growth via addiction, peer pressure, and anti-social behavior rebranded as “a good time”?
No? ‘How dare I take away your only coping mechanism while proposing social growth that’ll no longer require “coping mechanisms”?’ Okay.
(But seriously, people really need to look up the history of alcohol in other countries like Russia, and how they used people’s addiction/dependency/newfound anti-social lifestyles to keep them in an oppressive labor cycle, unable to really organize against actual oppressive systems/people).
I’m not against “people having fun” (as so many reflexively recoil when I tell them how being kept up late at night by drunken screaming and pounding music royally fucks up my health for the rest of the week). But I think as a culture, we do have to start more critically examining how our current pastimes to “blow off steam” might just be unloading that problem off onto someone else if we’re not considerate or self-reflective. And that if we want to function as a non-shackled society, a few people’s constant desire to “have fun” can’t come before everyone else’s ability to function at a baseline level.
If myself and the rest of the neighborhood being able to get a good’s night’s rest is rare, and I feel like I’m never able to relax or put my guard down during the day within my own home, because someone else prioritizes throwing kegger parties all the time, the fact of the matter is, I’m not going to be a very good ally towards anything (and neither are they). I’ll be too tired to be helpful about anything, I’ll slowly get worse at my job or other tasks/hobbies, and quite frankly, I’m probably going to become a royal bitch who can’t keep a civil conversation when I finally have to confront you about it.
Have your “fun”, but don’t have it at the expense of others. Go to spaces where you won’t disturb people trying to rest/relax/work. Recontextualize what “fun” is, and examine why it always involves you being loud, destructive, and usually intoxicated. Is this expanding your horizons? Is this helping you meet genuinely helpful/good people? Do you actually grow and learn anything new or useful? Do you feel genuinely fulfilled the next morning, or hollow and uncomfortable with yourself? Does your pastime create and leave the world a better place, or does it leave a mess that someone else usually has to clean up? How are you affecting the people and environment around you? Are you building the people and society around you up, or causing disturbance and destruction for a momentary high?
Also worth noting that excitement in and of itself is a “high”. If you chase it too hard, it’s going to become more difficult to find, and you’ll start seeking out more frequent, dangerous, destructive measures of obtaining it. Human beings need down time. It’s actually good to be bored once in a while. It helps reset and re-focus your brain. Life doesn’t have to be an endless party. We’re not wired for it, and numerous studies have been done on the importance of just chilling the fuck out for a majority of the time. No loud music. No abundance of people. No substances. Just...fucking relax. For like a day. Do something quiet. For my mental health and yours. And it’ll actually make the times you do something exciting like party (in a space meant for doing so) memorable and more fulfilling.
Western cultures especially really need to practice more mindfulness, is I guess what I’m getting at. It’s really been absent these past few years, regardless of age, gender, or political affiliation. And it has been making my general day to day affairs so difficult anymore, I’ve genuinely considered leaving the country. Not that I can currently afford to, but the fact of the matter is I can’t stand it here anymore. I hate the increasingly unhealthy culture around me and need to feel like a minimally functional human again.
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