The number one reason people don’t work out is not time. It is patience–and by patience I mean dedication. The two words are as intertwined as strands of DNA. Without the patience, without the dedication, one cannot achieve the goal. My goals swirl round the concept of personal happiness. The two areas of that I believe require only me to succeed are Writing and Physical health. These are areas of Wellness which create for me the backdrop of my life.
I’m thin on words tonight save those precious few above and a handful I will try to get out below.
- Yesterday everything did spiral out of control.
- It often feels like I am not in control of the things that matter most. There is that feeling of spiraling that washes over me and leaves me out of breath,
- I need something to hold on to.
I wanted to steal a moment before things spiral out of control. I am operating on less than three hours of sleep and less than six cups of coffee. We started the day with a 6 AM football practice and followed up by having a friend over. Later–not too much later from now–we expect to hit the dollar theatre to watch the final Fast and Furious movie. Afterwards I race back to the house to drop the kids off for a sleepover and head back out and across town to pick up my lady and then further out of town towards a concert. Yeah, it is only Tuesday.
I was up late reading stories, playing minecraft, and generally efforting to spark my creative fires. The jury is still out on whether crafting is a help or hinderance or where my head is at with things in general.
Here is what I do think: I think there is a wealth of wonderful material and life left in me, though I feel quite a bit stuck in this space between where I am and where I am going. This is true health-wise, writing wise, romantically, and spatially especially.
Here is what else I think: I am looking for inspiration and guidance in all of these things, but I don’t exactly know where to look. I seek knowledge in books and buddhism mostly. I even read books about parenting and teaching kids to behave, though those things are more situational and intuitive than a book allows. The areas I mentioned are most likely the same, but my level of desperation is quite a bit higher there.
I’ll only get about three hours of rack time tonight and that is largely (read: entirely) my fault. I could’ve slipped in between the sheets hours ago, but Minecraft called. I’ve been working through a build that is, obviously, meaningless but it is also something I want to make happen. Creativity needs an outlet, you know.
You might be asking yourself at this point, ‘why aren’t you writing instead?’ Because I feel like I need to see some results right away-ish. I’m anxiously awaiting a small pile of paychecks from past writing work. I got a check for the award nominated piece, but the rest… no dinero. Now this ought not to affect my mood as a writer, because we don’t do it for the money. We do it because the stories have to come out. Still, not getting the $$ leaves me feeling like I don’t want to let the stories out. At least not for those guys–not entirely.
This explains a small fraction of the lazy as well as why the craft obsession lately supersedes the writing obsession/lifestyle. I gotta cut that out though. I need to get to bed at more reasonable hours and through that re-develop (and in some areas develop for the first time) the habits that will make me successful.
These things want to happen. The same biological imperative that pulled me away from eating candy, replacing the sweet-need with an overwhelming desire for oranges is powering me to want to write. I feel like I’m back near the edge of something good in my life, though I need to fight through the brambles to get there.
I wanted to start this blog 20 minutes ago, but I got distracted by a video game and here we are. Add that to the sludge of lag that plagues everything my aging macbook tries to accomplish and therein lies the beginnings of a pattern. Yeah, I’m not in writing shape.
As I hinted at yesterday, there is a correlation between physical and mental acuity. I believe one cannot have one without spending some effort on the other. I believe this as a victim believes things they’ve seen happen to them. I believe this is precisely what ails me.
Now blogging helps. It serves as the daily tabata for my brain. My body gets no such treatment. My daily training involves figuring out how many chips I can inhale before I need to let out my belt. In truth, I consider this to be a major factor in my growing baldness. I am not entirely convinced I have a chance to reverse the trend, but I do realize what herculean efforts it will take to even ‘stop the bleeding’ in terms of treating my body to an early death.
Still, I shall rise. And fight. And figure shit out.
Another night, another Bourbon. I went out and bought glasses this time. Considered it an earlier Father’s Day gift. Tomorrow I’ll take a pull from the MacCellan, 12 year and that will be another gift. Yes, I know that is Scotch. No, I don’t know the fineries between Scotch, Whiskey, and Bourbon. My brain, being what it is, will encourage me to learn. It encouraged me to write, and to write well enough to be considered for an Origin Award. I lost, but the nomination was nice. I am not, however, on the lengthy list of nominees for Ennies. My old partners over at Posthuman studios are up for 4. This is the pre-cut list, of course, but still a rather powerful disappointment. It feels like going out for FroYo and all the machines are busted.
What does feel good is the more-on-than-off as of late ability and desire to turn a phrase. I wonder if my writing engine and my physical exercise engine have been locked in tune. As I start to slowly warm to being a steady writer I am slowly warming to the possibility of not being fat. More importantly, I am warming to the work said shed will require.
I sip between this paragraphs, clearing my palette and my mind. The latter has been able to fully immerse in vacation and as quickly as I did so, it feels entirely over. I start teaching again on the 3rd of July, which by the way is silly. Why hold class the day before the July 4th break? Why make that your first day of classes? Not smart. I expect attendance to be limited.
That is all I got for tonight.
I’m not much of a drinker. This is evident, as I sit here with my Bulleit Bourbon that isn’t even in a whiskey glass and doesn’t use the proper ice. I own neither. I am quite new to the drinking world and I must say I do it as much for taste as for how it makes me feel–emotionally. There is something psychologically fulfilling about holding a fine drink–be it wine or harder stuff. I recognize that it has more to do with the culture of drinking and connecting to that history that follows really good alcohol than it has anything to do with a need to be inebriated. In truth I can count the number of times I’ve been drunk on one hand, and even that is too much for me.
I come from a family of drinkers. Specifically my step dad took to the bottle. It tore up his liver and ended his life by the time I was twelve. I never got over that. I remain convinced that my life to a wrong turn the day he died and I feel if I die before my kids achieve adulthood the same twist of wrongness could follow them. I’m not saying my childhood was awful or my mom did the ‘mommy dearest’ thing. No, relative to the stuff I’ve seen in the world, I did alright as a kid. What I didn’t have was a dad and that meant I never learned from anyone but myself and David Hasselhoff how to be a man.
The Hoff clearly led me astray.
Now I sit here connecting to a distinctly male history of sipping fine whiskey and through the taste connecting to a culture and even a gender that has never been entirely accepted me. I guess that is another revelation in itself: Acceptance has a value.
Earlier my dog snuck downstairs to have a pee. One the carpet. It wasn’t as if he had to go. He’d been out before that doing his business and hadn’t struck out towards the water in hours. No, this was malicious intent. This was calculated vengeance for a bath or some other perceived slight. This was a classic case of an old dog up to his new(er) tricks.
I considered all the possible repercussions for such behavior and found myself caught in the old trap: What do you do to a dog who so blatantly wants to screw with your lifestyle as, apparently, a vengeful stand vs. perceived mistreatment? The answer came quickly: Murder. No, not that one. Nothing? Yeah, that one. I did nothing. I cleaned up the spot, thought about kicking him, stared him down a good one, and watched him scamper off to likely piss somewhere else.
See, the dog, Chopper, is an old Yorkie who has the run of the place when I am gone. I don’t crate him, because I have a cat who isn’t crated who will torture him. I know this because he was once a crate dog and the previous cat did indeed torture him, wagging her butt at him in sheer mockery of his situation. Then she would scamper out the doggie door–his door–to prove how much of a bad ass she really was.
So I don’t crate him. Notice he has a doggie door, so the pee is a choice. Bad choice–for me at least. No, instead I rant-blog about a situation that remains far out of my understandable control. At least Buddhism teaches me that this too is impermanent.
- For reasons I do not pretend to understand my post from yesterday apparently did not publish. There it was sitting on my screen with the big old publish button, though I am quite certain I’d hit that button before. Maybe the blog didn’t want to go out. Shy blog.
A great sit down with my writers group tonight reminded me of one really important fact: Happiness is paramount. Often I do things in order to make those around me happy and, in the process, sacrifice a slice of my own happiness. I tend to rely on the joy of making others happy as of late without paying any true attention to the basic joys I require.
It is often the little things. I want to stick my feet in the ocean. I want to drink a cup of coffee in peace. I want to enjoy a moment of quiet, or listen to an audiobook or even a dharma talk. Some of those things are more obtainable than others. The ocean is the farthest reach, but I might be able to accomplish that sooner or later.
The key is to find a slice of what makes you happy and devour that as much as you can. It has to be a YOU happy, as I am discovering. It can’t be about the pleasure derived from someone else’s smile. That is a valuable thing and deeply important to my happiness, at least, but I also need to find my own smile. Find my own happy.
That stuff matters.
- Yesterday I closed the book on the NBA season with a final waiver Wednesday. My attention steers towards youth sports now, as my mid kid is in basketball mode and primed for his second game this Saturday.
The Warriors are the NBA champs, and that has everything to do with hunger. The Warriors lost last year and they knew it ruined their place in history. Still, that didn’t even make them hungry enough. In fact, I believe the Cavs would have won the series if not for the actions of one very hungry player: Kevin Durant.
The man I called the slim assassin (who is actually the Slim Reaper) is among the best in the game and he had never won a title. He’d been to the mountaintop but he came back down ringless. Now this latest matchup gave him all the talent around him he could possibly handle and that was enough to emerge as a champion. He still had to carry them at times though. Here is why: The Warriors were trying to prove something but the Cavs were trying to prove them wrong. Meanwhile, Reaper was gonna get his regardless. He carried that attitude of respect and domination all the way through the series and, for stretches, nobody could stop him.
Consider this: He considered skipping the Olympics to be rested and ready for the season. That is hunger. That hunger was rewarded last night. You go boy. That promise you made to you’re mom when you were 8 just became reality.
- The Divogue theme isn’t working for me. When I see it I don’t get a happy feeling. It feels…meh. I don’t have anything better yet, but I continue to seek a theme that matches my feelings.
- Transition day is exceptionally hard lately. To explain, my kids are with me 4 days a week, but one of those days is sandwiched between two of the ex’s three days. This day they are required to get up around 4 in the morning to get to my house so she can go to work. It isn’t ideal. The kids are ruined by 3 pm, which happens to be now.
I continue to tackle this idea of impermanence and this related concept of living in the now. I am not very good at it though. I get bogged down in things and get lost in the oft awful fantasy of ‘what if?’
The reason I write all this is to reflect on the idea that happiness is not a straight line. It is a series of moments, a wave that crashes over you again and again… or not at all. Perhaps that serves as an exaggeration. Everyone finds happiness. I used to find it more than others, but nowadays I’m about average. That right there speaks to a lot of things: My average and the normal average is entirely different. This gets into the idea of both racial and financial inequality where people are dealing with change that reduces their averages, or so they think.
So, what does it all come down to? Understanding that happiness is a journey. You aren’t going to be happy all day every single day. If you were, the idea of sadness would be criminal and the thought of happiness would be, well, limited. See, too much of a good thing is a bad thing and maybe it is okay to have less happiness in order to appreciate how good it actually feels.
The same can be said of sex. Or coffee. One becomes numbed to the effects of both overtime.