Sunday, April 11, 2010

Black Dogs, Agility, and Peanut Butter Cookies

It’s been a bit of a week.

Sleep has been hard to come by, lately. Aside from the odd siren zooming by and keeping me awake, the Budge is also teething.

I do not recommend teething, by the way, in case you had it on your bucket list. Mostly it seems to involve writhing around in pain, sucking on your fingers and waking up screaming at all hours of the night. Kinda like staying at the Ramada.

But my insomnia runs deeper than sirens and babies – a state of distraction that I can’t seem to shake. Anyone who knows me well also knows my moods, what Churchill called his black dog.

Ok, Christ, now I’m comparing myself to Churchill. Also, MS Word automatically capitalizes the word Christ when you type it. See? It just did it again. I didn’t suddenly get religion or something.

What was I talking about? No, before Churchill. Ok, right. Anyway, I get moods. Y’know, bad ones. I guess no one ever says they get moods if the moods they get are all happy and sunshiney, do they?

Take it easy today with your mother. She’s in one of her moods. Say the wrong thing and she’s liable to give you a hug and feed you peanut butter cookies.

Anyway, I am prone to deep introspective vortexes of self-doubt and general anxiety, a condition the Germans used to call angst before all the emo kids co-opted it. Generally I keep this stuff at bay through various outlets, climbing and writing being my go-to power duo.

Lately, not so much. There’s just no time. There’s work, and there’s sleep (ha!), and then there’s the weekend, which is hard to dedicate to anything other than laundry and recovery.

What I’m realizing, though, is that I’m not a particularly flexible thinker. I’m used to pouring about three hours a day into my writing, and several hours a week into climbing. And if I can’t make those broad strokes work… I’m kinda at a loss.

How do I keep a connection to those things that keep me sane when I can only get random, unpredictable, bite-sized chunks of time in which to pursue them? This is not my forte.

I am definitely more reactive than proactive. Maybe that’s from being the youngest in a large family – I got used to seeing where my siblings were headed and then tagging along. Building routines gave me some control over my own destiny, but it’s not a skill I execute with any dexterity. Knock down my jenga blocks and you will see that I rebuild the tower using rubber tongs tied to the end of a ten-foot iron rod. It is a process somewhat lacking in the nimble department.

I gotta say, I envy people who can really roll with it – people who can have their pieces scattered and somehow seem to catch them all in mid-air and rebuild on the fly. How do you people do that?

2 comments:

Dave said...

Second of all, its difficult to feel sorry for you. Try three twenty-five years from now. I'll be sixty (as in 60 years-old) in May.

Dave

PS: your blog is very funny!

Bryan Howell said...

Yeah, Dave, I have to tell you that Bert and I use you guys as a reality check all the time.

Whenever we're feeing overwhelmed and underslept, one of us will turn to the other and simply say "triplets."

A little dose of perspective for us. I honestly don't understand how you two even LIVED through the first year.

PS: Thanks!