Everything and Nothing: The Past 35 Days

Ummmm… oops?

So apparently, in the last 35 days, I took an unintended sugarleg break. Except for tweets. And a bit of Instagram. Oh, and maybe some Pinterest. A dash of Facebook happened and a little Go Mighty too. Also a writing class. (And a writing workshop!) A couple dates. A wedding (not mine, duh!) A baby shower (also not mine, duh!) Too much TV/caffeine/sugar/cheese. Not enough sleep or money.  A lotta lotta work, of the productive and rewarding kind.

But only sporadic running.

And uneven writing.

If I (re)learned anything during my fantastic 5-week writing class, it was the importance of writing every day, even if it is not getting posted or published every day. I realized that my writing routine has been so linked to my running routine, that when the running is off, my writing rhythm has suffered. That is clearly no excuse, but I am kind of surprised at my deep commitment to not just write, especially with what I know is some damn good material rattling around in the noodle.

Alas, it only counts once it’s on the page.

That is why I am proclaiming here that I know I am stuck and that I know how to fix all of this: call the acupuncturist and make an appointment for him to work on my knee; call the writing coach, the blogging mentor, and other supporters to make a plan; go bed earlier; oh and:

So Busy Right Now

I read somewhere the other day or week or minute ago, pretty sure it was a quote post on someone’s Facebook, “Stop the glorification of busy.”  Really, go back and read that again.  Here, I will write it again and add a word or two for emphasis:

Stop already with the f’ing glorification of busy.  

I want you to try and let it sink in, and feel a little disgust with busy.  Think about how busy controls you, how easily you let the phrases, “I’ve/we’ve/you’ve been so BUSY, sorry, I’m just SO SO SO BUSY!” slip out of your mouth, or through your fingers into emails and txts and that you have completely lost control of the meaning of busy because you’re so fucking busy telling everyone how busy you are.  I do it.  You do it.  We all do it.

I don’t think I want to enumerate the ways we all let our lives be consumed with tasks and stress, even to the point where planning a vacation is 100% stressful. (Oh wait, I have not taken more than seven days off in a row to relax and ‘vacate’ in close to 10 years.)  You can read about busy here, (it’s a NYTimes piece and is fantastic) as I did this past June, BUT then did nothing to change my patterns.  I am still equal parts busy and exhausted, stuck in a rut of believing that if only I can just get SO organized I will dominate my email inbox, my writing, my running, my social life, my hopes and my dreams.  Obviously being organized is important, but bouts of mad desk cleaning in between long stretches of inbox chaos are still not solving my problem of feeling beholden to busy-ness.  And bottom line, we all end up spending less quality time with the people we love because we are so damned busy doing whatever it is that keeps us so distracted and not getting enough sleep (that’s a big one for me…)

So here I am, the day before the Tough Mudder and nothing I have been drafting in notes has made it to posts from all the training I have been doing all summer.  Because you guys, I am busy.  And sorry, something had to give.  And you know what?  It was me.  Ugh.

I am excited for tomorrow and 12 miles and 27 obstacles of muck and mire, but I am more excited to perhaps have finally found some courage to look for a better way than just “be more organized!” to combat the busy trap.  I have totally coddled, enabled and now glorified Busy to the point where she is a screaming diva alcoholic toddler bridezilla spoiled starlet b-yotch from HELL and I am so OVER her. You should be over yours too.

I love a long summer shadow. Nothing busy here.

How Not To Update

As I muddle through this running and writing layoff due to prolonged injury and a semi-broken heart, I find myself increasingly apathetic about Facebook, especially since the Timeline redesign has gone live and the “Like” button has used its manipulative algorithm to render everyone’s news feeds into redundant and myopic dreck.  (And I have very talented and interesting friends with a wide range of pursuits!)

At this point, apathy is better than the annoyance I had been stewing in.  But sometimes annoyance and irritation is great inspiration and sometimes snark is the fuel I need.  I am already filled with ideas to play with this format.  So, with feigned apologies to those who enjoy both writing and reading about the minutia of daily life, here is a peek into my last week written in the most general style of the Facebook Status Update I could muster, lack of wit and generous use of exclamation points intended:

  • Wild turkeys are on my roof, so cool!
  • Girl Scout Cookies: two boxes in two days, a new record.
  • Oh good, dog diarrhea in my kitchen…  AGAIN!
  • Post Date Wrap-Up: BO-ring!
  • TSA, you suck!
  • Uh oh… might need to attach a breathalyzer to my phone.
  • How do you remove a temporary tattoo?!
  • Angelina, PLEASE EAT SOMETHING and put your leg away!

Boredom IS Evil

A few years ago I dipped my toe into blogging and made huge mistakes, mainly in the tone of my writing.  I treated the posts as if they were journal entries, which if anyone ever read my journals, would be convinced that I was an emotionally intense maniac that better not miss a dose of her meds.  (This reminds me to add “burn journals” to my will… ) I remember that my good friend posted a comment noting that I seemed really raw, and that struck a chord with me.  An out of tune, face-wincing squelch which meant that that much unfiltered emotion, in this case sheer rage, was not appropriate.  A few months later (this was the summer of 2007) I was invited to join Facebook via a project I was working on coordinating college students and I quickly learned that too much raw emotion in a very public forum was never a good thing.  I closed down the blog and began to pay very close attention to my intention and my tone.

The past few weeks I have been BORED TO THE POINT OF ANGER, mostly due to my aforementioned situation at work.  I have tried to channel it into running and hiking, which does actually help.  I have been out and about on dinners and drinks and happy hours and baseball games and hosting out-of-towners.  I got some new clothes.  My bra size is now 32DD (wtf?) and there have been no surgeries nor weight gains.  I have embarked on a much needed organization project, purging files both paper and electronic, which is satisfying, but holy hell is it tedious.  (Photos are next, will that be more fun?)  So it is not like I have been not enjoying life, my peeps, and all that important stuff since the work slowdown.

But… the boredom has creeped the past few days.  And the weather sucks.  (Rained ALL DAY, here instead of my home state which is heartbreakingly parched.)  The boredom has infected my extra-curricular life with lethargy.  When I get home I have no energy.  I feel despondent.  I shut down.  I turn off.  I don’t run.  And then, I don’t write for fear of spewing.

With the hope that it does help to be vulnerable to avoid getting unintentionally wounded later on, I decided to force myself to write this terse admission by staying very disciplined emotionally.  Being vulnerable and open has backfired on me in the past, very recently in fact, and I have to fight off the torrent of self-directed criticism when I have felt rejected.  But, my brain knows that this will actually work to heal my heart on the other side of the current frustrations.  I will have to get through today and likely tomorrow too though, feeling inept.

In My Day It Was Called MOS

Blazing through some blog check-in reads this morning, I was stopped dead in my tracks at this brilliant post about social media and human emotions and Fear of Missing Something, or as my friends and I have called it since college, MOS (Miss-Out Syndrome).  Caterina Fake, who, amongst other internet success stories is the co-founder of Flickr, wrote the piece.

I have been in a seasonal funk, one I blame on my lifelong sheer disdain for spring with all its erratic weather and time changing and messy transitional sludge.  When I get like this and now have the power to be a judgmental voyeur using Facebook like some kind of narcotic, my already sensitive nature is in for a colossal crash with every check-in.  I hate the way I feel when I make flippant conclusions about what I am missing rather than focus on being present in my very own and very superlative life.  Yeah, I may be going through some pot-holed hell for way longer than any normal human being should have to endure, but I am also a consistently tardy bloomer, and if my mom is to be believed, am quite special.  I think it is because most days I do stop to smell every flower along the way.

Ms. Fake refers to Mr. Rogers Emmy acceptance speech, and in the spirit of honoring all of my friends and family who I love dearly, know that I am thinking only the best for you, for way more than 10 seconds.  And I promise, I PROMISE, I will try super hard to accept that you are doing it for me too.