I think my fundamental problem in life is that I want to write books and be a successful academic, but I also just want to sit on the couch and listen to records or play Mario Kart or watch Phish webcasts.
I had to have my cat put to sleep thirteen days ago, and I’m the saddest I’ve ever been in my adult life. Sadness is different than depression, and while I’m thankful for that, sadness still screws up your life. I can’t sleep. I can’t sit still and have instead been cleaning and reorganizing everything in my house as if a better sense of order will solve anything. I feel like I’m fighting something big and don’t know how I’m going to win, just that I have to.
I made a promise to myself thirteen days ago that the next year will be for me. In my job and in most other parts of my life I put the focus on other people and on how I can help them. I’m not necessarily going to stop doing that, but I’m going to take a few steps back and learn how to better do the same thing for myself. Too often I lose myself in my work and don’t have much left to for nurturing myself.
After teaching through the entire summer and then losing Jack days before the semester started, I realized I need to put myself first for awhile. The biggest thing I want to focus on is my writing. I’ve had three pieces accepted this year and would like to get a few more. I also realized just now while I was cleaning my office that I have at least three book projects in the works: the memoir I’ve been trying to write since 2008, the novel I wrote for my dissertation that I want to rewrite, and a novel about a set of characters I dreamed up in college and feel like have never really left me. I have stories to tell, and I need to stop being afraid of failure and just write—even if it’s just a page a day.
There are other things I’d like to do, too, especially my usual ongoing goal of seeing as many shows as I can. I’ve read a pathetically small number of books this year but have some great ones here right now that I’m looking forward to digging into. I want to start making art again for the first time since I was a teenager. I need to see the chiropractor and get back to my acupuncturist this week, and next week I’m going to see my doctor and a nutritionist in his office who I think can help me get my weight loss and quest to get healthier back on track.
I’m going to lose myself in things—things I really love and that I know are good for me. I feel very lost right now, and I know I have to fight through it to try to help myself
Jack brought me so much happiness in the ten years, two months, and three days I had him in my life. Losing him has been heartbreaking, but I think it could be the start of a new phase in my life.
I’m also going to learn not to feel guilty for taking some down time. Mario Kart and Phish webcasts are good for the soul sometimes, I think.