*puts on blogging gloves and magic underwear*
Today I’m blowing the dead skin and space rock bits off the ol’ blog. Yes, how the dust has settled all around here in my inexcusable absence.
*puts lips together, leans forward*
There, much better.
In order to get my shit together, to get my ducks in a row, to pull head from ass, I’ve decided to post several times a week. (I will regret writing that, I’m certain, before August ends.) So I’m talking minimal editing, typos, awkward sentence structure, over-sharing, and under-cooked chicken. Or maybe not that last one. But it will be like it used to be when I wrote for fun, when perfectionism, that scaly beast fueled by scummy puddles of cockroach piss, wasn’t stabbing me in the throat with a fork after every sentence. Cue Psycho Murder Music.
I can accomplish only so much in one day, so my goal now is to pretend you’re a former good friend I haven’t seen in ten years and we just stumbled upon each other on a street in your town. Like it happens in this type of situation, you might ask “So, what’s been going on with you?”
If you know anything about me, you won’t be surprised that in real life if I see you before you see me, this conversation never happens. I will dive headfirst into the path of a truck to avoid this type of chit-chat. I’m not proud of this.
Anyway … let me give you a quick peek into the recent months of my life. Forget about the whole talking to you in the street thing. It just isn’t working for me.
- Location: Twickenham, London, United Kingdom
- Age: 16,238 days
- Weight: 128 pounds (down from the 140 I weighed five months ago. I’m quite slight.)
- Married (still)
- Offspring: two daughters (now 11 and 16)
- (Blah, blah. Other stuff I got bored with and abandoned)
Books recently finished
Books I’m reading
- Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion by Sam Harris
- Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
Books I’ve recently acquired and have not read
- PostCapitalism: A Guide to Our Future by Paul Mason
- Nausea by John Paul Sartre (I may never read this.)
Magazines currently next to my bed or in my backpack
- New Philosopher: Issue #13-Luck
- Philosophy Now: Aug/Sept-Existentialism
- New Scientist: The Collection-Being Human
Movies recently watched
- Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
- Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (I watched both of these LOTR films this week for the first time and will probably watch the last one this weekend. How did I not see these when they came out?)
What I’ve been thinking about recently
I think about the serious, DARK stuff listed below only when I’m not thinking about the more immediate concerns of modern life as in the people I live with, dirty dishes, keeping track of my shit (Ok people, where in the hell is my phone?), walking the dogs, picking dog hairs off my shorts, showering (Wow, has it really been six days since I’ve bathed?), removing hair growth from my face. And food of course. I spend an extraordinary amount of time thinking about food.
But here’s what else I think about:
- The ways in which life is incredibly difficult
- How humans spend their time and how they wish they had when they’re close to death
- The Meaning of Life
- Happiness (what does it mean?)
- Wellness (basically how to avoid “lifestyle” diseases)
- Taming my “monkey mind” through meditation and mindfulness
If you rolled your eyes at any of these–how dare you!–I’d guess it would be the last one because I too used to think meditation was just weird. Like, anyone who meditated had to be from a distant planet. Probably Planet Lame-O!
But now I’m, like, a hundred years old or something and have learned the hard way that my out-of-control-bat-shit-crazy mind is my one archenemy. The destroyer of dreams. The negative voice in my head tells me…
- I’m not good enough
- I’m past my prime and my prime was shit anyway
- I don’t fit in
- I’m getting old and ugly
- I have no purpose
- I am a bad parent/husband/son/brother/friend
- I simply do not matter
What I might be getting at here (I have no freaking clue!) is that I think all the other items on that dark list have something to do with my inability to recognize that what goes on in my mind is a bunch of horseshit. And this goes for most people.
So life is incredibly difficult and insanely beautiful. I need to teach myself how to enjoy the good bits and to endure the bad without jumping in front of a train. I guess that’s kind of what this blog will be about.
In one of the magazines I listed above, a high school philosophy teacher in Canada was asked what she thought was the meaning of life. Her response: “To find the beauty in everything.”
And I’ve decided to give that a try.