Thursday, September 1, 2011

I'm Not Unique...So Now What?


Well well well.

A month of my life in journal-type bloggery. I’m not a unique guy, right? If you’ve read much of this, you see this.

I work full-time plus, and often don’t get paid for the “plus.” I have a son I get to spend time with and wish I could spend more time with. I get hurt, physically and mentally. I drink alcohol, I sometimes take pills to help me sleep, and I eat ice cream. I also manage to stay active, and get bits of exercise in. That’s the point of all this, of course: I’m no different from anyone else, even though people see me and sometimes think I am. They assume I’m training for something. They ask about my dietary habits. They think I have opportunities they don’t or lack challenges they have.

I don’t.

I’m not unique.

This brings me to a point where I’m unsure what to do, as far as this blog is concerned. Do I force myself to continue cataloguing my days as I have? Sure, I can. But does that accomplish anything? If you’ve read even a few of these entries, you could probably guess with 90% accuracy how my day goes.

“Let me guess: you got up around 7, you got your son started on the day, you went to the garden, you worked, you worked out, you may have cleaned or cooked dinner, and you probably ate oatmeal, an apple, a banana, some almonds, and you probably had a sandwich on double-fiber bread with some sort of pretzels or chips. You drank coffee, OJ, Naked Juice, beer, and/or wine, or some combination thereof. You don’t sit down much, you get about 30 minutes or so of exercise in. Neat, Stan. Well done. I’m bored. You’re routine. And my life is still the same.”

If I accomplished anything in this month of blogging, I hope I’ve at least gotten you to look at your life in a different way. Maybe you’ve reassessed. Wait, that sounds wrong; arrogant—I shouldn’t assume you NEED to look at your life in a different way. Lots of people, and probably YOU, are better off than I am. You eat better. You exercise more. Maybe you exercise less but maintain better fitness. (Yes, that’s possible.) You make more time for family. You navigate your work challenges better. You handle your frustrations better. You’re more balanced. You’re healthier than I am.

In many ways I feel like forcing myself to write these things nightly (or as close to nightly as I can manage) has sucked originality out of it all. Spontaneity. Goofiness. Style. I’ve become regimented in emphasizing my lack of regimen.

Not only that, but in paying such close attention to what I do, I’ve started doing things better. My diet has been improving. I haven’t eaten as many sweets. Before this blog, I’d eat a half pint of ice cream nightly. I’ve eaten two peaches this week, something I’ve forgotten to include in my blog because it’s so atypical—I’d never eaten peaches before this week. Believe that or don’t, but it’s true. I haven’t eaten a banana and an apple daily until this blog was going, or shortly before it, and I’ve come to really like that and I eat more of each apple than I ever used to (I could explain but won’t now). I swim further and longer, although some of that may be due to my knee problem, which seems to be gone now. In short, I’m not sure my blog has done what I intended: I’ve presented a healthier version of myself than I was before this blog, although it wasn’t intentional. If I were in a more positive mood, I could probably spin that positively. Try to preach some sort of lesson. I’m not in that kind of mood.

Sure, I’ve exercised more in my life. Much more, at times. I’ve been more active in lots of ways. I’ve lost drive in the last month or so. I haven’t started or completed projects. There’s still the trim to finish on the house. I need to work out something with our gutters. I’ve done a poor job of setting up and maintaining the garden. I haven’t kept house as well. Yes, I mention many of these things. But two months ago, I’d be searching out projects, not resting until something was done, then immediately starting something else. I don’t sit idle. I generally take on new things: painting, wood-working, sewing, setting up irrigation systems, landscaping, whatever random thing may peak my interest at any given time—I’d dive right in and not come up for air.

So have I portrayed anything I’d consider to be normalcy in my life? I don’t know. It’s a question I’m not able to answer for myself at the moment, and surely you don’t have the answer.

I’ve had a rough week at work. I didn’t blog yesterday, but it was the same as any other Wednesday: I ate, I worked, I spent time with my family, and I swam. The same happened today, minus swimming because I took the day off exercise and we went out for Mexican food for date night. My work frustrations got me drinking. I still haven’t drunk enough to be drunk. That’s just not my way. I’d never deny a buzz, though.

Angie and Liam are playing. Our dogs are playing. There’s barking and growling and screeching coming from Liam’s room, and it’s all in good fun. I want to go join them, and will shortly, but I feel compelled to keep writing here…to dwell in the futility.

Then I wonder if it IS futile…or at least if it HAS been. I won’t pretend there are lots of people reading this. I type that time and time again. I know of a few who do, and google analytics tells me there are others who’ve at least checked it out and I don’t know who they are, but they aren’t loyal readers and I don’t blame them. I wouldn’t follow me, either. I’m not unique. There’s nothing particularly likable about me that comes through in this stuff.  

I’ve had people reach out to me too, though. People who’ve had some of the same struggles and maybe felt relieved to read about me having experienced the same. People who have asked me questions or advice about different things, and I’d like to think maybe I’ve helped in some small way in those matters. There are plenty of other sources out there that can too, though. I’m not unique. I live what I’ve read and learned and chosen to go with, and you can all work the googler, too. You can read magazines and check multiple sources and make decisions about your own lives. If I’ve learned anything about those reading this, it’s that most of you HAVE and DO do that. I’m not unique.

So what do I do at this point? I don’t know. I’m at a point of stagnation—a fork in the road with nothing to lure me down either path. There are changes on the horizon, but I won’t be comfortable sharing them in a public forum. I could probably surprise you, but those surprises are the things I won’t share. So what’s the point, then? Even sharing beyond what I have would only serve for an initial “REALLY?!?” and then I’m more vulnerable and you go on as you are.

I’m obviously a bit down tonight. I’m struggling. Struggles happen, and I’ll make it through. This isn’t some cry for help or encouragement or complaint about my life—I love my life. I LOVE it. I’ll never say otherwise.

I never expected to make it through a month of this blogging. Now I have. My journal has over 500 hits. My blog, overall, is near 1,000. What does that mean, really, other than nothing? Bounce rates are high. Average time on the site can be low. I’ve surely been blocked from several peoples’ news feeds on facebook.

Now what? What do I do? I’d like to think I have more to offer; that I can help initiate changes; that I’m witty or my writing is amusing; that things on this blog other than my daily entries may offer more benefit than my daily entries; that this blog, maybe on other tabs and themes, can provide an outlet I still need, whether anyone else reads or cares or not. Of course, we’d all like to think things like that. I’m not unique.

I’m not unique. So now what do I do?

I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know.

So good night, good night. Date night is good, the rest of this day was shit. Shit with decently healthy food but a lack of a definable lunch. You’d think I’d be excited about an extended weekend, but I’m not. If I’m gonna get my work done on time, I’m gonna have to work this weekend. My wife will be out of town some next week. My life will be no less stressful, and maybe more stressful than it has been this week. I don’t know. I just don’t know. All I know is:

I’m not unique and, as far as this blog thing goes, I don’t know what to do now.

Let me end this with a favorite word of mine, one near and dear to my heart that I repeat quite often, to myself an out loud: fuck. 

1 comment:

  1. This blog has helped me. I know you think it's mudane, but it has helped me with food purchases, which helps ME eat better, which I need because in all honesty -- I HATE COOKING.
    So while I don't cook, there are some things that you have stated you've eaten or suggested and I think 'Oh yeeaaa, I could snack on that instead or make my sandwich with that type of bread instead',etc etc.

    I think the same thing of my blog. I don't think anyone reads it. I'm ok with that, if they do - great - I try to put articles in there regarding cycling that I think would help for cycling advocacy and also just about my cycling life. It's not the best, and yes I have gotten frustrated with it in the past. BUT. I'm writing it for me. That's what I think it a bit more important. It helps me feel like..OK I did something for cycling advocacy and makes me feel better. When I get more time to do more with it I will, but until then, I'll just keep doing my small little articles and part and hope that it helps someone out some point.
    Just thought maybe my experience with blogging might help.