I used to think that, as time went on, the pieces of my life would fit together more closely.
Here's what I mean: I've always felt my life was highly "compartmentalized". I have a work piece, and a church piece, and a family piece (divided into my mother's side of family, my father's side of the family and my wife's family). I have friends from school, friends from my old job, friends from the martial arts school. But there isn't much overlap between the compartments.
From time to time, maybe everyone feels that their life is like that. But when you're trying to devote a meaningful part of yourself and your time to each facet - and the only common thing in the facets seems to be you - scheduling alone is a b*tch.
I imagined that, as I grew older and...wiser (Oh God, make them stop laughing - someone's going to burst a blood vessel), I would find ways to better integrate these aspects of my life. I don't imagine that anymore. I realized yesterday, as I was working a couple extra hours in the office again, that my life is just as segregated as it ever was.
I work harder when I'm working, so that I can relax more (and/or longer) when I'm relaxing. I constantly make decisions about what activity or aspect of my life will get a little less attention today, so that another part can get the attention it needs. And, although I still am rather hopelessly overcommitted, I truly have gotten better at say "No" to things and stopping activities that were not enriching. So why does it still seem such a struggle?
Here's my latest insight on that question: Because as time goes on, the things we must do always get more difficult - not less. The older you get, the more experience you have, the greater expectation there is - from others and from YOURSELF - of how much you can do and how quickly you can do it. And I believe that expectation outpaces your actual ability to deliver. Not that you can't do more things and do them better, faster, whatever - but that your abilities can't necessarily keep pace with expectations.
Let's face it - as time goes on, people don't ask you to do easier things, do they? We start with the easy stuff and (theoretically) move on to things that are more difficult and complex.
So what can we do? Well, I'm going to cut myself a little slack. 'Cause being distracted and tired never helped anybody be a better husband, or Dad, or boss, or friend.
I think that all made sense. Time to go to work.
Friday, April 9, 2010
Thursday, April 8, 2010
- The Blogoversary for speaking in CAPS was a week ago.
I'd like to be able to tell you that I was prevented from actually posting to my blog due to the mind-numbing debauchery in which I was engaged to celebrate that auspicious occasion. But I'd be lying to you. I spent the time either watching TV or sleeping. 'Cause that's the way I roll.
- Those of you who have been following my blog for a while (which seems to mainly involve waiting for me to actually post something) know that I've harbored the desire to acquire a newer, nicer television for quite some time. It arrived two weeks ago in a really big box.
- It is an LG 55LH90 55-Inch HDTV that is both large and beautiful. Although I made the purchase through Amazon, the actual seller was OneCall. The company's Director of Business Development, Larry F., contacted me directly following the order to let me know that the fantasticly low price I had obtained on the TV was due to an error - but they were going to honor the price...because no one else on the planet had purchased the television during the few fleeting moments that the erroneous price was posted. I have not yet had the opportunity to watch an entire movie on my new TV - but I am looking forward to receiving my first couple of blu-ray discs from Netflix for viewing this weekend. There'll be more about the TV later - it's sure to be the focus of a majority of my free time for the next few months.
- At the beginning of this hockey season, I made a bet with my friend, The Phantom, that the Detroit Red Wings would go farther in this year's Stanley Cup Playoffs than the Chicago Blackhawks. I entered into this arrangement before the Wings entered into the long, dark abyss of player injuries that became the hallmark of their 2009-2010 regular season. But in the last couple days, the team's strong play following the Olympics paid dividends - and the team has made the playoffs for the 19th consecutive year, the longest streak in professional sports. Despite the rough year, no other hockey team is relishing the idea of being matched with the Wings in the first round of the playoffs. Right now, that opponent would be...the Vancouver Canucks. Looks like Captain Dumbass and me may be on another collision course this year.
- I love my children but...
I feel that it is extremely important that your grown children (mine are 20 and 18) live with you long enough to reveal, in stark detail, every one of your parenting failures; not just once - but repeatedly. This is necessary to ensure that, when they do leave home, you will not be seized with any maudlin nostalgia or regrets, but instead a wave of relief will pass over you as you consider that you will no longer have to be reminded that: your children don't remember when to flush the toilet; that they often finish the last bit of (cereal, cookies, pop tart, etc) and fail to throw away the empty box or container; that their idea of a well-balanced meal is a large saucepan filled to overflowing with macaroni and cheese or buttered pasta.
When they leave the house, you are at peace. And the rest of the world will need to deal with these issues.
- At the end of this month, the Middle-Aged Woman and I are going to Vero Beach, Florida for a week. And a couple of my high school buddies have convinced me to make my first ever trip to Vegas at the beginning of June. I'm going to be the Traveling Man this year.
Let's hope I don't forget how to post to my blog.
Year Two has begun.