I can't do beautiful, not at all. I thought I could. I thought the forced lockstep of daily posts might work this month. With a theme like beautiful, how can you lose? (Like Smuckers, it has to be good. I am indoctrinated by advertising. No wonder everyone's obsessed with Mad Men. Them there's our society's ROOTS, people. God.)
I'm not feeling the beautiful right now, not inside, not out. Life is in some kind of back-to-school work mode. There's no ambrosia here, no soft lighting, no extra cheese, it's all presidential indoctrinating and scale buying and filling in calendar boxes with different colors of Sharpies to make it less painful and somewhat more high and climbing back on the elliptical of doom.
It is Wednesday, it is raining and we are far from November. The weather knows and reflects my pain. I did something yesterday that I'm proud of as part of this season of duty I'm embarking upon. It's something unbloggable even though it is wildly boring, doesn't involve anyone else besides me and isn't at all scandalous. It just has to do with the nuts and bolts of life, a situation that's needed to be handled for some time and now is on its way, anyway, I guess, I mean, if I filled the form in correctly and I fit the bill and oh WOW did I tell you hockey training camp started? And I know this? Because I'd much rather talk about hockey. I hate life management. There may be nothing that I'm worse at doing, besides algebra or chemistry. Life management is not my thing, to the point that I joke sometimes about needing an assistant or a minder but I'm not really joking, and it's somehow horrible but just the truth to say, "Life management: fail."
Seriously. I was thinking about this the other day as my "check engine soon" light came on again, how much I don't like chores, or errands even. The depths of denial I can sink to relative to car maintenance are epic, clearly, given the presence of the check engine light and the simultaneous illumination of the frightening red temperature gauge that I can't get checked until Friday.
And have I mentioned the testament to procrastination that is my hair? It's almost easier to ignore a check engine soon light than roots like these, one would think.
I don't even like the word "errands." I dated a person once who bounced out of bed on Saturday and was all, "Do you have any ERRANDS today?" like he was Ward Freaking Cleaver (or maybe, more to the point, Tim Gunn) and I was like, "No, I'm just going to continue with the sloth and the South Park reruns and my third cup of coffee, there are a few things I could do but I'll handle that shit some other time."
He judged me. He thought I was lazy, and he was probably right. I was just not running the incessant ticker of tasks through my brain that he was through his, all the time, and also, if I have to mail something, generally speaking I'll do it on my way to wherever else I need to go. I'm a mesher, not so much a checker-offer, which may be bad but it's too late to turn back now. He was much more productive than I was, shockingly enough, I'll admit it. I'm still more fun, but fun is much funner when you're not anxious and lately my lack of attention to detail is causing nothing but anxiety.
I don't even like stopping for gas, do you know how insane that is? It's such a pain in the ass, I put it off and put it off and then get all vengeful and rageful when I have to do it. I don't know how I happened either, stepping outside of myself and observing myself objectively.
I know this is insane. I know this is not beautiful. And it makes no sense, given that if you give me an article to edit I'll tear it apart up and down and red pen it within an inch of its life and I know that afterwards it's better. There are some details I am fully capable of dominating and I think the trick is to transfer that mindset and that - I'll own it - skill to the other pieces of my world that can so easily cave in from lack of attention.
And I'm finally to a point where I'm making changes that I know are important and may someday result in me being in a better logistical mental and physical place than I am currently, a place where I can bag my extreme focus on the day-to-day stuff I'm not doing and open up to some of the larger things I want to accomplish (that will themselves require attention to detail and some planning and logistics in addition to the creative aspects that are my main priority. Oh WHY must I be so allergic to this stuff?)
Something just happened at the end of the summer, something I can't quantify and won't because this is already boring enough. The season turned (externally, anyway - why as a society do we like to race along to the next thing before the calendar catches up? It's one of my least favorite things about this world I inhabit) and I had a mini-crisis that resulted in much looking around and evaluation. There's the drumbeat of an upcoming birthday that for some reason is on my mind a lot and you know, sometimes I think too much but this time, this was necessary. This is for a good end.
So what I'm doing is purely forcing the making of appointments and the accompanying phone calls which are first-world torture for a person like me who has developed an unreasonable hatred for the telephone. I have lists of things I don't care about at all but that I know I need to do, some stuff I've delayed for practical reasons, other things that scare the shit out of me but have to be handled. And if I told you some of the things that fit this latter category? You would either feel sorry for me or want to call in a professional to reach into my head and rearrange it because some of these things are quite normal and do not seem as unmanageable as I can manage to make them. I would give you examples but that kind of discussion involves a drink I don't allow myself in the morning.
It is just me on this trip, when it comes down to it. It brings up all of my worst stuff - lonely stuff, anxious stuff, stressed-out self-pity stuff. It makes me want to isolate myself, mostly because I feel like I have nothing good to talk about at times like these. But I have it on good intuitive authority that if I spend a few months getting my shit together and setting myself up for the next chapter maybe those feelings won't feel so bad on the other side. Maybe there are long-term problems I really can solve. And if I'm wrong, well, I can't be wrong this time.