Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Recently, over a lunch of flavorless tilapia and cold fries, I was berated for not blogging enough lately. I reminded the assembled audience my intention with Urf! was never to write just to see something on the internet and that I wouldn’t post unless I had something to say. And I haven’t had much to say in the vein of what you’re used to reading here. The truth, though, is that I have had something to say, or an idea of what to say, for some time now, but every time I sit in front of the computer I keep going back to this woman’s blog to read this post and then this one. I bet I’ve read each of them dozens of times and each time I read them I think I’m going to write an entire post around them because a comment just won’t do. But then I don’t because I haven’t been confident enough in my writing to attempt to match her own. And this is all very personal between her and me, so you may not be interested, and may choose to stop reading now, as I make a stab at explaining where I’ve been.

Specifically what I’m trying to figure out as I read these posts is how my wife and I, traveling in the same car at the same speed on the same road have arrived in two very different places. Kristy is happy with her life and comfortable in her own skin. She’s at peace with who she is. And I … am not. I worry. I obsess. I am held captive by the stress in my life. Is it all more than most adults have to deal with? Probably not. Do I realize this? Do I understand that what I’m dealing with is anxiety and a form of depression? I do. I’ve dealt with it for years, 12 of those years I’ve known exactly what it is, yet I’m just now reaching the end of my rope. I’ve controlled it mostly through diet and exercise, and though it doesn’t affect me now nearly as badly as it did when I was 25, it’s still something I can’t shake. It’s like a song you can’t get out of your head. During good times, moments when I shouldn’t have a care in the world, when I’m at the pond with the kids feeding ducks on a perfect Fall day or when friends are over and we’re all talking and laughing, it’s still there. The song. Only it isn’t Sinatra or Costello, it’s impending doom. It’s a recorded loop playing in the back of my mind that reminds me what it is I’m supposed to be worrying about instead of playing with my kids or laughing with friends or reading a book.

Understand, too, that Kristy and I have been going through some difficult times recently. Not with our marriage or anything, but other things, and they have been weighing on me heavily, leaving me both uninspired and unamused. Certainly unable to write a blog post that would do anything other than depress all of you as well. And yet, it was during this time that Sassy wrote the two aforementioned posts. The very situation that was dragging me further down is what inspired her to relish her family and friends and relative wealth compared with so many truly unfortunate across the city and around the world. And I know that this is what I should focus on, what my attitude should be. My family is not yet at poverty level, we can afford to eat well and the kids are healthy. We have great friends, a loving extended family, and we’re all happy. They’re happy. I should be happy but there’s that loop in my skull, remember? I should ignore it, I should know it for what it is and not listen to it, but that’s the problem, isn’t it? That’s the hole I’ve found myself in. This is the rub. I am unable to pull myself up out of the misery and smile and know that things will only get better. I admire the hell out of those who can. I envy Kristy and her optimism. I hope with everything I am that our children inherit her disposition. I also hope that when The Quartet is old enough to read this that it’s all news to them, that they don’t remember their dad as a worried, anxious, pissy man. I try to keep it from them and I hope I’ve hidden it well. Other steps need to be taken, I know, and Kristy and I are discussing them because I’m tired of this particular obsession, I’m tired of the loop. I’m just tired. But I haven’t yet grown tired of writing so I’ll be returning here soon if not immediately. I felt, though, that I needed to get this out of the way, not for you, necessarily, but for myself. And now it’s done.