I realized, over the last few mornings, that I often wake up thinking about what a failure I am, or how stupid I am. Nothing even has to have happened yet. I may have gone to bed feeling great. And yet, there it is, unbidden. Emotional First Aid likens failure to a cold, something we get all the time and throw off with a bit of rest. If we don’t take care of ourselves we can end up with emotional pneumonia. It is an apt analogy. To wake up every morning afraid of one’s upcoming failures is pretty depressing. The good news is that I’m now aware of it. Ironically, perhaps, that’s a success!
I’ve been struggling a bit recently to pack everything I want to do in to each day. Play a bit of music, read a book, take some pictures, find some geocaches, do some yoga, or get in to any number of other distractions. Ironically, blogging about it is one of those things too. After working an eight-plus hour day, trying to find the time to do the things I really want to do is pretty challenging. I can’t decide if I’m being overly compulsive and, in doing so, am watering down all these experiences. Maybe, being aware of my increasing age, I’m trying to make up for a lot of wasted time. I suppose as long as I’m enjoying what I’m doing, and getting some sort of benefit from it, I should just embrace the busy-ness. It certainly doesn’t leave much room for procrastination.
I had an interesting conversation with a friend today who noticed I’m reading Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assassin. She felt that it was a “school book”; something you might read because you had to read it as a school assignment. It grieves me that we’ve come to this place where writing as lavish and powerful as Atwood’s has been relegated to the domain of high school students, grudgingly grinding through pages of prose that they haven’t enough experience to truly appreciate. It is sad, because I don’t think anything quite compares to reading for exercising the mind, challenging assumptions, and exploring new ideas. I hope some kids are still reading for pleasure and I hope some will come to discover the wonder of these works over time.