What Annoys Jeff this Week?

1. Eye strain. My eyes aren’t getting worse, the doc tells me. My prescription hasn’t changed now in three years. In response to my complaint about not being able to read deep into the night like I used to, “Your eyes are just getting old,” he says with a grin and the hint of a chuckle. Apparently looking at a computer all day and trying to read all night, is just straining the hell out of them, which is what’s making the world go all blurry after 8 PM every night. The fix, maybe, is to add a set of reading glasses to my current bifocal order. Theoretically, that will mean when I’m reading in the evenings, I won’t have to keep looking down through the bottom third of my lenses. If that doesn’t do it, we’ll order a set that really magnifies instead of just adjusting the focus for my crummy vision. I’d pretend to be indignant, but at this point I’m willing to try most anything to get the situation corrected or even just improved.

2. Autumn. We’ll see the first few hours of autumn today. I don’t particularly mind the onset of cooler weather, but I resent the hell out of the days getting shorter. If feels like losing a lot more than we’re gaining for the trouble. This time of year always comes along with a certain nagging black dog. History tells me he’ll be around for the next 10 or 12 weeks. I’ll perk up a bit at the solstice, when we’ve gone over the hump and days lengthen instead of grow shorter – with its promise of gaining something rather than losing it. Until then, I’ll simply go through the day with a slightly increased baseline level of aggravation. It’s probably not so much that anyone would notice, but I’ll damned well know it.

3. People. Donald Trump is easy to mock. He’s a twice impeached reality television star-in-chief who spent his final days in office plotting the undoing of our republican form of government and when caught red handed begged his followers not to believe the evidence seen by their own lying eyes. As we’ve learned over the last seven years of his candidacy, his term of office, and his post-presidential career, that’s just Donald being Donald. The really troublesome bit is the people, who despite all evidence – or perhaps because of it – still rally to the call of this disgraced carnival barker. Make no mistake, there’s still enough of them, added to critical mass of those who are simply ambivalent, that it’s entirely possible he’ll be on the ballot two years from now. You can’t blame the former host of The Celebrity Apprentice for that part. It’s only a possibility because people are gullible, too invested in the narrative to be open to new information, or too stuck on their pride to admit they’ve been misled and find another way ahead.  

Total lack of motivation…

So, I have had a total lack of motivation lately. And I’m not just talking about blogging, but a total lack of motivation for class, for work, for much of anything, really. My black dog apparently takes a little longer to kick in during winters in the south… must be because it stays warm longer. I’m sure this lull in the action will lift at some point, but for the moment, I’m just… blah.

A visit from my black dog…

Those of you who have been regular readers (thank you, by the way) may possibly have noticed a somewhat cyclic pattern to my posts. I know in reviewing them from time to time, I have identified a pattern that seems to emerge, at least to me, quite clearly… Building up a full head of steam and ranting or railing on a particular topic or series of topics, punctuated buy a post or two of more sullen thoughts. Until I sat tonight to write, I hadn’t put it together that those periods when my mood darkens are closely aligned to the times when I have the least to do… To those times when I have nothing to throw myself wholly into or to get lost in. They are the times I take counsel in my fears.

As I sit here tonight, I thought I might share some of those thought, some of those fears, with you.

Perhaps my greatest fear is that I’ll never be as great as my own ambition. It tends to be worse near my birthday and those who have spent any time with me in late May are probably all too familiar with my lament that Alexander had conquered an empire by the time he was thirty. As I write tonight, however, the thought, the fear, that plays on my mind most, is a question of why my own path seems so different that that of so many others. I’ve watched a parade of friends and associates pair off, marry, and settle into a routine of family life. And I’ve watched myself drive away the very possibility of those things in my on life at every turn. Just the outside prospect that things could move to that point fills me with abject dread and brings on images of the walls closing in on me, of suffocating under the weight of it.

The better part of the last three years has consisted of vaguely organized chaos, of flying across the country at the drop of a hat, of learning to think of hotels as second homes, and of never really being able to plan more than a few days of my life in advance. There is at least a part of me that envies those who know they’ll be home each night and know what and who to expect once they get there. There is more than a little regret for some of the opportunities I have allowed to pass untaken and for those my own chaos has hurt as it unfolded around them. I’ve not always been proud of the things I have done or the decisions I have made, but in almost every circumstance, I believed I was acting for the best. Some, however, were made in moments of fear, and of these, I am the least proud.

I will feel better tomorrow, because that is how these things work for me. Thought my black dog still lies at my feet, writing tonight has been a catharsis, as it almost always is.

I don’t often choose to post something this soul searching, so read and digest while you can… before I wake up in the middle of the night realizing what I threw out for the world to see and delete it… You know how I hate putting a weak face to the public.

P.S. Just so you know I’m not taking things too seriously tonight, I seriously considered posting this under the “Pets and Animals” category just for a lark and to see if anyone noticed.