Private Journal Entry #4
by Steve Mitchell
Hello again, Diary. Are diaries supposed to be written in daily? What are the diary rules?
You never say anything, Diary.
No worries. I’ve got a lot to say.
A lot to say.
My date with Lucie at Durant’s was tremendous and delightful. The food was wonderful (and expensive!) Lucie wore a 50’s era black cocktail dress and every time she threw her head back to laugh, her hair got pulled by the hook in back. Unfortunately/fortunately, it happened a lot that evening!
I wore my kilt even though it bothers me it’s been fitting so snug since the winter. I still haven’t lost the winter weight and Durant’s didn’t help, but, you have to live, right Diary?
Saturday night, Lucie and I went to the Yucca Tap room for a luau themed adult-prom. We’d been planning on going to that for a couple of months. It was fun. Not as fun as Durant’s. We wore matching outfits and white leis. I got stuck guarding some new acquaintance’s purse and Lucie and I missed our chance to get prom photos taken. It made Lucie pretty angry that everyone just left us to get their photos done without thinking of us. Then, someone spilled a beer on her and we were pretty much done. Still, it was, overall, fun and we always enjoy going out together.
Sunday was a lazy day. I took the day off work and we slept in. Later we went to a movie with Alec. Lucie and I fell asleep by 10pm cuddling on the sofa.
Monday, yesterday, I finished R’s painting. I just tightened up some of the detail and balanced the overall color composition a bit. I don’t know what R will think of it. I believe he’ll like it. I’m hoping he will. Lucie sent him an extreme closeup photo just as a teaser. He hasn’t seen the whole painting and doesn’t know what it’s of. He’s picking it up today.
If nothing else, I really like it. I like it more than the peacock painting. I’m going to post about it in my blog when I start back up with it.
And now, Diary, I’m not sure how to proceed. I took a hiatus from the blog and started writing you in an effort to sort out where my head was.
And then I finished the painting and…my head feels okay.
Not that I entirely trust the feeling. It’s not my first rodeo, Diary. There’s always something, lurking, waiting.
So, let me try to order my thoughts just to be thorough. Diaries always have to endure the navel gazing, eh?
Here’s what was going on, Diary:
- I felt/feel demoralized putting back on all the inches I’d lost (and then some). The weight had come off pretty easily a couple of years ago and stayed off and then… It’s a mix maybe of not doing all the things I’d been doing plus poorer sleep. I slowly started losing ground when my work schedule changed and I had to start getting up at a quarter after 4 in the morning with no more time to meditate before work. I also eased up on my fasting and on my dietary “discernment” and I exercise less than I had been. Right now I’m not really losing or gaining weight. My kilt doesn’t lie. The buckles can’t be bluffed.
- I felt I was trying to play catch-up with my blog. I drew blanks. I didn’t have time to read other blogs (I still haven’t – maybe today I’ll read a bunch) But also, I don’t know for sure how to phrase it, I had a growing feeling my blog needed to be more honest, honest without too much navel gazing. More honest in the sense of sharing the parts of me I’d rather keep private, the less flattering parts, like the photo of yourself you hate but everyone thinks “It’s so you!” I’m pretty honest already. But I’m also pretty glib. It’s part of my schtick. So I don’t know how to mix in more of the uncomfortable honesty. I hear you, Diary, asking why I even need bother. I don’t know. Everybody struggles. Maybe it would help. I don’t know.
- I felt the pressure of making R’s painting as good (for him) as the one which had been stolen. It’s a weird sensation, having a piece of art you’ve created stolen. Did the the thief love it? Was it a goof? A prank? Did they hate it? When my first attempt at a replacement went south, my state of mind went with it. It’s like the painting failure was a ….mental … foot …in the braindoor of my mind and ….hold on diary, that metaphor isn’t taking shape. It seems, the stress of the painting opened the way for my usual parade of self-doubting bogeymen.
- Like socially and socializing. I’m such an introvert, Diary. Socializing is taxing. It gives me stress. But I enjoy it, to the degree it doesn’t overtax me. And lately, one of my usual bogeymen has been the “I’m a square peg and blah blah blah.” I’m astute. I’m good at reading faces and emotional cues. I’m aware when people zone out on me or check out or drift off or want to leave me and do something else. The problem is I don’t necessarily know why, but I tend to assume it’s me when it happens. It happens to everyone I imagine. I’m either awkwardly aloof or talking too much (or I’m just right and perfectly charming) and sometimes I really want to make a good impression and sometimes I don’t want to get to know any new people… I’ve struggled with it my entire adult life, maybe my whole life, that feeling of not quite fitting in. I only ever feel truly at my ease, in that regard, around Lucie and the boys and around some of my friends from the service. I get ahead of it then lose ground.
- And….ANGER. I don’t know why I’ve always, always, always, got a ready undercurrent of anger. I don’t feel angry most of the time in every day life. I’m generally pretty okay and amiable. I’m not a snarling, crabby, furrowed, angry guy. I don’t seethe at every little thing. I don’t hold grudges. I don’t lament the universe or shake my fists at the heavens. (except when I do) But I understand anger. I have deep reserves of anger and it’s physical, visceral anger. When it hits, it lights up my nerve endings. It floods my body. It grabs my muscles and locks my brain. I don’t know why. Physiology? the nagging suspicion all life is a nasty bait-and-switch? I don’t know. I do know different people have different triggers. One friend of ours told me he responded to shame with anger. I respond to frustration with anger. That feels significant. I’m going to ponder that. Frustration. Yeah.
Anyhow. Sorry, Diary, for chewing your ear. Wait! You’re a diary. You have to listen! HAhahaHAHA!
That was rude of me.
I’ve started mediating again, doing Pranayama breathing. I do it in the afternoons, after work. It’s a more obnoxious time than first thing in the morning. After work, I really just want sofa time with a cup of coffee. But, I defer the coffee and the butt time until I meditate for 15 minutes. Full, disclosure, Diary, I didn’t meditate over the weekend. It’s hard to segregate myself from the family that way, especially when it’s for something I don’t necessarily feel like doing.
I’ve noticed, though, when I meditate after work, I’m less snacky. I don’t grab as much boredom food. What’s that about, huh? Am I on to something here? Could it all be inter-tangled? I think perhaps.
I’ve also started, with limited success to push myself to bed earlier. It’s not easy. Lucie’s schedule has her up later. Even Alec doesn’t need to go to bed as early as I should. I’ll keep working on it.
So. Diary. This is probably it for awhile. I think I’m in a good enough place to proceed. Nothing is fixed, but …
I’m not packing you in. I’m setting you aside. Maybe. Maybe for awhile.
And I think I’ll start back into my blog. Yeah. I’ll have to give myself permission to skip days. It’s hard. It’s a compulsion.
Thank you, Diary.