Huzzah! Huzzah! Huzzah!

It is with great anticipation and even greater joy that I take this moment to send my heartfelt congratulations to my dear friend Crisitunity on her upcoming nuptials this weekend.  A long-awaited moment for all of the friends and family of her and her fantastic BF, and even more so for the lucky couple themselves!

I’ve known a whole lot of couples in my life.  These two are among the bestest evar.  Y’all deserve a wonderful day, and even more, an amazing life together.  I sincerely hope that you have both.

My heartfelt best wishes to you both.  And I hope some “Dancing Queen” will be played!  😀

–TB

PS:  If I was rich, you’d best believe your wedding present would be a four-finger ring spelling out ‘C-TUNE.”

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Hiatus

I’ve decided to put the blog on hold for a while.

Really, it took a friend talking to me about an unrelated subject last week to make me realize that, in fact, I’ve just been sort of going through the motions for…  what, six months now, with a couple of spotty breaks in and amongst that?  That’s just not good.  I never wanted to do this sort of thing out of some sense of obligation, I wanted to post because I had stuff to say.  And coming from a guy with MY reputation as a wordy sumbitch, this has just been an unusually quiet time for me.  I’ve stopped participating in my favorite motorcycle board, I haven’t been really reading or commenting on anyone elses’ blogs, I’ve dropped off of Twitter, I’ve been slow to reply to emails (not just you guys, but hell, even at work!) – and yeah, I’ve stopped posting everything but Monday Musics.  I kept thinking if I just kept the MM momentum alive, then when I got back to myself again, it would be easier to just crank everything back up.  And that may be true, but it still leaves me going about this without the right frame of mind.  Better, I think, to just walk away and come back when the time is right.

I think, really, what it comes down to is that for the last 20 years I’ve lived my life online to a degree that is, quite frankly, kinda shocking.  First there was the old MUD, then over time I slowly began to accumulate other online homes and change my focus from one to another as the years when by:  a couple of online forums, Myspace, then this blog, and then Twitter and all that sort of thing.  (I’ve still resisted the pull of Facebook, that’s like the last online bandwagon I have yet to jump onto.  It’ll probably come eventually, but not quite yet.)  For whatever reason, lately, I just…haven’t…been…feeling it.

I’ve gotten just plain old tired of sitting in front of a computer screen, to a level that I haven’t in a long, long, long time.  I’ve been blessed with a cornucopia of wonderful online friends over the last two decades, definitely and prominently including several of you fine folks.  But I have to be honest and admit that I’ve often done so to the detriment of forging real bonds with people I can see face-to-face.  I’ve let the internet be my support network.  Which is fine, but not as one’s ONLY support group, you know?

Hell, when it comes down to it, I kinda have an internet addiction.  I’m at a point at which there are big changes underway in my life, and I’m committed to being and doing better.  So one of the things I’m trying to do is get out there, spend some time with local people, and that sort of thing.  I didn’t really intend to step away from the ‘net so much, but while this has been going on, it’s sort of felt right.

I’m not dead, I’m not dying, I’m not depressed…well, I have been depressed, but I’m actually in a phase of getting better.  Much better, I think, and I don’t think I’m fooling myself to believe so.  And it’s not y’all, it’s me.  (Heheheh, had to work in a breakup cliche here!)  Y’all know I love ya.  Pretty much all of you have my email address – and if you don’t, duh, look in the sidebar! – and hell, most of you have my phone number.  Y’all can holler if you want, whenever you want.  It’s all good.

At some point, I intend to come back – when I’ve let my pendulum swing too far on the not-so-much-with-the-online-stuff side for a while and then come back to find a nice balance.  For now, though, I’m just going to walk my walk and think about it internally, and I’ll bore you all with the details some other time.

Don’t ask me why, but this song has been on my mind for a week or so now.  It feels appropriate for the moment, though, so I’m going to throw it up here as my last Monday Music for a while.

Neil Young, “Heart of Gold”

Love and serenity to all of you.

Catch ya on the flip side.  😉

TB

Borrowed Wisdom

I love finding treasure troves at random.

A week ago Saturday I was at the local branch of my public library to pick up a Dummies book on ice hockey.  (Yes, I’m making yet another attempt to grow an interest in the NHL.  So far this one is sticking a little bit.)  While I was there, I reached over and grabbed The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Backpacking and Hiking.  I thought it would be vaguely interesting, and it was.  But while I was in that section, my eyes just happened to fall upon another book.  I picked it up, glanced at the cover and the dust jacket text, and put it in the pile to check out.  I’ve plowed through all three books in 10 days, and this one will someday rest on my personal bookshelf.

I just had to share these excerpts from my favorite book of 2011 (so far):

Perhaps, at the time, in our hearts, we do have an inkling that we’re only just beginning, but we don’t want to admit it.  We can’t.  To admit that would be to admit you don’t know what you’re doing, which would be to admit, that you have a long way to go, which would make the journey appear so daunting as to stymie even starting out.  Better to believe you know what you’re doing and keep doing it until you do.

Heh.  Been there and done that, brother.

But better than that is this.  This is, IMHO, some damn good writing.

Adulthood is an insidious process of accretion.  If you’re not vigilant, you begin to grow a shell, a carapace that you are expected to carry lightly:  the rigid, high-stress hull of security, status, status quo.  The thicker the better, right up until it crushes you.  On the inside, whether you can still feel it or not, your soul is trying to claw its way out.

Uh:  yep.  That’s some scary truth right there.  I’m trying to teach myself to shed as much of that carapace as is healthy.  But damn, it’s hard stuff, and it runs counter to most of what we’re taught (or, more likely, absorb by osmosis) as kids.

I highly recommend the book, folks.  It’s called The Hard Way:  Stories of Danger, Survival, and the Soul of Adventure by Mark Jenkins, an avid climber and outdoor writer.  My penis-equipped friends will especially appreciate it, methinks.

Monday Music

Some days the rain and sun come together and make a beautiful rainbow.

The rain hasn’t completely died out for me – there are droplets falling all around me, on me, into me.  And not all of the droplets falling from my face are raindrops.

But even though the body of the storm is still visible on the horizon – even though there was damage done that will need to be repaired with patient labor – even though stray raindrops still fall – I’ve weathered it.  It’s done.  The worst is past.

The sun is peeking through the clouds.

And I know my rainbow is right around the bend.  I’m just keeping my eyes on the sky, because any minute it will appear.  It’s there, I can feel it.  And my feet are already working in the direction of that rainbow bridge to my magnificent future.

Led Zeppelin, “The Rain Song”

Plummeting

I’m just going to throw this out there to be evocative.  Do not take literally, repeat, do not take literally.  Everybody just go ahead and agree not to panic or call the men in white jackets quite yet, okay?

For weakness is a magnet…

Somebody told me a day or two ago that I’ve yet to hit rock bottom.  I know that’s true, and told this person so, but I said I was trying to keep the last little bit for controlled dives in my therapist’s office.

So much for THAT.

A couple of things smacked me yesterday, from first thing in the morning all the way up until midnight, and as of this morning I have to confess that, fuck, I’ve STILL got a long way to go.  There is a shitpot full of misery and anger and despair and depression and maybe still a little more anger that I think I am still not even allowing myself to take in my hands and hold, much less let go.

One day, one hour, one minute at a time I hold my shit together and do the things I’ve got to do to get through the day.  Some of those days/hours/minutes I can hold it together more tightly than others.  But, goddamn, after a few decades of feeling like shit, it strikes me this morning as fucking frustrating to blink your eyes and realize that, gee, this has not yet begun to suck.

My therapist thinks I’m doing a fantastic job.  She marvels at the progress I’ve made each time I see her.  Well, this is going to be one of those times where I take a giant step backward in order to move forward.  And it sucks that I’ll have to wait to talk to her about it.

If rock bottom is where I need to start my climb, then fuck it.  Sometimes you just have to close your eyes and take the dive.  No matter where on the cliff you are.

Damn.  Life is a hormonal bitch, and on some days, she forgets her coffee.

Monday Music

Well, I survived!  Yay!

My big speech and my big meeting are both behind me, and although I still have lots of pesky duties calling my name, in general my external stress level has gone way down.  Which leaves me more time and energy to devote to my rapidly climbing internal stress level.  But that’s why I have a therapist, right?

At least now I feel like I have a little room if I need to cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war – or, more likely, cry “oh, fuck this” and slip the surly bonds of sanity, which are a bitch on the best of days anyway.  I know y’all know what I mean.

Believe it or not, I’m better this week.  I’m not as good today as I was on Saturday afternoon and yesterday after I got back from my conference – Monday mornings at work and having to deal with people can be a pain in the ass, wow, what a concept! – but I’m a little better.  And after a week off, I’ve got a therapy appointment, so that’ll be nice.  In the meantime, I’m hoping (again) that this will be my chance to get all caught up on my overdue blog reading.  I’m crossing my fingers!

This song is NOT about where I am today.  It’s about where I was last week.  But it’s an important document and I figured I’d post it – since, hell, I really don’t know exactly where I am today.  Maybe I’ll figure it out tomorrow, and that’ll be NEXT week’s MM.

Stone Sour, “Bother”

Chaotic

Hey folks.

Yesterday turned out to be even more chaotic work-wise than I had thought – and today, WHOA, I knew was going to be such but it is exceeding my expectations in a big way.

I knew the right thing to do yesterday was post and walk away from it for a good long while.  I intended to get back to it – but I never had a chance to do so when I was in the right frame of mind and felt like I had the time to sit down and give your comments all of the attention they deserved.  The result is that it’s over 24 hours later and I still haven’t even glanced at them at all – although I read and responded to one tweet and a handful of emails that you guys were wonderful enough to send.  (Including you, completely random reader who told a story of how I wasn’t alone – thank you so much for that.)

It turned out that yesterday was my biggest day of hits in a long time, only rivaled by days in which I posted more than once.  I imagine that most of that was you guys coming back to see what each other had written – and that is awesome.

You see, as I told my emailers, I was feeling really fucked up when I started writing…but I knew that writing it, and admitting weakness and fear, was an avenue to claiming strength and courage.  I knew that writing about how much of a struggle it would be, and how seriously I would take it, would make it okay to struggle with it.

And I knew that I had a whole load of people to back me up.  I didn’t need to look at the comments to know that.  That’s another reason I knew I could say what I wanted to and come out the other side better than before.  And I did – as I suspected, writing my way through it was a huge fucking weight off of my shoulders.  There are other weights, and many of those I still plan to keep private for now, but every one shed is a blessing.  And thanks to all of you for that.

I’m leaving tonight for a conference – a few nights of no-roommate-hotel-room solitude would be GREAT if I didn’t have to be professional and presentable during the day, but it still beats a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.  So I’ll likely be out of touch again for most or all of the next several days, but hopefully this is the end of my WORK insanity, so I can focus more on my personal insanity for a while.  Thanks again, folks – for everything.

Now to go and read the comments!