So I'm in the eating area of my in-laws' kitchen, sitting at the table before this damnable machine and thinking about why I'm dreading going home. It's not as if I don't love my home, or how My Lovely Wife and I (mostly My Lovely Wife) have turned it into a welcoming, warm, workable environment. It's more that being out here has allowed me the space to wind down, look around, appreciate what I've got, shudder in horror at the varied ways in which I've squandered or taken for granted those things over the past year, and try to concoct ways of NOT doing that in the future. The thing about home is that it's where all my bad habits are, habits of mind and habits of action.
I think about the ways I go through days, what I get right, what I get wrong. The ways I keep myself informed and the ways I wind myself up. How often the two are kind of inextricably linked to each other. I think about how angry I am, or can be, and how destructive that anger can be...and also how constructive, in its way, how it's fed in to other creative projects over the past year, and even to some polemics. I want to deploy my energies into constructive, creative outlets, but I know that more often than not my anger feeds my sloth, which feeds my insolence, which feeds into a compulsion to shoot from the hip, or whatever you want to call it. I know that it's right to be outraged by the rewarding of mediocrity, and by mediocrity itself, but I also know that railing against it in the ways that are most obvious—the ways I'm most prone to turning to—gets very little done, finally. I look at the New Year and I wish I had a formula to instantaneously make everything make sense, and I know that no such thing exists. But I raise my head and look at these people I love, who have given me so much, and I feel kind of unworthy of them, and wish I could snap my fingers and conjure a better self to be sitting here. Not possible, I know. And what is possible seems...well, seems like it's gonna take a lot of time. Wonder if I ought to take up transcendental meditation. David Lynch sure is a convincing proselytizer for it. Works for Clint Eastwood, too. One thing I understand from hearing them talk about it is that focus, finally, is all. And we're all, to some extent, in a business, a culture, that thrives on distraction.
Also, I'd like to lose sixty pounds or so.
Ah, well. The amazing breakfast Claire's been working on since last night (which will not help me lose sixty pounds) is almost ready. Later we'll be visiting the folks next door, who, as a family activity, watched The Girlfriend Experience on Thanksgiving night (really!), and apparently the head of that household has a lot of questions for me. I'm gonna wear the blazer I wore in that picture over to the house, because why not?
Happy New Year, all!