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Life Happens

Once again, I apologize for my confusion, conflation and confustication. (But not combustion. I’m not apologizing for that.) Though the reasons for it tie into what I’m going to discuss today. Life happens, and not often smoothly and not often easily. The biggest, most glaringly superlative reasons I’d always choose to live in the present is the simple betterness of our current setup. Despite all our faults, we’re doing all right, here in the now. Hygiene keeps us from horrible things like cholera and typhus, influenza doesn’t kill millions. Modern waste management is a beautiful thing, really. Despite the stench.

That so much of our lives, here in the affluent and privileged West, is more or less handed to us (when was the last time you had to go kill something to make dinner?) is a source of more or less consistent – if not constant – amazement to me, and I know I should express the gratitude I don’t seem to often feel a lot more frequently than I do.

Back to the above: life happens. My life keeps happening, at the rate of one second per second, and – I hope and pray – isn’t going to stop happening thusly anytime soon. As a new parent *stretches suspenders* I’m learning a lot about that, on a nearly day to day basis. For example, I had no idea before himself arrived that babies are psychic vampires. No, seriously. My avaricious little bundle of joy maintains his cheerful, pleasant demeanor by sucking the life out of his parents. I’m astonished we humans keep breeding, I truly am. With a little smile, and a touch of a little hand, he extracts all of my precious emotional energy, and feeds as much on that as on his liver-and-sweet-potato paté.

He is a truly magnificent stressor, and exacerbates all the things, really. I haven’t done taxes, yet, and that weighs. We’re out of town for a while, and making sure all the important things get done back at home hovers over my shoulder. Figuring out whether to up the macronutrient content of Wee Dave’s goop tickles the back of my mind. Wondering if he’ll get us up tonight because he’s ravenous (he’s scooting, these days, and that apparently devours more calories than lying around projecting weapon grade cuteness. Who knew?) eats a few seconds before I drift off to sleep. Trying to figure out if I’m doing anything right weighs rather heavily. (Don’t worry: I have lots of people telling me I’m doing well, and I trust their experience.) And all of this is/are A) normal human stuff, and B) generally sources of joy, than sorrow. And I’ve got it pretty easy, as far as I can tell. Just imagine alternatives (another source of stress, by the by).

And all of this impinges drastically on my motivation and ability to create. Most days feel very much of the two-steps-forward variety when it comes to my career. Knowing that I’m doing well there, too, doesn’t help much. And the whole juggling career and stay-at-home gig is … well, it’s –

Hold that thought. I just read a headline about Microsoft’s new HoloLens display, an augmented reality headset that looks (perhaps, hard to tell if the attendant photo was a mock-up, or something more in tune with reality) something like an oversized set of glasses, and how 2015 is the year “sci-fi becomes real.” I read that. While typing on a keyboard that transmits my keystrokes through the aether, onto a touchscreen device smaller than a hardcover book. One with more computing power than any number of classic thingies that do number stuff. Imagine rocking your way through home repair while on a skype chat with a professional. Or at least with somebody with far more experience than you have. Mockery aside, I’d like mine in mirrorshades.

-it’s a heck of a thing. On the other hand, I’m told by reliable sources that this is standard, and that I might actually be farther up on the curve than I thought. Where am I going with this? Unsure, really. Life gets in the way when you’re trying to create. And, really, that’s okay. That seems to be the story all the way around, right now. For a lot of us, life is happening, more or less outside our control. Ultimately, this is me trying to take my own advice: these things happen, and dealing with them is important. As important, in many ways, as creating. Dealing with life lowers stress levels, which makes creating – in my case writing – actually possible, rather than a fond daydream. We’re doing well. Really.

  1. Only we top predators have the energy for writing – too many life ‘events’ and the ability to be creative disappears.

    We are indeed fortunate in the West – I am happy despite being disabled, because it would be SO much worse to be any place else or any time up until now, and have wrong with me what’s wrong with me.

    I’ll take it.

    Enjoy your little vampire.

    January 23, 2015
  2. Laura M #

    It’s the same when they come home from college.

    January 23, 2015
  3. Pat Patterson #

    Dave, I just read and reviewed Shadow Hands, and it’s not nice to put an appetizer out and not provide the meal!
    It’s a wonderful appetizer, though.

    January 28, 2015
  4. Dave, now that my own Life Happens is ongoing, the lack of easy breastfeeding (due to preemie Adorable Kung-Fu Milk Vampire Brandon), I can definitely relate. I am trying though, to squeeze in a few sentences, perhaps a paragraph or two, while having lunch, through the use of a tiny, tiny netbook (Remember the first ASUS eeePC 4gb solid state netbooks? One of those! They fit into the soft cooler bag I use to bring in the pots of milk to the hospital.)

    As it is though I’ve toally missed my deadline and co-author keeps telling me to just relax and not worry about it. I feel horribly bad about the month basically vanishing into hospital stays and drugged out sleep-comas, and now breast milk supplying and hospital visits. Still… it all is perfectly worth it when I hold that tiny bundle of cutely glaring little boy, sleep deprivation and all.

    January 28, 2015
    • Pat Patterson #

      Multiple bodacious congratulations and words of encouragement! My gift-from-God, happily-ever-after trophy wife Vanessa, the elegant foxy praying grandmother of Woodstock GA and I have eleven births between the two of us, and therefore know how much it takes even when everything is going well. The added burden of hospitals is more than enough. Everything else will wait, and it should, and be blessed over and over!

      January 28, 2015
      • I got to be there when he was weighed today; he’s gained 60g since the last time! And grown two centimeters. He’s at 35 weeks ‘gestation’ (they count preemies still by the week of gestation over here it seems) and he managed to nurse for about five minutes continuously. All good news.

        January 29, 2015
        • Pat Patterson #

          Here in Woodstock, GA, Cultural Center of the Universe, we love good news, we love babies, and our hearts go out to you (Pat ‘n Vanessa)

          January 29, 2015

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