Thursday, February 19, 2009

Apologies All Around

Sort of. I apologize for not responding to comments, which has been a trend for me going on the order of months now. I'm in a transitional phase and I'm not sure what's going to give. My wife approached me with the idea that I might have attention deficit issues, so I went to a doctor and he prescribed me some medicine that I am trying today for the first time. I'm already feeling something, though I can't say for sure just what. But so far this morning I have replied to three emails, written two others that have been long overdue, and my thoughts seem to be more focused on what I have to do.

Distractibility is my biggest issue. It seems that with my overwhelming workload lately that instead of focusing on getting it done I'm getting nothing done at all, as if the burden of wanting to write, play guitar, get my finances in order, read, play my games and be a kick-ass awesome parent—oh, and be good at my job—has become the weight of the earth squared, and I've dumped the whole thing.

By the way, Beth (it was you I think), thanks for turning me onto the short stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald. I finished Gatsby, but I have to say, as much as I enjoyed it, the short stories are (to me) infinitely better. I can't stand being told someone is a great writer only to be annoyed with their florid use of the language. Fitzgerald is so not intimidating at all. He can describe people with such ease and eloquence, and follows the inner dialogue of people in so many situations. He's so intuitive. Well, I'm just soaking it all in. I've promised myself that I will go back and reread it all and write down every line that moves me. I'm actually thinking of writing a program that will categorize the type of passage so that I can recall it later when I'm looking for a way to say something. Sort of like, and maybe just like, the way you can attach labels to blog posts. But this I want to have locally so I don't have to rely on blogspot to be around. Someday we're all going to lose everything we've ever written in blogland.

My family life has been astoundingly wonderful. I've always been happy at home, but happy in a way that is deferent to the way things were before I met my wife. Marriage isn't always easy, and can sometimes be difficult, but I've never ever thought of throwing in the towel. But there has been a change lately. My wife is happier than she has ever been, and her relationship with the kids has taken a joyous turn. Where before it could be strained, it's mostly smooth and easy. They laugh and play games while I'm typing away at the keys. The kids play with each other so nicely. There are fights like you would always expect, but nothing a little room time can't clear up like magic. My kids are so well-mannered. I remember in the old days when Jackson was only three how parents would warn me of times to come. "You'll see; you just wait…" And it scared me, even as I bravely told them and myself that it would be different for me, because—and I have to be frank here—I knew that I was a better parent. And that's not to say bad things don't happen to good parents, because they do, but good things happen to good parents too, and there is a reward for doing things right.

My tenth anniversary was just last week. We got a babysitter and went out. At dinner I presented my wife with a diamond necklace that I got from Macy's the day before. Funny story behind that, but I'll stay on track (the drugs are kicking in). I told her that I was glad that she was the mother of my children. She waved it off and said, "I'm the sure thing." But I pressed on. The truth is, like Helen Hunt to Jack Nicholson, she doesn't just make me want to be a better man, she makes me a better man. Without her I would be lost. All my dreams, my hopes, my aspirations, would be nothing without her. She's the first and last part of everything I need. And that's the truth.

Happy tenth, baby.