Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Kvetching and resolutions

I am bone tired. It all probably just adds up to "middle age" but I need to find a way to live my life at a sustainable pace in 2017.

This was the Facebook status I posted Saturday morning: "I don't want to say it was a long, full week, but when I finally got home last night I was too tired to drink beer. #TheHorror"

Really, I was too tired to sit on my couch and drink beer on a Friday night.

If it was just one long week during the run up holidays that would be fine, but this has been a long time coming. I bore you with the kvetching details, gentle reader, but I've essentially been working what used to be 2-1/2 jobs at work for four years now. I like my job, but there's too much of it. I've also served as Village President (essentially the mayor) of our village for ten years. Plus, I served as treasurer on a state representative campaign this year.

It adds up.

I'm worn out. And as a result, I'm not doing a particularly good job of the things I should be doing. So it takes me longer to do them, so I get more worn out.

Rinse. Repeat.

I no longer seem to have long blocks of time for coherent thought. My daily existence is broken into a never-ending series of meetings crammed around dozens and dozens of emails. Worse yet I sometimes find myself multitasking during many of those meetings because I am awash in unread email and behind schedule on eight-thousand other fronts. Then I come home and impose multitasking on myself as I peruse the web while half-watching sporting events or routine TV shows. I have the attention span of a ... well, I was going to say "a five-year-old child," but frankly most five-year-olds can focus better than I can these days.

I need to re-establish my ability to focus and to sustain coherent thought for long periods of time. That used to be my thing, damn it.

I haven't been taking good care of myself. Not nearly enough exercise. Too much food. And then I get tired or stressed and overeat even more. It used to be that even when I overate I usually ate pretty decent food, but there's been an awful lot of junk going into me lately.

I have become a compendium of poor health habits. My doctor is not amused by the recent trend in my overall health the last few years. His advice to me at my physical this month went something like this, "Stop letting your job make you crazy and don't work yourself into an early grave."

Junk food into my belly, junk thought into my brain. I need to read more print and do less surfing of FB and Twitter. And good print. Books.

I can't maintain for the next four years the pace and intensity of my fury that Donald Trump was elected president. It's the most inconceivably awful decision democracy has made in my recollection or study of American history. I like to think that I stand for rational, reasonable, fact-based policy and decision-making in government with an emphasis on fairness to everybody and long-term solutions for problems. "Dull, efficient government," is my motto. Trumpism is pretty much the opposite, headed up by a sociopathic compulsive liar.

Just typing that last paragraph raised my blood pressure by 20 points. I need to find some way to not let the next four years drive me mad.

Because it could. It really could. We're six weeks past the election and I still find myself in a white-hot fury about it at some point every day. Unfortunately, I have enough empathy and imagination to see that the next four years are likely to be very bad for a lot of people who already have it pretty bad. The results of the next four years have a very good chance to be catastrophic for some parts of the world.

I don't know how to turn myself off from that knowledge. Empathy and imagination is what makes me tick. I don't know how to not care. I don't know how to pretend I don't see what I'm watching right now. I don't think I'm going to be able to ignore it or compartmentalize national politics for the next four years.

But there's also not much I can do about it, either. I can do my best to get my village ready to ride it out, I suppose. And when I do my job well I make it easier for people to find good, reliable information and I make it easier for people to learn. All of which makes it even more infuriating that so many people have chosen to wallow in crappy, inaccurate information and flat-out lies. I guess I can take a bit of solace in knowing that I'm on the right side of the information war that is being fought. It doesn't seem like enough, though.

I don't think there's anything truly wrong with me that six months on a quiet tropical beach wouldn't fix. (Well, maybe four years on that beach for the Trump thing....) But that ain't happening.

So, most of all I need to figure out how to get myself to a reasonable, sustainable, healthy pace and place in 2017. I'm not there right now. And I'm not sure what the path is to that place. But I need to find it.

I think I can.

I think I can.

I think I can.

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