Sunday, January 27, 2008

Looking In the Window and Seeing Myself

I started this blog almost two years ago to be an online journal of my attempts to conquer my panic and anxiety issues. I've actually made very little progress toward that goal. Part of the reason I don't write much about it is because it's an embarrassing affliction that no one else can relate to unless they've been through the same thing. People have said to me, and many more have thought to themselves but didn't say, "Just get over it!". I can well understand their frustration with me at failing to overcome these demons. I used to look at smokers, drinkers and other people who have something they'd like to control but can't, and I would think "It's not that hard, just get over it.". Now I understand their difficulty. I have to think that God has allowed me to be like this for a purpose, whether it's a test of my faith or something else, something grander that's yet to be revealed. What I know for sure is that my whole adult life has been influenced by anxiety and panic and that I would be a different person were they out of my life. A better person? Unknown. But I would have taken more chances and risks, some of which might have paid off and some that I see would have been disastrous, so would I be better off?...flip a coin.

I'm considering abandoning this blog, or changing its structure perhaps. I just don't feel comfortable writing down some of the things that go through my head because some are terrifying and others just plain ridiculous. Such is the mind of a not-entirely-stable person, I guess. So, I've been writing events that happen in my life, or memories of growing up, that sort of thing, but not using this blog for the purpose I originally started it for. I don't know, I might try to write a little each day and maybe in doing that I'll find that I'm more comfortable letting my mind spill out a little at a time.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Buried Alive

When we first got married my wife and I had part time jobs, but somehow managed to pay the monthly bills without having to resort to bank robbery. In fact, we had it pretty good because we ate out most nights, were able to do most anything we wanted, and could still put a little cash aside for rainy days. Then came our first child, followed swiftly by doctor and hospital bills. We were still doing good, as I had the bills budgeted to allow us a leisurely 5 or 10 dollars left over each week. Our second child popped out the week that we got done paying the hospital bills from #1 son. Over the years a steady trickle of new bills starting gathering speed, and after my wife's student loan payments started arriving and the kids turned into teenagers then into college goers, the trickle was an avalanche.

Looking at the mail from the past couple of days I've discovered not only how far in debt we are, but how disorganized things are now. It seems like the mail comes so fast that we don't have time to sort through it, so all of our end-of-the-year interest payment information is scattered throughout the house, and I'm sure we'll be scrambling to gather everything up right before we go get the taxes done like we usually do. My neat and orderly system somehow vanished over the years and now it's an adventure to try to find whatever it is I happen to be looking for. There are many times I miss those first years of marital bliss, living poorly but well, when the month's bills fit in an envelope in a drawer and restaurant dining was a nightly affair, not a special event.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Transylvania Twist

I was flipping the tv channels back and forth the other night, watching Monk and catching part of the series Moonlight, which - from what I saw of it - has the potential to be an interesting show. Unfortunately I dozed off and didn't finish either show so I couldn't tell you how either ended. The girl on Moonlight who plays the human love interest also played in Underworld, as a vampire. I've always been drawn to vampire movies and shows for some reason, going way back to Dark Shadows, the soap opera, even though I didn't remember anything about the show except for the opening theme music which scared me just hearing it. Dark Shadows was on a channel which we didn't get except for those freak times when the wind blew just the right way, so it wasn't one of my mother's regular soaps, hence I only saw bits and pieces of it. A few years ago the Sci-Fi Channel brought it back and I got to see it through grown-up eyes and discovered how totally boring it was and void of much vampiric action. Anyway, Moonlight seems to be a copy of another show which I watched, Forever Knight, an intriguing show which catered more to the female audience I think, but with enough police/vampire happenings to keep me watching.

There have been as many variations to vampire shows as there have been writers of vampire tales, some completely ridiculous and others very entertaining. I think some people actually believe that vampires exist, even prompting the Discovery Channel to do segments on them. I always knew they were fictional, even as a kid when I believed in everything, but I still find a good vampire movie enjoyable and I'll try to catch this new Moonlight show next time its on and see if it's something I want to start watching every week.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Building and Destruction of the Fourth Klagon Dynasty and Its Impact on Daily Life in the Following Twelve Centuries

Nothing's been happening around here so I haven't been writing anything, even though writing about nothing is what I do most of the time anyway. Actually I started a few times to put something down but realized my thoughts weren't coordinated on an sane, adult level - more of a Homer Simpson kind of concentration - so I didn't bother. Had a couple of great ideas for a story or two but everyday life prevents me from having the time to write them. Well maybe not great ideas, but good ones. Ok, so my ideas stunk like last week's gym socks and I couldn't get past the first paragraph. I have no enthusiasm at all.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Life's Constant Changes

We've had our cat for about ten years now, Jack, a big tomcat who's lost a little weight lately but is still about twenty pounds of fur and fat. We keep him in the house, letting him out once in awhile to patrol his outdoor kingdom and assert his dominance over the backyard to any strays who might happen along. He's become set in his ways, never getting along with any other animal that comes around and taking a long time to warm up to new people in the house. About three months ago we found a stray kitten, just a few weeks old, out at our land in the remains of the old house. For a few days I took it food and water and planned to let it stay there as long as it wanted. My wife, however, made other plans the second time she went out with me to feed it and insisted on bringing it home to stay. So, against my better judgement, we brought it into our house - Jack's domain. The first couple of weeks the kitten, now named Tigger, would get swatted, growled at and pounced on by Jack, who felt betrayed that we would bring another animal into the house. To the kitten's credit, however, he seemed to know his place and was respectful of Jack's authority - letting himself be held down instead of running away. As the days and weeks went on Tigger would initiate fights only to end up in a submissive pose or to run away with a screech if one of Jack's nips caught his ear or tail in a painful way.

Now, three months later, Tigger is a typical ball of energy, running through the house, chasing anything that amuses him and generally getting underfoot most of the time. He and Jack still scuffle sometimes but it's in a more playful way now. I think the fact that the kitty is now close to half Jack's size and has way more energy and sharper teeth is cause for the older cat to avoid rough play times. I think the kitten has been good for Jack, keeping him company in his old age. It was a change to his world but he's dealt with it and has adopted the newbie into his life. They now sleep together, curled up in a corner or on the couch, and even bathe each other the way cats do.

Change is a part of life, and even the most settled of cats - or people - will have to adjust to new situations eventually. As I stare into the face of another new year I hope that I have the willpower to make the changes I know I have to, and the flexibility to adjust to those forced upon me.