Wednesday, April 19, 2006

A Year Ago

I'm a couple days late getting this post out. I've had a head cold in my brain and it's made me kinda squishy between the ears.

A year ago Monday, I got the call that my dad had died in the night. I was expecting the call and I wrote about it last April. There's nothing like being 50-something and having your mortality waved in your face like that. I expected that it would be a kind of wake up call for me.

I'm not sure that it was, because looking back over my first year as an orphan I don't know that I've really done anything better than I've always done. Heck, I'm not sure I've even done anything differently -- better or worse. I'm pretty sure it's not because I'm completely satisfied with the way I live my life.

And I know it's not because I'm a peace with the world. The closer I get to the end of my time on it, the more angry and frustrated I get with it.

Start with the little things like finding/making/carving out the time I need to write/think. Or take my daily walks - which I miss dreadfully but which are pushed back so I have more time to do -- what? Read blogs? Discard email spam? Patch computer programs? Fix stuff? Break stuff?

Heck, I haven't watched a movie in a month or more! Last thing I saw was an episode of Battlestar Galactica from season one.

Move outward to the kids and their school which aggravates me beyond almost all bearing because of the insistance on protecting kids from learning while penalizing schools and teachers for failing to perform. Which reminds me of the Ninny-in-Chief which just infuriates me more. School policy aside, how can he SERIOUSLY be thinking of nuking Iran??

But I digress.

Too much doing. Too little thinking.

Too many messages. Not enough comprehension.

Stephen Downes has retired to an island to think.

Will Richardson has gone over to the dark side.

People all around are echoing my "wtf!?" on a variety of fronts.

I've 20 years left. Maybe.

I need to think how best to use them.


Nancy McKeand said...

As always, Nate, what you wrote struck a chord with me.

I have not had the death of a parent to remind me of my mortality, but my husband and I have been having this same type of discussion lately.

I hope that you can find a way to be at peace and satisfied. I hope we all can.

Nathan Lowell said...

Thanks, Nancy.

One of the ways I cope is to write. It's a corollary to the old saying "I have to write in order to find out what I think." In this case, once I can wrap my brain around it enough to write it down, I have enough organization on it to actually begin to address it ... or at least move the process forward a bit.

It's a bit self-absorbed ... but then, like Doris Lessings, "Golden Notebook," I find myself writing different blogs -- even with different engines -- for different purposes.

[tangent]Hm. That's an interesting thought -- I wonder if I should start a "Golden Blog" to tie them all together.[/tangent]

This blog space has evolved into my "personal angst" space -- more journal than true blog -- And I suppose I'm opening up a can-o-worms by writing my angst in public, but it feels more therapeutic to be honest here than in private where lying to myself seems easier. Sorta like what I expect the group meeting must be like in a 12-step program.

'Hi, I'm Ubex and I'm a blogger.'
'Hello, Ubex!'

It's a BIT intimidating know that a few people that I know actually read this blog, but that just makes me keep it as honest as I can. I'm constantly asking myself "Do I REALLY feel this way? What do I MEAN by that?"

I'm taking it on trust that those who know me and read this understand that this isn't the "professional me" but more like a conversation we'd have at a bar after that one extra beverage when it's ok to talk about yourself with even "professional colleages." My old friends know I'm a flake-job and like me anyway :D

Nancy McKeand said...

I really think our flakiness is what makes us human and, as a result, more lovable. I am not surprised that your friends like you anyway!

AmaranthQueen said...

Wow, 20 years is like forever though! I look at it that way. I'm 26 and it took forever so I'm thinking the second 24 better take as long lol. I know what you mean about the schools though, and mr in charge without a clue.:?)

Nathan Lowell said...

Twenty years is almost a lifetime when you're 26 but almost twice as long as I've been out of high school. The perspective makes a difference.