Back on My Bullshit

’96 Bulls // Kota the Friend

Back on my bullshit, I was down bad
They was kickin’ me when I was on my ass
Now I’m back on my bullshit, every day, I grow
Meditatin’ on the bluff when I’m low
Said I’m back on my bullshit, dealin’ with the shame
Let it go and told the devil get away
Now I’m back on my bullshit, glad I made it home
I was low but you know I never fold, bitch, yeah

287 // Carry the Burden

This morning was hard, but not nearly as hard as last night.

Some stories aren’t mine to share but what I can say is that having a loved one diagnosed with a severe mental illness can be confusing, frustrating, chaotic, terrifying, and, at times, traumatic. It’s hard to see someone you love hurting so, to see them carrying such a heavy burden. It’s hard not being able to do more than listen and support.

I want to carry the burden for a while. I want to take the pain away.

It’s hard to contend with the disturbing fact that you want to control another person and the reality that you never can. I understand the importance of autonomy and respect that this is their journey to grow through, but I can’t shake the desire to take away their choice just so I can keep them safe. Just so I can ease my hurt a little while.

For now, for me, all isn’t right, but all is better, and some days that has to be enough. Today, it will be enough to simply survive—for all of us.

At least there is comfort in these October clouds and my routine, though physically demanding, will be a welcome escape. I’m trying to remember there are good things happening. I just wish they didn’t feel so far away. There has been more time to call my own this week though I haven’t used it as productively as I’d hoped. It’s ok. Today is a new day and all stressors aside, I can still start again. I’ve already started here.

282 // The Feeling of Fall

The feeling of fall has crept in through the cracks overnight and we woke with the late sun to chilly air and the urge to stay in bed all day. A day of rest sounds nice in theory, but deep down I know it’s not what I really want. I miss the summer mornings when it was easier to begin. When the sun started early with you and made you feel that the day ahead was so full of excitement and possibility.

These past weeks since summer’s end have been so calm, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Truthfully, I need the peace too. Fall mornings are for slowing down and keeping your expectations low. Fall mornings come complete with permission to do as little as you want.

I’m using this morning to catch up on old news and saved articles. I’m organizing all my bookmarks and notes from across platforms and devices to construct a coherent timeline of thought and interest into posts and threads of possibility. My journals are out and I have plans to get to them sometime this early afternoon.

I won’t have the whole day to myself. This evening I’m celebrating my second nephew’s 3rd birthday and it will be time to get ready before I know it I’m sure.

I’m excited to see family though and to celebrate such a special boy. It’s hard to believe he is already so old and somehow to believe he’s still so young too. Over these years, he has grown and changed so much both physically and intellectually that in my mind’s eye he’s pushing five or six instead. He’s got good parents and his big sister has helped along the way too. He’s smart and kind, full of energy and so very brave. I can’t wait to see how much more he grows between now and his next birthday.

Tonight I’m resting. I have plans for scary movies and a few small glasses of wine for my wife and me. Neither of us is feeling great today, which might explain the lethargic leanings this morning and not the season or the sun at all.

Goals // Week 40: The Hard Thing

It’s been a while since I’ve last set down some intentions for myself and I have missed the motivation and the chance for accountability. More than that, I have always enjoyed keeping track of the way my goals shift and the way the things I want from myself change.

These past weeks have been hard on me, but my hope is that this will be the one in which the demands start to wane and the to-do list shortens. The calendar is already lighter than this time last week and I feel calm, focused, and strong.

I’ve been trying more than anything to be disciplined. To do the hard thing. To say no to myself, and to keep in mind what I want in the future and not what I want right now. Cravings are hard to curb and executive function is hard to muster in the moment, but I have been practicing and I’m getting better and better all the time.

With that being said, this week I will:

Keep reading. There are no number of pages to get through or a time limit I must meet. I just need to remember to read whenever I can, a little every day. My lunch hour is the perfect time to get a few paragraphs in, or a bit before bed—if I can manage to turn the TV off in time.

Reduce snacking. I’ve done a great job altering my meals to be more nutrient-dense, but snacking continues to be a problem. Intense cravings come on in the afternoon and I find myself reaching for cookies and candies with no will to resist. The key is to remove the temptation.

Wake up on time. Move your alarm across the room. Avoid hitting snooze. Turn on the lights. Drink some water. Get out of the bedroom! Do whatever it takes to give yourself enough time to adjust to the day to take each task one at a time. The extra time will make all the difference. Bonus: Use the extra time to meditate.

Spend an hour in the evening all on your own. Between the long work hours and the demands at home, there just never seems to be enough time for all the things I enjoy doing. My journals are neglected. I’m behind in my reading, and it’s been over a year since I’ve made anything with my hands. A little time every night to call my own is sorely needed.

This week I will not let social media get the better of me. It’s easy to lose track of time scrolling through timelines and laughing at silly videos but before you know it the sun has gone down and you’ve done nothing that makes you feel any good. You end the day filled with guilt and self-loathing. How could you be so weak? How could you give up so much of your time and attention?

I’m tired of the waste. I’m tired of being the product. I’m tired of algorithms and ads, controversy, and click-bait. My intention is not that there should be no joy, no laughter, no fun, but I want to find joy in the things that interest me, in the things I seek out, not the things that are fed to me. Not the things that are sold to me.


276 // Progress Enough

I woke later than I meant to this morning, but the start was so perfect I hardly noticed I was behind. My wife made perfect cranberry-almond scones and I’ve perfected the art of making coffee from a Moka pot. The sun was shining early and the weather warmed enough to take the dog out for a good walk.

It has been a busy Sunday since, full of chores and to-dos. Most Sundays I struggle through, but I’m practicing being more aware of how my mind works and how easily I can find myself off task or derailed for the day. Being mindful and understanding, gentle but firm with myself, has made it easier to get through the work and find time for the things I love a lot faster. A list helps. Time limits help. Finishing each task one at a time helps.

Resistance is a harder obstacle to overcome. I’m resistant to having to do the tasks in the first place. I feel angry whenever I have to give up time doing the things I love for things that are tiresome and uncomfortable. What’s helped there is to see everything I do as either a kind of art or as an act of service. I do things for my family. I do them for my home. I do them, ultimately, for me.

By staying present and mindful, focusing on each task objectively, I can clean, organize, and complete my tasks thoroughly and to the best of my ability. It feels good to know I’ve done it right. It feels good to give my best to even the smallest and most mundane tasks.

And now, it seems the Sunday blues aren’t so bad. My anxiety has come down since this time seven days ago, since there’s no way the coming week could be any harder on me than the last. I’ve been getting better at preparing for the weekdays, though I have only gotten worse at beginning them.

I’m hoping this week I can do a little better. I’m hoping this week will see as much improvement as each before. I’m optimistic and if nothing else that can be progress enough for me.