132 // Meaningful to Me

I spent another night tossing and turning, waking in the night, and struggling to fall back asleep. I can’t even remember the last time I slept soundly through a night or didn’t wake up with dark circles and heavy limbs. Still, considering the chronic sleep deprivation, I’m feeling pretty good today.

I feel light, like a weight has been removed from my chest for a time. I wouldn’t quite call it happy, but something very near it or something very far from melancholy, anyway. It’s more of a lack of pain than a euphoria. Sometimes when you’ve been low for so long, just getting to neutral can be a major sense of hope and pride.

Perhaps it’s only that the sun has finally returned, and the workday is scheduled to be an easy one. I feel ready to focus, ready to work, ready for a few steps forward for a change.

I read a blog post today from someone lamenting that they had fallen short of their goal and only finished half of a draft for their next book. I am by no means invalidating the feelings of failure, but couldn’t help thinking how proud this person should be to have had the courage to start at all and to make it halfway! I’m still working on ideas and anxiety. I hope one day to have gathered half the resolve, focus, and determination this blogger has. I hope they know I’m in awe of them.

The most I can ask of myself is to get through a scheduled hour of real writing. Not reading or research, not image editing, not journaling, real writing, followed by some time spent actually editing. When I say real writing, I don’t mean profitable writing, though someday soon I’d love for that to be my pursuit. I mean, writing that is meaningful to me. Writing I hope holds some value for you.

It may only be a personal essay, a poem, or a book review, but it’s writing I take seriously. It’s practice for something bigger and it’s purifying for the psyche and, for now, that’s all I ask from myself and from writing. I suppose it’s all I can ever ask.

133//366

The clouds were still lingering this morning when I woke up and the cold made me want to skip my morning walk. My wife took the dog without me and I immediately felt disappointed and angry with myself for not having the willpower so, after working my way through some to-do items I’d been putting off, I put on my running shoes and headed out on my own.

I decided to try out the track at the high school instead of walking the neighborhood. Normally it gets a little too packed to practice social distancing well but I went at just the right time before too many people had the same idea. The clouds moved on and the temperature rose quickly limiting how hard I could push myself but what little running I got to do felt really, really good.

Back home I took advantage of the motivation I felt and managed some yard work and some real progress cleaning out the basement. Not a bit of writing or reading got done, but it still felt like a productive day. There are more than a few ways to feel accomplished and useful and sometimes it isn’t in creating something but in taking care of yourself, your home, or your family instead.