After I finally let loose with my yaybook/boomarriage post, I thought I resolved to post more often. And why not? My name and putrid personal life are out there now, writ large, in 1080i HD. It feels good to spill a few guts now and then, doesn't it? So let's spill already!
Then I kind of went into a funk.
I was strolling through a big-box book retailer and was delighted to find "Things I Learned..." in the Parenting section. This is a step up from one of the first blogging anthologies (I forget its title, but it had something to do with Eating Your Young, I think), which was wedged in the Computer section among the five-inch-thick Geek Bibles, C++ programming and such. Hooray, I thought. Blogging seems just that much closer to mainstreamier media, and this new book might be found by browsers whose aren't wearing binary code.
Two books over, there was a book called "Long-Distance Dad." Which made me think about how soon I'll have to move out, which made me shuffle home and fall asleep in my clothes. I'm not a depressive type, but I am a champion-caliber brooder. And since I tend to internalize problems, I usually process interpersonal conflict by wondering what I could have done differently. With a few autonoogies for good measure.
So I was perusing the real-estate listings and letting myself mourn a little when I got a lovely e-mail about my essay from a reader in far deeper doo-doo than I. Of all the correspondence I've gotten about it (and thank you all for writing, as every bit helps), hers stood out for its optimism and grit. Although she didn't say it in so many words, she basically beat me with the tough-love stick, telling me to suck it up, walk it off, and dare to be happy again. And wouldn't you know it, the next day I actually ate breakfast.
The key, I've found, is to focus on the scads of good that will come of this. To quit dwelling on regret for the past and pessimism over the future. To look at the earnest young kindergartener up on the stage at his Spring Concert, and his little brother dancing in the aisle, and realize that even though I feel unlucky sometimes, my overall luckmeter is still pretty far on the plus side.
Turns out, this is an excellent strategy for mental well-being. We were at that concert the other night, in our perfectly-vantaged aisle seats. Just as I was lining up the perfect picture of Robert belting out "Splish-Splash" at the top of his lungs, a clueless, fat-assed parent stood up in the aisle, oblivious to all the shutterbugs behind her, and waved at her kid for a good four minutes. I was in such a good mood that I succeeded in not killing her.