Reality Check

Ah has there not been a severe lack of posts lately?  It’s not for want of opinions that I would love to share, such as how SHITTY the drivers are in LA, but rather for want of meaningful things to talk about.  I try not to use this blog as a place to vent because that just gets so damn tedious and no one wants to read that.  If I have an opinion about something that could easily be cast as a complaint, I try to frame it in a more interesting context.  For instance, “Most people just listen to music…” sprung out of hating riding the bus; “Consumer responsibility and Patagonia’s Ironclad Return Policy” is less thinly veiled, but it was written in an effort to encourage people to support companies they care about and not take advantage of them.  All this is to say that today, I have no opinions to talk about, no reframing to do, but really just recount the past couple of weeks, for my own benefit, so that I can feel like I’ve accomplished some things.

Sometimes I get really stressed that I’m not doing enough with my free time or watching too much TV or drinking too much.  It’s actually kind of bad.  It goes from a simple “ugh” feeling to bonafide anxiety at times (a little like this afternoon and hence why I’m here writing).  The thing is, I hardly ever have enough to drink to even get buzzed, I tend to actually accomplish a lot of things, and I am gainfully employed, if still a bit broke all of the time.  

For my sake, let’s recount the big things I’ve done lately:

1.  28-mile hike from my apartment, to San Vicente Mountain Park via Sullivan Canyon and back. 

2.  Built a DOPE table yesterday in an afternoon that now serves as my headboard/bookshelf/nightstand. 

3.  Learned three new songs on the guitar 

4.  Started learning OpenCL (a parallel computing framework).

5.  Been building a magnetically levitated record player with Jack.

6.  Started/kinda finished two new art projects. I say “kinda” because I’m just not quite sure I want to leave them where they are.

And still, in and amongst all of that, celebrated 4-20/Easter with friends (ugh, I felt pretty awful after late brunch and lots of champagne… and stuff), gone to trivia at the bar every week, been on a business trip for a week, and thoroughly cleaned my entire apartment multiple times. 

Why do I feel like I haven’t done enough?!?!  Or that I’m lazy? Or that I watch too much TV?  I mean, granted, I do watch 2-3 hours of Mythbusters each night on YouTube, which I definitely consider a lot even if it is below average.  I usually do other things while I watch it though, like the dishes, or other cleaning, or art, but still.  

I do know that I come from a long line of worriers: I think the whole Hoffman side of my family must have had an undiagnosed anxiety disorder that got passed along to yours truly.  Also, coupled with that, most of them have dealt with or died from serious alcohol issues.  Naturally now, I need to pay attention, but I often find myself worrying myself to the point of anxiety over how much I am or am not drinking!  Even if I’m not drinking I tend to stress about whether I’m not drinking out of a deliberate intention to not drink or if I simply just don’t want to drink.  It’s messed up.  To put it in context for you though: I have about two drinks per night, spread out over about three hours.  No one is getting drunk here and no doctor would ever tell me that’s too much.  That’s about all I consume when I go out too.

I recently read East of Eden and loved this quote even if it is a bit melancholic:

“In uncertainty I am certain that underneath their topmost layers of frailty men want to be good and want to be loved.  Indeed most of their vices are attempted shortcuts to love.”

Indeed they are.  I'd say that’s the one thing I really want for these days.

<3,

John