Saturday, February 20, 2016

The ennui of mediocrity...

me n' my pink hat after a workout recently

I've had some virus for days. It's had me mostly in bed, which depresses me.

I had already been a slacking version of my newish-old former self -- the self of my mid-life crisis who swam no matter what, did the laps whether sleet or rain or flu tried to interfere. Sure, maybe like a crazy person, but like a doer, a shaker, a person who could not endure the ennui of sitting around.

God, I miss her.

She, of course, was in her 40s. This new me? Bah. What a motherfucker.

I'm feeling in quiet crisis mode. Like I can't get myself to move as fast as the commands in my head are telling me to. To rally to get more done in a day than I am doing. Each day I get up; then it's bed time again.

It's not even Facebook/social media that's to blame, to tell you the truth. I don't know what it is. Caring for a mother-in-law in palliative care, maybe, or having a constant stream of visitors, or owning a dog, or getting stuck in the minutiae of copyedits when what i want to do is write a bold new story. . .or maybe this new digestive condition (see, above, "What a motherfucker") that has made me give up my only goddamned vice: a daily cup of coffee.

All I know is, lately, there aren't enough hours in a day and I can't figure out how to stop wasting them.

And it's making me miss the wild and dramatic energy of my midlife crisis I had a few years ago. Sure I was a mess, somewhat miserable, but, MAN, I got things done. I had things to say. I was funny and fascinating (even a little to me). I got a book deal, then a second. I became an open water swimmer, swam a 5K then a 10K.


And yeah, maybe I'm still doing things, but it all feels slower and more like been there-done that mediocrity.

Well, except for the book I have coming out which I'm sort of hoping is the best thing I've written so far, and, yeah, I'm excited for it, but I don't want to JUST be waiting for that. And, besides, even if it is. Then what?

What if everything scintillating becomes mediocrity once it's achieved?

I've got nothing.

- gae


  1. So Gae... you are TEH AWESOME... and never forget it. I sometimes talk about my author friends and you are my REAL author friend (as in big publisher and hardback books). I totally get this energy inertia thing as I'm going through it myself. I think when we start to get out there there is a frenzy that helps keep us going, but when it dies (and it didn't prove as helpful as the energy suggests it should have been) it is just too hard to keep up. I think this next book of yours is going to do GREAT. And I'm sending you a big squishy hug because I am big and squishy.

    1. Ah, Hart, the frenzy, yes, and the ability to keep powering without any... thanks for the big squishy. I love those. <3

  2. Leave Charlie out of it. He's blameless. I still remember the video of him bringing leaves into the house as a puppy. How cute was that, just trying to help and become part of the family.

  3. I always vacillate between periods of creative productivity, high physical and emotional awareness, family and friend balance AND periods of what the hell is happening???? The part that's helped me navigate these insane changes of perspective is understanding that they aren't abnormal--they aren't a one off that's trying to pull the rug out from under my feet. These moments have purpose. I've learned that subtlety often pushes in uncomfortable directions and we are experts at ignoring the advice, so what happens is that the messages don't want to be ignored. The things we are supposed to learn, the changes we are supposed to be learning, IMHO, are so many steps out from our comprehension that we can't even imagine this shitty, negative thing having benefits or leading to good things. But I've found that when I look back, when enough time has passed, I can usually see why it was important at that time for me to feel like crap. And in case your wondering, "knowing" this doesn't really make it suck less. But good friends do--Hang in there. <3