It’s after ten at night on my birthday and I sit in the self-isolation of a dimly lit room, headphones, and my computer.
Is that ironic or a coincidence that my age and my time of birth are almost inverse of the other? Well, since it’s not exact, it really doesn’t mean shit, right?
The truth is far less fantastic. I’ve just been putting in so much energy at work that I have little left when I come home and it’s so much easier to turn to something on Hulu or Netflix than it is to string together letters and words to compose (un)original thoughts.
It’s a horrible habit to get into because it is the death described by Eliot in The Waste Land – not even as dramatic as a candle sputtering from lack of fuel as the wick exhausts the remains of any wax.
But I’m working on it.
I’ve been putting most of my extra bits of energy into my volunteering at the museum. After volunteering for a task force earlier this year, I was an advisor for a new class of docents and have since been asked to join a new committee and help in its formation, join in another training and evaluation program, and asked to be an advisor for another class.
None of that is paid. In fact, it costs me considerably in time off from work, mileage, and tolls. But it’s also something which works like writing to rejuvenate me to again face another day (and another and another) at work.
We’ve lost a lot of people recently. It’s not abnormal, though it may feel that way. We had gone for a long time with relatively few losses and someone on-high decided it was time to catch us up. Unfortunately, one of the losses was someone I’d come to know extremely well.
It’s a funny thing working with cancer patients. I get close to people who probably wouldn’t look twice if we met any other way.
But I’m getting sidetracked.
Mixed in with everything else, my nephew turned two, my sister had her first anniversary, I worried about my parents, I had an interview for an actual paid position at the museum – and the pay scale was so small that it has dashed most of my dreams for ever going beyond being a volunteer.
But I still spent my birthday as an advisor for a new class and an evening with no fanfare other than some very good bourbon and brandy.
That’s not so bad.
And I’m trying to break the cycle. I haven’t been posting, but I’ve been drafting some simple poems as well as banking ideas for more.
Don’t tap me out.