Saturday, January 11, 2014

Little Man Syndrome

To paraphrase a line from Paul Simon, our lives can be so common that they practically disappear, and in that notion is the sad momentum that adds the weight to almost all of our most desperate quixotic gestures (whoa, that sounded heavy).  We hurl ourselves towards meaning and individuality, like some giant NFL receiver, clawing for separation from everything that renders us quietly the same as everyone else. It's what I do.  It's what most of us do.  We can distill our lives down into other, more ambitious motivations, but in the end we just want to be different...we just want to do something different, and if it can have value, even better.

When I first started typing this blog I thought it would be great to just have a place to put building extra storage space in a cramped house, but it quickly turned into something else.  It quickly transformed into a therapeutic roadmap that helped me navigate fatherhood, and husbandry...if I was totally honest with myself I'd say my own approach to humility and humanity.  It was a tangible, visual expression of most everything that was happening in my life, well, a lot of what was happening in my life, but has since changed yet again.  Since Maggie was born time has been more scarce, my exhausted mind has had much less overflow...all of it's creative surges being siphoned off to survive a crazier life of earlier mornings and later nights, of louder evenings and never ending, not good enoughs...not clean enough, not organized enough, not quiet enough, not fast enough, not...not...not...since Maggie was born there have been no second helpings of inspiration or creative energy...or perhaps whatever there has been has gone to new enterprises, like our Jimmy Twohander endeavour, and both of our constantly changing challenges at work.  It feels as though I have just as much to say, and need just as much cupboard space, but haven't the time to manage it.  In an ironic twist, it's a turn of events that most closely mirrors the cleanliness of our home...always the ambition to make things look nice, to accomplish things, but never the time or energy.

This new version of blogging takes so much more energy, and so much more creative use of time, and more than anything else, so many larger bursts of inspiration timed with quiet moments to manage it.  It's not much different from cleaning house.  I try, and there's a billion unfinished drafts of posts lying about in ruin here and there, but whatever manages to make it online is often less than I'd wish.  Kind of like how we've gone as far as buying the paint for the kitchen, but haven't come any closer to painting it than hiding the cans away in the closet.

I listen to less music...sigh...I watch less television...shrug...I read less.  I exercise less. I accomplish less.  It's just how it is I suppose, for many of us, but the quiet pain of it all lies firmly in Paul Simon's lyrical life often feels so common that it might as well disappear.  That's a tough pill to swallow, even if I know it's not true.  It just feels that way.  I'm still far busier than most, far more active and engaged.  We still find tonnes of adventure and discover new things embarrassingly regularly.  In comparison to the masses I think we do alright.  Still, Friday nights spent on exercise bikes and Saturdays spent re-organizing daughter's rooms feels less and less like living.  It's called reality, we know, but sometimes we like to bust free from Ikea daydreams to charge hard at some windmills.  Sometimes blogging the less glamourous feels, well, less than glamourous.

Still...(audible sigh inducing, smile producing however)...we watch two girls grow, and a relationship grow. I've never danced as much in my life, or sang as many songs.  I've never invented more with just scissors and excitement, or created more, using just hope and scraps of discarded inspiration.  I've never been hugged more, or appreciated more.  I've never found as much purpose or cultivated more motivation.  We find ourselves awestruck more frequently than any round-the-world trip could ever offer us...find more photo opps, more smiles.  It is no longer a search for meaning, our lives have meaning...more than they've ever had before...and Paul Simon can suck it.  I never liked that short little man without Art Garfunkel anyway.


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