I’ve struggled with what this blog is supposed to be. It’s been too serious, dealing with problems our country and humanity faces, the fate of education, and occasionally my colon. At other times it’s been uplifting and light-hearted, dealing with my family, teaching and somehow, also my colon. Throughout it all, it’s been a catharsis for me, to be able to share long thoughts about deep subjects and lighthearted romps through my life.
Now it’s time for me to get serious. About writing, I mean. I’ve always been a “writer,” but not an actual writer. It requires commitment, time, and a general discipline I’ve never really had but always wanted. Recently I’ve had an awakening, and it was at the hands (or wheels) of a stranger. I was in an accident where I was rear-ended by somebody who was not paying attention. It was Father’s Day, my children were in the van, and were very close to becoming one of those stories you hear about on the news. A “Tragedy Strikes on Father’s Day” sort of headline. That moment had two of my biggest fears come to light: that I couldn’t protect my family when the time came, and being in a car accident. The latter is a fear of mine because I have a spinal condition where my vertebrae have grown together, making my spine more like one long bone than 33, which makes it very susceptible to breaking under strain due to its lack of flexibility. One good whack and I’m paralyzed. One wrong fall and I’m dead. One bad car accident. . . And I’m fine. Wait. What?! I’m fine? What the actual Fuzzballs happened? I’m supposed to be dead, paralyzed, or worse, my kids are gone, but we’re all just, fine.
Well shit, son, time to get myself together! I’ve got books to write, pounds to lose, and places to see before the next accident because trust me ladies and gents, this was my dear friend Murphy saying, “Get it together man, you ain’t got all night!” And even if it was not, maybe it’s time to start living a little more like it was a wake-up call.
So, it’s time to begin that journey towards being more than just a good dad, teacher, and human. It’s time to be the better version of me, the best version of me that I can be, because I’ve learned that I have so little control over what is going to happen. That planning for my retirement seems foolish. That waiting for the opportune moment is meaningless. Carpe diem and all that nonsense, so here I begin this journey with you, and it begins with a purge. And no, I don’t mean like the movie.
It’s time to remove the extra. The extra weight I carry every day. The extra toys we keep in the house. The extra clothes we might wear when we’re skinny(er) again. The extra “friends” on Facebook. So, today, as my wife is away at work and my children are away at the grandparents, I purge. I clean the house out of things we don’t need anymore, including food. I am cleaning out the crap (and I don’t mean my colon, for once). Because I know if I am to lose weight, if I am to start writing in earnest, I need to have those distractions away from me, so it begins and this journal entry ends.
So to my cookies, adieu. My children’s collections of stuffed carnival animals, adios. To the stacks of paperwork I keep “just in case,” au reviour. To my Trump loving friends who may be borderline racists, may you find peace, and know that it’s not me, it’s you.
I plan to post here weekly about my writing, my weight loss, and life in general from the stupidly optimistic viewpoint. My long-term goal is that in one year from today, I go from 306 to 202 lbs and I will have written at least 52,000 words of new material. That’s fifty-two entries, two pounds and one thousand words a week. But for now, my goal is to purge. And now that I mention it, the coffee has kicked in, so colon first.
Wish me luck!