Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Life (and how to live it) . . .

. . . questioned?

(h/t, btw, to the R.E.M. song referenced in the post title.)

So, here we go again, with another installment in What's Wrong With David. My life isn't so bad, so why am I (slightly) questioning it.

As usual, I think I have expectations that are too large for me to meet.

What do I mean?

Well, I just am (a bit) bothered by the notion that I don't/haven't/won't accomplish much. Here are some pathetic examples (and when I mean pathetic, I am NOT calling the people providing these examples or their actions pathetic. I am calling my childish reactions to them as being pathetic. I admire these people greatly and call one of them friend. Well, anyway, on with the patheticness . . .)

Example #1: Lulu's very interesting post on farming practices. Here is a post about something that matters, a post that provokes thought, challenges opinions, requires a consideration of daily life. My posts are pedantic and stupid by comparison--random toss-offs about some TV show usually. I am not ignoring (what I hope to be) valuable inspections on my relationships with my children, posts I am proud of, posts that challenge me to improve, posts that (hopefully) document a time I won't be able to remember one day. I wouldn't take those away . . . but beyond those, what value lies within?

Example #2: (Please bear with me. I know you're all tired of this, but it is a reflection of this period in my life.) Melissa Anelli's just-launched book site. Melissa, as you can see if you visit the site, has been running The Leaky Cauldron.com, a Harry Potter fan site since 2000. She has ridden the wave of increasing fandom and media exposure since the release of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, when the HP phenomenon exploded from a series of interesting books to something beyond. Her new book, Harry: A History . . . touches on her own experience covering this phenomenon and how it has become a part of her own life.

I am affected by this because I came into the HP universe around this same time. I have fallen further into the fandom than I would have ever guessed when I first read the Newsweek excerpt of Goblet of Fire chapter 1. (I can't link to the original excerpt from the Newsweek archives--which isn't really a tragedy because you've probably read the chapter anyway. I can, however, give you the accompanying cover story.) So, in my deluded, temporarily deluded mind, I can see what Melissa has done with years of hard work and I compare myself to her--even though there IS NO comparison to be had. She has training in being a professional writer. She has been uniquely situated to best experience and report of the phenomenon of her book and she took great advantage and dedicated her life to achieving excellence at that. I had none of that access and made no effort to do so.

Put baldly, I am jealous and irrationally so. Lulu doesn't post all that often, bu when she does, she has a reason for it and she takes the time to do it well. I thank her for those moments. Ms. Anelli has done nothing but work hard for herself and in the process has given many people (me included, though I am sounding churlish about it now) information for our enjoyment.

My jealousy is hard to admit in such a forward manner, but I am trying to be honest here. I want to use this blog--for all of its frivolities and shortcomings, as an honest outlet of what I am thinking. Often what I am thinking is of little importance to anyone--even to me ten minutes after I have written it. But, it compelled me at the time. I guess I have no control after that.

This post is childish, and I am a bit ashamed of it, but it was begun this morning with honest feelings. And I am here, this night, trying to put an end to it--after several hours of picking up kids, fixing dinner, travelling to Hilliard to meet with friends, and whipping up a white chocolate cheesecake to take to work tomorrow. These are the quotidian details of my life . . . and while I sometimes wished it were more dramatic and meaningful, I guess I should know by now that meaning is assigned to something after it is over. I guess if I am dissatisfied with some aspects of my daily routine, no one will address it but me. I've just got to determine what those aspects are and then decide how to made the adjustments.


lulu said...

1. Thanks, Burb! You give me and my blog way more credit than we deserve. I rarely plan a blog or give a post the attention it really needs. Mine is mostly spew, too. But isn't that the point?

2. Oh, I long for the day when you realize that you have superpowers, and spend the following weeks awkwardly working them out. What would they be? What superpowers could you possibly want that you don't already possess? A loving, attentive husband, a wonderful raiser of a trio of girls, a steady and vastly entertaining friend (and leader of men and women, though you refuse to recognize that. Grow!), an employee the Hill is darn lucky to have.

And it's that dad thing I think of the most. Those girls will have their own superpower because of you--a security forcefield that comes when a dad loves them and values them and details the hilarious and super sweet contents of their adorable purses (I love my boys, but, oh!, I wish they had purses!).

3. As I reread HP for the 2nd time, in conjunction with watching the movies for the ??? time, it occurs to me that Ms. Rowling has created a masterpiece. She has encapsulated every childhood fantasy that I wanted as a kid, and most other kids, too, apparently. Even at a wizened 38, I lamely wish for the power to do magic, to live in an enchanted castle, to have those amazing friendships (though I feel I'm doing pretty well on the latter). Just knowing how cool HP is is cool enough. Or so I like to think!
4. Keep writing, Burb.

David said...

Thanks Lu . . .

I've gotten over it a bit since the posting, but kind words like the above always help.