I seem to go through periods like this every once in a while. I’m tired, I don’t have much to say, not much is going on. That last part isn’t necessarily true. Lots of stuff is going on. “Tired” trumps the desire to write. Or it may not be particularly interesting stuff to write about. I don’t know. Whatever it is, I’ve withdrawn into my shell for a bit. The more I think about it, the more it makes sense – the more stuff I have going on, the less inclined I am to write about it. It’s not for a lack of time to write about it – I’m a fast typist, actually – it’s more that when I have a lot going on, I need a lot of space because things just get a little too hectic for me to make sense of everything going on. Trying to keep track of my life via this site seems like it would help sort all that out, but it really doesn’t. It just makes it more complicated. So I retreat and let it all sort itself out before I say much. I guess that doesn’t make for very interesting reading for you, the reader, but I can’t do much about that. Sorry.
I can say this – in just about three months, our lives will be turned upside down again with the arrival of the Next Unknown Johnson. I mention how busy I feel above, and part of that busy-ness is simply trying to figure out how we become “new parents” again. It’s seemingly more stressful the second time, when you think you should know everything already, but find that all of that “on the job” training has somehow vaporized over the past three years. Instead of the confident, ready to tackle it all attitude I feel like I had before Amanda arrived, I fret now about how we got Amanda to sleep on those nights when she just wouldn’t stop crying, or how we maneuvered around the world with the giant infant carrier in one arm and everything else in the other . . . and, of course, now we have Amanda to manage on top of that.
And, you know, with the new baby comes all kinds of doctors appointments, on top of various appointments adults have – if you’ve been keeping up here, I go bi-weekly for my allergy shots, and that may not seem like much, but when you combine it with all the other little things that pop up here and there, like needing to find time to fit in time to get new brakes for BOTH of our vehicles, etc., you start to feel like any semblance of “routine” has just been destroyed. I am a creature of habit insofar as I use a routine by which to improvise my life. I use my routine so that I can “swing a little wide’ on the side to do this or that before or after work, or during work – but “here and there.” Lately, it’s become a weekly thing that something pops up that demands an late arrival or early end of my day. Sounds fun, yes, because it’s always nice to have a shorter day, but after a little while, I begin to crave the normalcy of routine so I can call the shots on when and where I feel like “swinging wide.” I need routine so I know where my freedom is.
Yesterday, after dropping Alissa off for an ASU football game she was going to with her dad and brother, Amanda and I took in a quick dinner at Chez Wendy. We were one of few groups in there, but just before we left, one young woman came in, looking quite stressed. She was speaking rapidly into her cellphone to someone about being late, about an upset boss, other things of that nature. She came to the wrong Wendy’s. Amanda and I waited behind her to get a refill on my drink and she sighed her exasperation at the extreme slowness of the guy at the register, who seemed entirely unable to handle more than one order at a time. At one point, she quickly dialed her phone and called someone, saying in a shaky voice, “No. I really do love my job. Yes. I’m really sorry. I love my job. I have to get something to eat. I’m sorry.” A few moments after that, she looked at me holding the drink, lid offered to indicate I just wanted a refill, and suggested I go ahead of her. I said to her, “We’re in no rush, you go right ahead.” There was no telling how long a simple drink refill could take, after all. Looking back on it, I’m not even sure why I waited so long for a refill. My simple stubborn nature, perhaps. I was thirsty, that I know, but even thirst can be overcome by a ridiculously long wait.
I’m never quite sure if anything’s worth struggling for anymore. At least not when it comes to stuff like this. Is that job worth her stressing herself about? I doubt it. I just have a hard time getting the point of why we’re doing all this when we seem to get so little out of it. When we were in school, was sitting in a little 6′ x 8′ grey box staring at a computer screen all day really what we imagined the next 40 to 50 years of our lives were going to be like? It sure wasn’t in my dreams. I imagined I’d be doing stuff, making things happen, making things that seemed important not only to me but to many other people. And never once did a little grey cell figure into it. I see college kids and I wonder if any of this ever crosses their idealistic minds. I guess we all eventually make what we have to out of it – “do what we have to to pay for our ‘real lives’ outside of here” is something I hear frequently. It just seems like our “real lives” take up an inordinately small percentage of our time in comparison, doesn’t it?