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April 2014

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Long time no write

So, it's been a long time. I could make all kinds of excuses as to why. I could say I've been busy. I could say I've been sick. I could say I was abducted by aliens and anally probed to within an inch of my life, and then had to spend some time in San Francisco finding myself. But the fact of the matter is, I just haven't been thinking about LJ much lately. I guess life's been pretty interesting for me, and I've been so caught up in the unfolding events that I've all but forgotten how to reflect. Which is probably a little bit sad. Let's see if I can't do a little bit more navel-gazing in the new year, hmm?

As many of you know, in the weeks leading up to Christmas Anami started pressuring me to agree to do the Cincinnati Flying Pig Half Marathon with her this year. On January 1st, after running five miles of hills in beautiful sunny Clifton [some of you will appreciate the irony of that statement more than others], I caved. So now I guess I'm in training.

It's so weird. I'm reading running magazines, and finding them interesting and fun. I'm running - sometimes, without Anami. Sometimes, in the rain. Sometimes, without Anami in the rain. I'm keeping a running journal. I can tell you where I've run, for how long, how far, and what I was thinking about, going back to December 19. That's actually one of the reasons I'm posting here. Reflection there, begets reflection here. I've started to think about distance differently. And about time. I've started using words like fartlek and thinking that I could probably really shave some minutes off my 5K time if I decide that I care, which I probably won't.

All of this, actually, is intimately (though perhaps not obviously) connected to my process of New Year's reflection. It seems like the weeks leading up to and including last weekend have been filled with lots of little bits of pushback. Tiny signifiers that it was time for me to give some consideration not just to what I need to do next, but to what I'm doing now. As I reflected Saturday morning, it became clear to me that I'm doing a lot of things at a much higher intensity level than I care to, and other things not so intensely. I identified a lot of places where I let the idea of accomplishment overcome my sense of fun, creating what is in me a quite unnatural drive. I considered my tendency towards intellectual introspection and diletantism, and I decided that I really like those parts of myself.

This year, I'm embracing my inner dabbler, and we'll see where that takes me. Currently, it's running. Who knows where the winds will blow next?

Reflecting on the question, "So, what do I want? How badly do I want it? What, in short, do I really care about?" I made the following list on one of those tiny scraps of paper they have at the library for you to write down Dewey Decimal numbers on.

 I want to be a good husband, 
   and in time, a good father.
 Martial arts are cool; I want to 
   be cool.  I don't honestly care 
   about being able to beat people up.
 I want to increase my commitment 
   to pacifism.
 I want to find stillness.
   And joy.
 I would like to climb again,
   in a gym or outdoors; anywhere I can.
 I don't need to be a Buddhist Monk, 
   to be enlightened, to achieve.
   I need to feel the well of
   compassion.  And I need to
   feel forgiveness.


So there you have it folks. I'm a sucker and a dilettante and a pseudo-mystical, quasi-intellectual poseur, and I'm ok with that. So you with your schedules and your calendars and your commitments, you with your responsibility and books that need finishing and your deadlines, you with your worldliness and your Joneses* and your outrageous gas prices. To you I say:

Bring it on.

Joe

* Here of course I mean, "Keeping up with the Joneses", rather than any real-world family named Jones. Please avoid confusion; I know a real-world family named Jones that I like rather much. I would hate for you to think that I find them somehow unpalatable or adversarial.

Comments

Hey Joe. Long time, no see or talk.
I can't believe that you and Anami are both runners now! Back in the day I remember Anami being quite against anything containing a lot of strenuous physical activity. I guess we all change as the years go by...

I really enjoyed your post. It's nice to see someone who's not afraid to reflect on the changes inside and out. Or call themselves a "pseudo-mystical, quasi-intellectual poseur" - that totally made me smile. Very blunt. But fun. Does that make sense?
And especially liked your footnote. Which I ended up reading before I read the last paragraph...that lead to me being slightly confused, until I went back and completed the reading. :D

And, congrats on marrying Anami! You totally lucked out because she's awesome. :D Talk to you soon...
Talk about long time no write.

I can't believe that you and Anami are both runners now! Back in the day I remember Anami being quite against anything containing a lot of strenuous physical activity.

Maybe we're talking about different Anamis? Or maybe one of the two of you was temporarily switched during those years with their Bizzaro-World counterpart? One of the things that first drew me to Anami was hearing that she was in training to climb Kilimanjaro. The lunches we made while she was getting ready were some of the first quality healthy food I ever ate, and jumpstarted my enjoyment of cooking. And they were great dates.

And especially liked your footnote. Which I ended up reading before I read the last paragraph...that lead to me being slightly confused, until I went back and completed the reading. :D

I sort of semi- keep in touch with Pete Jones; I didn't want anyone to be confused and think I meant him.

And, congrats on marrying Anami!

I say that to myself almost every day.

Nice to hear from you.
Well, when I knew Anami best, during my Freshman year, she rarely ran, but she did enjoy it. I had just forgotten that part. I was reminded of it today. hehe. Possibly I was projecting. I only run if being chased. But I do love rock climbing and hiking, I just don't get to do it very often anymore.

That's so cool. Healthy food, huh? That tastes good? I'm intrigued...

Peter who dated SE? Not surprising I guess. I just hadn't put those twos together in my head.

Aww...that's so sweet!
It's nice to be in touch again. :D
Missed you. :)

One of the ways in which you continue to inspire me (after many years and much distance, even) is your ability to reflect, unflinchingly. I strive for that. Glad to see that you are re-embrassing its worth.

(er. And on a completely unrelated, but somewhat amusing note ... I was talking about you the other day, and called you "Joey." The memory made me smile, though I suppose I should stop calling you that, seeing as how you're married and all growed up now.)
Howdy. I just saw your post about BlogSpot. I was wondering where you got off to; now I have to update my blog roll.
Thank you for posting! I'm glad you are happy with your dilettantism; mine is getting me into trouble in school because I want to dabble in everything when I should be focusing on the right career path. You know, I'm considering Cardiovascular Sonography now? (Not so big a change, if you see the heart as the human engine.) ;-)
There's nothing wrong with living the life of the academic magpie, if you can afford to do it. Just be sure that when the money runs out, you have a degree.

I think Tom Robbins said, "The principal difference between an adventurer and a suicide is that the adventurer leaves himself a margin of escape." Dilettantism is only academic suicide if you don't get a degree when you're done. :)
Some of the comments, and replies thereto, got into some old laundry from the past that I'm not sure everyone wants shared. So I screened them in an attempt to be polite.
Ahh, that's why I couldn't reply.

I was just saying in response your reply about the past and heaping praise:

That's oh-so-true. :D And thank goodness.

Aww, we're not smothering you in praise are we? We're just...good friends are always good. Ya know?

Yes. Mo' betta friends are always mo' betta, yo.
Bwahahhahahahahaaha. :D