OK folks, I gotta admit, the primary thought in my mind all week has been, “Uggh, do I really have to do this?” Everything I say or write or even do seems somehow hollow, trite. I don’t want to be serious or witty or eccentric or profound or batshit crazy. I just want to be real. Ha! I just want…I don’t want to be an “I” anymore. At least, that’s what I tell myself. Why can’t I just write something and leave me out of it?
So many observations, witticisms, synchronicities, rants and revelations go through my head in just the time it takes to write this sentence; how can I possibly sustain a coherent thought, translate it into words and do it every week? I haven’t had a weekly whack since Monday, haven’t received a letter from God in AGES, haven’t hacked out all the negative cigarette karma that’s hacking away my soul, haven’t put my prose before me (a swine) and the only place I don’t belong is not everywhere.
See what I did just there?
OK, I’m gonna try and pull it together for those of you who’ve made it this far. This week actually has a planned topic. And while sitting alone in front of a campfire for two nights in a row I actually wrote notes. And sometime during Hurricane Irene I wrote about death. I’m pretty certain that everything I wrote about death is ridiculous because of my narrow, limited view of death. Nevertheless, I wrote all this stuff, dammit, and I’m sorry I just don’t have the will to edit it down into something that doesn’t fill an entire blog page or however anyone thinks these things should be done. Wednesday is my bitch.
What I can promise is that due to my employment-enslavement you will not see many posts this length until next summer, unless it’s something old being recycled or a sudden burst of creative bullshit.
Speaking of which,
*yes it’s not a spoiler but for the time being it suffices as a nice HTML cut
OK, so the original idea of this week’s column was simply to list my good habits—the things I do (perhaps foolishly) to delay death. I don’t actually believe these things will delay the inevitable. Nevertheless, constant awareness of one’s mortality can be difficult, if not liberating. Most of us push that death awareness down into the subconscious so that we can go live our lives as if we could live forever. And we do.
I was not raised with a healthy lifestyle. I hated vegetables and my parents didn’t force me to eat them. We also ordered a hell of a lot of takeouts. Both of my parents used to smoke cigarettes so by the time I became a smoker (21) my lungs were probably already primed with years of secondary smoke. I am not athletic. I don’t like to go to bed early which caused sleep deprivation. That and having to keep my brother entertained when he wouldn’t go to sleep, which was every single night for all the years we shared a room.
Once in college I started to make a real effort. In sophomore year I was going to the gym every day and running about 4 miles every other day. By junior year that stopped. Fast forward through most of my 20s, which included mostly exercises in debauchery.
Now I’m in my 30s and can feel the first inklings of old age. Grey hair, slower metabolism, random aches and a need to get a full 8 hours of sleep just to keep the energy level up. So while I can’t delay death and I certainly can’t prevent it, I can at least try to enjoy the present by staying healthy. However, as with all endeavors success comes from consistency and discipline. I seriously lack both. So I don’t do all these things all the time. My bad habits continue to fight with my good habits as the proverbial pendulum swings back and forth. And boy do I have a lot of bad habits, like um, staying alive.
“Time to get under the covers and watch the movie on the back of my eyelids called, ‘Everything I Ever Worried About’ starring Death.” —Erin Whitehead, @girlwithatail