You will all be aware that the gap between this post and the last is over a month, something which has recently become the rule, rather than in years past, the exception which never came. You all deserve to fully understand the reason for this, which is neither as obvious nor prosaic as it would at first seem.
More often than not during the week I wake up around 630am, +/- 15 minutes. Dawn is over an hour away, and over half the time the cause is not an alarm, but rather the small child. He usually enjoys morning time on the carpet downstairs, without the big child around to take toys from him, which allows me to complete a 15 minute yoga session mostly ungrasped. The rest of the morning is given to coffee, breakfast, lunch prep, dressing, and all the usual things. I leave for school around 730am, and return by 330pm, save of days when meetings demand leaving earlier or staying later. M goes to work around 4 or 430pm, returning 4 or 4.5 hours later. Perhaps one, but rarely both, children will be asleep at this point, and the spiritual clock is ticking to get some time to ourselves and everyone asleep, ideally such that I can manage the 9 hours of sleep I find indispensable for doing my job sustainably.
This is a less than ideal schedule, and while I could write a great deal about myopic American social policy, what links our overfull lives and my continued choice to not spend my time writing hear has more to do with how I spend my days during the week. I’m a psychotherapist at an elementary school, where treatment goals are rarely managed via conversation on the couch, and often dealt with via practice sharing at legos (or duplos) and adult facilitated kickball games. Chasing recalcitrant children down off playground equipment is common, as is working on attachment and social skills with semi-verbal 4 and 5 year olds via simple games of catch. I can’t imagine a more satisfying job, and the only real downside isn’t my lack of enthusiasm for more duplos when I get home, it is the fact that between 8 and 8 my only hours spent not being talked to or at by small people (and big people) are those spent driving, doing paperwork, and pissing.
Pictured here is my least favorite tree in the greater Helena area, and perhaps, in all of Montana. It’s in the saddle north of the main (but not tallest) summit of Mount Ascension, where the winter winds are least likely to molest the ornaments. Trails close to downtown get a ton of regular use year round, but not too many regularly make it the 1100 vertical feet to this tree. It’s surely a happy sight for those who do, and the reasons I’ve alternately contemplated removing and shooting these adornments is that I am an introvert, who goes to the woods to avoid people and their trappings, a need which has become more fervent as those moments have become more episodic.
It’s an important personal revelation to consider around the holidays. Little Bear, at 3.5, is old enough to almost begin to start forming memories, and in the course of making choices about what we want our family traditions to be, M asked me about my childhood memories. I didn’t have many, and it took over three weeks to realize that the overwhelming feeling at the time was one of dread; having to be in a busy, loud, often foreign house, and feel defective as a human for wanting to spend most of the time hiding with a book. It took until disturbingly recently to fully understand this, and American culture requires of me much effort to remember that there is nothing pathological about needing to charge up before receiving company.
All of this is to say that the internet and social media (of which blogging is hardly a part, anymore) remain social endeavors. For all their facelessness interacting with people is still interacting with people if it takes place on Instagram, you just get more control over the potency of the interaction. The best meaning here has always come from things that hold the best distillation of wherever I was at the time, and these days I just need to save myself for myself and for other things, a little more often. I have faith it will to the current extent be a fairly transitory state of affairs.
I don’t lack for things to say here, just the energy to say them as I’d like.