Circumspect Old Sphere

Hi, I’m Tom, and I’m a blogaholic. It’s been 16 days since my last blog.

Seriously, though, there is no excuse or reason for my sudden absence. No one is hurt and the dog is quite well behaved in the mornings. There are no fires chasing me from my home, no reconditioned priority list shaken and stirred and flipped upside down. I haven’t been especially busy, at work or at home (though, at home, I should be — that list!). I’m not feeling down or even particularly high.

I guess the best word for me, right now, is “settled.”

That used to be such a dirty word for me. Sometimes, it still is. It seems to mean, to me, that there’s nothing to shoot for or aim for. Like the conditioned characters in Brave New World (which I finally read) I live out my happy day, doing the work that I must, taking my soma everyday in whatever form that takes (hint: beer, sun, book, deck) but I lack a goal. Is that a problem? Do you have one you can lend me?

A few years back, just before starting my blog, I had that same strange inkling. I needed something to get me jumping out of bed in the morning with a fervor. A “can’t wait to!” every day. Well, I jump out of bed now each morning just to … get up. Enjoy a cup of coffee. Laugh at the boys chasing each other in the yard. Read a chapter. And then you know the worn out groove in the overplayed LP from there: walk, shower, work, scoop, grill, dinner, TV, read, sleep. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Where’s the pop?

Football season is just around the corner, that should rev the engine some. But blogging about football is like dancing about architecture, to steal a phrase, except that no one seems to pay attention to the dancing or the architecture but me.

To be perfectly honest, though, I don’t need to blog, or even write, every day. When I started blogging I wrote every day because what if I wanted to be a writer, after all? Well, that ship didn’t just sail, I kicked it from the dock, tossed out my oars, and never even looked over my shoulder when it rolled out with the tide. Writing every day taught me that, besides digging ditches, it is probably the last thing I’d want to have to do every day. I enjoy it, don’t get me wrong, but when I have to do it and I don’t want to it’s not so much fun as work and I’d rather keep it in the fun stack the rest of my days.

As always, I reserve the right to change my mind about that in the event of a revolution.

For the last 15 days, while I abstained, it felt sometimes like the end. Had I finally had enough of Tom? I don’t mean that in the existential way, mind you, I mean of the smirky narcissistic form of Tom where I go online and jot down a few sentences to form paragraphs in 600-1000 word increments under the banner that portrays my first name twice.

The answer, of course, was no. I haven’t had enough of Tom. Not yet. And I haven’t lost the spring in my step in the morning or the pop that I call life or even the interest in my soma. And I’m not done talking about football, blogging about dogs, dancing about architecture, or bashing on the blithering blockhead boss in Washington.

I’m just in a lull. Or at least I was for 15 days.

Now I’m in a groove.

And that’s a far better word than rut, don’t ya think?

36 thoughts on “Circumspect Old Sphere

  1. Nothing wrong with being content. In fact, being relaxed AND comfortable is the best and most freeing time to think about your next steps. Note I said THINK, not do. It really is ok to just be. Besides, you do know that it wont last forever, so take some time to enjoy it! Ty for letting us know that you are still there, being tom, which imo is a great thing

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s really good point, Grace, and a bit of excellent advice. I haven’t thought much about “what’s next?” but I have, most certainly, gotten to the point where I want to. The doing? That’s a ways out unless I’m forced to my feet. Content. I like that. Looks like Tom is content. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m going to go out on a limb and assume you’ve seen The Princess Bride, so you might remember at the end when Inigo comments that he’s been in “the revenge business” for so long that, having accomplished his goal, he doesn’t know what to do. It sounds like you’re in a bit of a similar situation: you put a lot of effort into the worthy goal of finding what made you happy that you’re not sure what to do now that you’ve found it.
    In case you haven’t seen The Princess Bride here’s another metaphor: no one who runs a race comes to a complete stop when they reach the finish line. They slow down gradually. Sometimes they step aside and throw up in the bushes.
    Also, maybe you’ll go a little farther and read Huxley’s final novel Island which he wrote to offer a “third way”, since he realized Brave New World only offered only two options, neither one of which was particularly redemptive. His final novel is about a man who sets out on a boat thinking he has one goal in mind only to find something very different. That might sound familiar.
    And if not I’m sure you’ll find other races to run–just take time to enjoy the finish after you’re done throwing up in the bushes.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Here’s something I used to write about with a fair amount of frequency, but for which there’s little room within the confines of The Avalon to continue explaining: sometimes, it is the very fact that we label something a “goal” that ensures we never reach it. Making goals is a mental exercise that requires a good deal of predicting the future, a sketchy framework applied to an unknown realm. In fact, it is you who illustrates better than anyone else of whom I’m aware in the blog world that when you just relax, do and be as comes naturally, you will reach goals that you didn’t even realize you’d set. I see that unspoken wisdom from you every time you post.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Paul, thank you for saying that, I think your insight is second to none. Many years ago I changed the word “goal” to “intention” in my vocabulary for the very reason you just illustrated: a goal is a short term quest that requires hope, faith, and a knowledge of things to come we cannot predict. Often, we even beat ourselves up for not achieving our goal even though, as it turns out, we had no control over the path between our current point A and our hoped-for point B. Consequently I stopped trying to be 175 pounds and just tried to be healthier. I stopped trying to make, say, $100,000 per year and just made as much as I could in the framework of my life and work. When I have achieved the actual goals above it was mostly exhausting and not necessarily rewarding. When I live with good intentions and allow for life I tend to be much happier (and well rested, as a matter of fact). I also generally get “close enough.” ๐Ÿ˜‰

        Thank you again for your support and insight. I do miss your philosophizing!

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I have indeed seen The Princess Bride some 748 times! A worthy metaphor. Likewise the race; I have sprinted to the “finish,” slowed down after, and thrown up in the bushes. Now I’m enjoying all I’ve accomplished, humble though my accomplishments may be (to me, however, it is like I struck gold). One thing I know quite well, however, is that my accomplishments never come from extended bouts of listlessness but from having a strong, forward intention. I’ll find my next race soon, and start training. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      After finishing BNW I tossed two more books on my wish list: BNW Revisted (circa 1958) and … yes … Island. I’m pretty excited for them both and may start on one or the other the moment I finish my current read (“How Democracies Die”).

      Thank you for another very strong and insightful response, Christopher. My growth has always been strongly interdependent and your wisdom rings true!


  3. I think weโ€™ve all come to that crossroads in our life with one thing or another. Like Christopher said, your revenge business is over or at a lull for right now. Your content, pleased, satisfied with your life. Itโ€™s not stagnated but continuously productive Mr. Tom Being Tom. GO THROW UP IN THEM BUSHES TOM, youโ€™ve earned it!! ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I promise to do just that, Huntress! And then, at some point, I’ll find my next race. As long as it doesn’t upset the continuously productive, satisfied life I have gained. ๐Ÿ˜

      BTW, thank you for mentioning me in your latest! I responded but, once again, it vanished the moment of. Are you SURE I’m not hanging on in your site’s spam box?!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Perhaps I landed in your “trash” folder instead? I used to have a friend on WP that ALWAYS ended up instantly in my WP trash. Never figured that one out!


      2. I just checked and the notification for this comment was in my inbox! Omg WP is driving me crazy. A couple of months ago another blogger buddy of mine had the same problem, but she contacted WP and somehow got this mess all straightened out. Ugh, how annoying!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Fifteen days? What? Sheesh, you’d think you’d won the hold-your-breath-contest (though 15 minutes would be pretty damn impressive in that regard).

    I remember trying to fathom “biorhythms”. Cycles of energy based on flagrantly flimsy frippery, but the nonsense just never took. However, I most definitely experience my own, unplotable cycles, and have learned to just wait the sluggish ones out. Often, some funny, pointless or cosmically poignant event or idea will occur and, the sine wave flips and we’re back scrubbing bubbles.

    Doink! There it goes again.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I remember biorhythms! Didn’t those print-outs cost about a quarter back in the day? ๐Ÿ˜‰

      I know 15 days doesn’t seem like a lot, and when I typed it I rolled my eyes with you saying “so the heck what, Tom!” but during that span I kept feeling like I SHOULD write SOMETHING, so it made the days seem longer. Time is so relative, but that felt like a long 15 days. It also felt, like I said, that maybe I was just done at times. I wasn’t. I’m not. But it FELT that way.

      But I think you’re absolutely right. There is time under the sun for all things, even a break from our own heads every now and then. Thank you for keeping me real!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I speak as someone who doesn’t have goals. I have wishes but no ambition or drive, just a part of my DNA that’s always been missing. So, just being, and comfortably so, it’s a mighty fine way to be in my books. If restlessness, boredom or a life change requires action, then that will be then. This is now ๐Ÿ˜Š.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Live in the now, Lockwood says! I am enjoying this sudden lull, to be honest, though there is this aggravating voice in the back of my head saying I should be doing something more. I’ll listen to it later, but for now … we wait (and enjoy). ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Man, I bet! There are times when life requires every damn thing we’ve got, and it was not so long ago that was so for me (see “Happy Birthday to Tom” for more!). Maybe because of the year I had between 50 and 51 I need this respite. I’ll take it. You’re earning one, too!

      Liked by 1 person

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