It’s all about staying centered. That’s the Public Service Announcement from my mental control tower at 6:37am yesterday. As I’m walking down the brick steps of our front stoop. Into inky barely-black 32-degree air. On the way to yoga.
A friend from down the street who I met on Facebook brought over A Million Little Pieces yesterday. A book by James Frey. I wish it were literally a million little pieces of something. That’d be grounding. I did a FB live a while ago asking if people still read, and if so what. And how—digital, audiobook, paperback. Loads of solid suggestions.
I chose A Million Little Pieces over the many others because of the title. Spot on. At least in terms of four words that capture my headspace. A hail storm of galactic gunk. That intensity. But minus the gravity. Debris floating everywhere. Asteroids, space station particles, astronaut phlegm.
Sometimes I think the most honest thing a person can do is tell you the truth. So here. Yesterday Kate went to work at the coffeeshop and then came back home and cut and colored hair and then we ate the pulled beef chuck that had been slow cooking in the crock pot all day and then the baby started wailing uncontrollably so we went to bed at 8:10. Which is 40 minutes later than when we normally go to bed.
That’s the truth, but you or me or any therapist worth their leather couch would ask for more I statements.
The PSA at 6:37 is because entrepreneuralism is costing me my sense of self. Especially as I promote. When I click ‘share,’ and then I click ‘write post,’ I notice that I’m starting to annoy myself. Like yesterday I shared an ADD post and wrote Hey you! Share this shit! This is a pop tart from heaven! The Alt Dad Diary is more than a blog, more than a diary. It’s a RELIGION! I actually wrote that. And then I wrote that in ten years or five, I can’t remember, technology will have advanced so rapidly that we’ll have reached the so-called point of singularity, and we’ll be the first generation to live forever and have all possible knowledge and have trampled negative emotions. That’s why, these last few purely human years, you should read the ADD. Revel in imperfection and the dusty affairs of a flesh-not-bot brain. So I posted it. And then immediately mental gnomes started whispering def take it down, maybe take it down, that’s kind of aggressive. But I resisted the gnomes. I edited it. Tried to make it less aggressive. And a few minutes later, after Facebook froze five times, I deleted the whole share altogether.
Stay centered, some zen apparel says. Let go, say some yoga t-shirts. Which is it? Let go or stay centered? Because they seem diametrically opposed. Let go recognizes that the center cannot hold, because the center is an artifice. Stay centered says keep the compass dialed on the horizon, stay in touch with the mystical and essential YOU. But who the hell is the mystical and essential me? If I let go, doesn’t the essential me fall to the spinning ground along with everything else?
Unless letting go is the path to staying centered. . .
I can tell you one thing. Having filled this much of a diary entry, I’m beginning to feel satisfied.
When Kate was at work, I was in charge of putting the beef chuck in the slow cooker. Because she was hurrying around trying to pack her breast milk pumping supplies, and a tupperware of yogurt, and a separate one of granola, and a ziplock bag of peanuts, and then she was asking me questions about her outfit, and then she was finagling with the crock pot cord and I was like jesus woman I’ll take care of everything else, just get ready for work. So once she left I put the slab of dead cow in the crock pot and covered it with chopped onions and carrots because that’s what Kate told me to do. But I’d never done this before and so I was curious and something felt wrong about it, like relying too much on magic. So I googled it. And google said I did it all wrong. So I took the meat out, dropped it in a bowl filled with salt, pepper and thyme. Left the carrots and onions in the crock. Turned the stove on medium high, added olive oil to a cast iron pan, waited for ripples and wavelets, and then ttsssssssss seared one side of the seasoned meat slab, waited four minutes until caramel brown, then flipped it, tttssssssss, waited, then flipped it to the two small sides. Then I put the beef back in the crock but ON TOP of the veggies. Says the recipe. And closed. Recipe called for beef broth, which we didn’t have. So I went to Aldi and FB Lived as I drove there, dog and baby in the back seat. And I should note that it was safe to drive and record because I didn’t look at the camera once, I just talked talked talked with my eyes on the road. No different than a person sitting next to me, having a conversation. And that’s the thing—these handheld hunks of computer are replacing the people sitting next to us.
>>> Yo! (here come the gnomes) Thanks for being here. On some level, you enjoy sandbox head digging with The Alt Dad Diary. Which is pretty cool. Check it out. If you could take a moment, think about what brought you ALLLLLLLL the way to the end of this post, and SHARE this post with your friends and family and people who are important to you, that would mean MEGATONS MORE than the www to me. For real tho. Ok namaste and happy Saturday.