Since midsummer allows a body to achieve a certain kind of perspective, let’s dispense with the niceties and put it on the table. Here are Some of the Things I’ve Come to Grips With.
1. Omelets still suck. On the night I turned 30, at a bar on the Outer Banks with Dana, Lindsay and Chip, I made three declarations: I don’t like wine and I’m not going to try it anymore; I am going to leave social gatherings when it gets late instead of “waiting for that magical next thing to happen”; and I will no longer subject myself to omelets, even though I love eggs. These three revelations have borne out – they have withstood the test of a decade, and remain the wisest words I’ve ever said while drunk.
2. Pop music is for teenagers who haven’t heard the chord changes or beats before. Being older, we have heard them all. Occasionally, one or two songs slip through for us (the synth orchestral bits in the chorus of Call Me Maybe, etc.) but those should be regarded as gravy. Complaining about pop music in your 30s or 40s is like complaining about portions at a buffet.
3. Summer is too hot in North America no matter where you are. It’s shitty and humid and miserable everywhere. New Orleans, Chicago, Tucson, upstate New York. Maybe the immediate Pacific coast is okay, but they have earthquakes.
4. Tessa, Lucy and I are going to be a 3-part unit. For some reason, I always imagined myself as a patriarch Daddo of several, but now that the immediate horror of our years of fertility bullshit has abated, I find myself not really contemplating that scenario anymore and reveling in the more-than-enough wonder-galaxy of my daughter and wife. It’s like giving up the search for gold, and coming home to the diamond you already had.
5. My time-management skills are never going to get above a C-minus. Here’s what I’ve come to understand: either I will take two weeks (too long) to get something done and live under the constant penumbra of dread and self-hatred… or I will take two weeks (too long) to get it done and stay relatively sane.
Those with ADD (or whatever you want to call it) live their lives with this constant feeling of being behind the 8-ball, a hideous weight of “stuff I gotta get done” hanging over our heads, even if most of it is subconscious. Eventually we can’t relax or have fun, because of the churning guilt or basic sensation of being unsettled – we know we’ve forgotten something, we know we’ve disappointed somebody.
In essence, it’s all about time management. Good time managers (like my wife) can get things done in nice compartments, leaving them free to do whatever they want. I’ve made significant strides in that direction over the last 10 years (drugs, therapy, analingus, etc.) but I am not fundamentally built for it. I am a C-minus time manager.
This is not a way of letting myself off the hook, or an admission of defeat. I will still try harder, and I’ll use all the tricks there are. But I’m going to try to accept my C-minus and not live this constant life of clawing deficit. I will look at the C-minus, or D, scribbled in red on my paper and accept it with a certain detachment, knowing I’ve got other qualities.