Lately my lack of motivation and focus has taken what should be a concerning turn. Ordinarily, when I fall behind in multiple areas at the same time, I at least become concerned about it even if my burgeoning stress levels don’t compel me to behave pragmatically and try to rectify matters. Lately I’ve been more of a Peter Gibbons (protagonist of Office Space) look-alike, preferring to remain utterly irresponsible while wearing a sleepy grin and for the most part not caring in any meaningful way about the possible consequences. It’s like I’m in a train rolling down the tracks toward a second train sitting on the same tracks, with access to the brake, and absently intent on awaiting the exact nature of the collision rather than trying to avert it.
I think I set a personal record in October in terms of the largest amount of disruption in I caused in any 28- to 31-day calendar period to the lives and well-being of of people I know. There’s plenty of competition out there, including both May and October of 2001, but I think I outdid myself last month. Every day, I deservedly field e-mails I can only respond to with grand excuses, philosophical distractions, or other forms of arrant bullshit. Over and over, I remind myself that I should override any primal instincts I might have when it comes to successfully managing any future romantic relationships (inasmuch as these are in fact “primal”) and just rely on the competency of the flexor carpi muscles and tendons of my right forelimb when it comes to assuaging all related drives.
I could have parlayed the contract work I did this year into something that would have carried me through 2010, but instead dropped the ball and am looking for something else. A couple weeks ago, I was actually offered a fairly lucrative contract job with a textbook publisher, but when I responded by e-mail to accept, the sender admitted that he’d sent the offer out to more applicants than he should have and that he did not, in fact, have anything for me to do after all. It’s good to know that others in a position to deal are as worthless and unreliable as I am.
I also withdrew from the running-book project I accepted in August. I fucking hate writing about running these days and have had my lifetime fill of it. The few proposals I have made to magazines in 2009 have been so awful that I have literally laughed when sending them along to editors. My own running is in the tank, not that I care (October is my favorite running month and I basically did nothing last month), and I hope to never again have my byline in a running-related article. I still follow the sport at the level of genuine sport and have strong connections to the half-dozen or so I continue to work with, but beyond that it’s a past chapter of my life and I’m astounded that it was ever anything I could have taken seriously myself, people to whom a have a rabid, earnest, and unyielding commitment notwithstanding. I’ve chosen these athletes carefully and am fully invested in helping them.
These days I just make sure I get in about five miles a day on foot (by some combination of jogging and walking) just to get outside. It’s funny; I had a few periods this year where I started to rally thinking I would want to race as a masters (40-and-over) runner come next year, but these never lasted more than a few weeks. But in deciding that it was acceptable to abandon the idea of racing and just be one of these people who runs to avoid getting fat or to boost general health, I understood that I was deluding myself. I’m not out to impress anyone these days and it’s never been my goal to live to be old.
So, anyway. I hope you don’t expect to get back the few minutes you spent reading this.