Frivolous, I Hope

9 August 2001

Exhaustion is like any other physical malaise: it gets to the point where it feels like nothing will ever feel good again. Where having genuine, well-rested energy again seems like a pipe dream. Where your body is involved in some sort of conspiracy against you and wakes you up at 4:30 in the morning, every muscle tense: ha ha, you don't get to sleep any more. Ever again.

Mark and I had a long talk last night that I think will help, and I'm going to see Dr. Bill tomorrow. (Dr. Bill is my magic worker, er, I mean, chiropractor.) My brain has hopes that this will not be a permanent thing. We'll see.

For a very long time, my motto in life was approximately, "You do what you have to do." There's a strong element of compulsion to my writing. I've heard the advice, "If you can not write, don't write!" I don't agree with it, but I understand why people who have similar writing experiences to mine tell people that. It's hard work, and I feel compelled to do it, so why should one of you all get to sit around and do it or not, as you please? (Answer: because it can be fun.) I was pretty proud of my ability to do what needed doing when it needed doing, whether it was going to a lab when I was upset or making sure that a friend got a shoulder and an ear when he/she needed one.

But at a certain point, you have to make room in your life for doing what you want to do. A lot of the stuff I need to do is also stuff I want to do. Not the same thing, and reminding myself of that fact only makes me enjoy the stuff I have to do more. It doesn't make it stuff I just want to do just because. And I need a few more of those.

So today I'm going to try to focus on doing stuff because I want to. I'm a freelancer, I can do that. I'll probably do some need-stuff, but I'll spend time with people not because of some nebulous "relationship maintenance" category on my to do list, but because I want to be with them. I'll write scenes I want to on stories I want to, or maybe I won't at all. I'm going to read my very first Diana Wynne-Jones book, purchased with Aunt Ruthie's gift card. Probably watch a little baseball. Whatever. I'm going to try to let go of some of the compulsion to get everything done all at once and some of the disappointment that I can't.

As my dad constantly quotes, "Think it'll woik?"

Yeah, I know the next line, too: "It'd take a miracle."

(For enforced frivolity, though, there's nothing like a countdown to next week's BNL show. Timprov, your timing could not have been better.)

We watched the Wayne Brady Show last night. My initial reaction (in the first two minutes) was, "Good Lord, Lawrence Welk is a black man!" We shall see if it's worth it. I've liked Wayne Brady on "Whose Line Is It Anyway," so maybe his very own variety show is not as 1964 as I think it is. Maybe.

Oh, one last thing before I go: evidently the Wen Ho Lee case was not racially motivated. WhatEVer. I said to Mark, "So if his name had been Sven-Eric Larsson, he'd have been under suspicion as well?" And Mark said, "If his name had been Sven-Eric Larsson and he'd had relatives in China...."

Take care of yourselves. Do frivolous things just because you want to. Do serious things just because you want to. It's good to be able to do what needs doing, but that can't be your entire life pattern. Trust me.

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