Saturday, November 27, 2010


It seems like everybody these days is into some kind of therapy.  They go to a shrink or seek out a guru, priest, numerologist, palm reader or insightful auto mechanic who missed his calling. Either that or they're medicated with anything from endorphines to Captain Morgan to antidepressants.  Most of these solutions entail some monetary cost on the levels to put other people's kids through university.  I prefer to save up for my own sons' useless overpriced degrees thank you very much. So where is the solution?
Having been a basket case myself lately on a fairly regular basis, I have come up with three absolutely free (well....mostly...) attacks against the woes of modern living.  They won't work for everyone, but they work for me (well...mostly...). I have discovered what should have been obvious to any reasonably intelligent 40 year old:  you don't have to be a shrink to be able to sooth and give good advice.  One friend in particular has been a great source of knowledge. She's a  veteran of the same war I'm in, and she always makes it better, even if it's just by sharing a laugh.
  Music is an invaluable outlet.  It's spiritual and physical, as well as a healthy translation of anger and hurt into creativity.  I'm singing more and better than I have in years.  You've gotta know pain to really sing the blues, or anything else, for that matter .
My third coping mechanism is a little's buckets of weird, but I find it very therapeutic.  I like to sharpen things. See, told ya, weird. I think what it is is the rapid accomplishment of a definable task.  Dull, ten minutes later, sharp with lots of care and concentration, but no real thinking in the middle.  The only problem is that every tool in the shed, knife in the kitchen,  pair of scissors, and vegetable peeler in the house is already ant-sweat-shaving-hair-popping-nick-your-bum-if-you-look-at-it-too-long sharp.  I'm out of stuff to sharpen. I'm afraid to send away for more on ebay; I'm sure there must be some kind of limit I'm approaching. All that aside, I find any work that requires concentration, physical strength and skill but that still lets you switch off your brain, to be very cathartic.  Have an imaginary conversation with whoever is causing you grief while splitting wood if you ever have a chance.  You'll win the argument every time:)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Suddenly single dad at 40

Here we go again: yet another step on the inexorable march toward surrender to the invasion of the internet and technology into every facet of life.  I have reconnected with long lost friends on it and discovered the depth of the loss.  I have been doing the biggest part of my work on it, preparing reportcards for my little critters at school.  I have enjoyed quality time with my two boys on it, laughing at comedy and singing lustily to songs on the 'tube with a boy on each knee. and most incredibly, I lost my wife to it...

Of course I realize that the net and her attachment to it was only a signal, a symbol of the drifting apart that was already happening in our marriage and not the source of the end. Changing feelings and personality differences on both sides were the bomb that blew things to hell.  But the net was the means through which she met her new love interest.  I'm sitting here now for heaven's sake, with my sons that I have through the week (and part of the summer) trying to work this out in my head and typing it for your consumption on the GD computer.  It's stupid to blame a box of circuit boards and an ethereal tapestry of wireless connections for the fact that I am a single dad at 40... isn't it?? Why do I still want to take my rusty sledgehammer to a laptop, or run over my cell phone with the lawnmower?