Oh Dear Me


The author as a young man, contemplating his next Pulitzer Prize winning article for the Dungeons and Dragons Newsletter
The author as a young man, contemplating his next Pulitzer Prize winning article for the Dungeons and Dragons Newsletter

[Warning – have your finger on the “ignore”, “next” or “whatever” buttons on your keyboard, phone or carrier pigeons.  I am not sure of what other people’s method of communication is these days, but I am assuming that it’s not winged, but I don’t want to be exclusive.  Just all-inclusive, like those Dominican Republican resort deals on Groupon.]

I am in a writing mood, but have nothing of consequence to say today, so I am going to bore the bloody bejesus out of myself and innocent bystanders with excessive navel gazing and gratuitous dull rapture about Things That Aren’t Particularly Important.  Stream of consciousness stuff.  So strap in.  Grab a sandwich.  Keep The Bachelorette going on in the background.  Or UFC.  Something with inane infighting and tears borne of rage and macho overkill.

Actually, I wanted to mention that lately, through some voodoo, black magic and/or negligent Ouija Board manoeuvres, there have been a plethora of wicked and fantastic and well-timed blog posts out there which seemed to mystically be aimed squarely at yours truly.  A sort of For Your Eyes Only deal.  Of course they aren’t, but the Creator works through people, so I take that at face value.  I have been voraciously reading blogs the last few days and have been struck down by some beautiful, poignant and touching posts out there, some of which have reduced me to macho tears.  The type of tears  Rocky Balboa would get after getting pummelled, but then coming back, winning the fight and screaming for Adrian.  Many of them spoke to me at a deeper level than they usually do.  There should be a “Like OMG” button on the blogs, with a picture of the cast from Square Pegs on it.  I will lobby WordPress about this.

My inner critic
My inner critic.  The stripes should run up and down, don’t you think?  More slimming.

Here’s a note I found under my pillow the other night (or was it all in my head?):

Dear Paul:

You’re sober now.  Good for you.  About time!  Well, it has been just over two years, so we don’t know why we act surprised.  We are late in getting to this, we understand.  We have been busy, don’t you know? Anyway, we, the committee, have a few things that we would like to discuss with you.  In a frank and honest manner.  Unfortunately, Frank & Honest, our usual law firm, is no longer in business, so we’ll just circumnavigate them and get right down to brass tacks.  Feel free to take notes.

1) It’s taking us longer and puffier to get from point A to point B.  Your, ahem, heft and carriage, is increasing at a speed that has the committee concerned.  Maybe lay off the cupcakes.  Do a push-up or two.  Lift something else up other than your ego.  Maybe jog your sack of bones there and not your memory so much.  Mars bars aren’t the cure for alcoholism.  At your rate, it will be the cure for everything.  You’ll be dead.  Stop it.  Get into a shape that isn’t round.  Anything.  We will forward you some pleasing shapes that we found on Ask Jeeves.

2)  You still on the computer?  Jeez, we’ve had it.  We don’t want to see another YouTube metal hair band power ballad or post on PAWS or self-help meditation tutorial for the next, we don’t know, two months.  We are working on a cease and desist.  Find something else to do (see #1 above.  Integrate). Learn the xylophone or make Afghans with Knit-Wit (TM). Throw tomahawks at old milk cans.  Juggle chainsaws.  Something to get you excited about something else.  We’re tired of the same view. We’re cutting IT from the budget next year.

Where has this been all my life?
Where has this been all my life?

3) We get you like to write.  Good for you.  The world needs word crunchers and banjo strummers.  Grave diggers too.   All roomy and inclusive, like that big book you like to read (over and over again) says.  But we feel that perhaps another topic would work.  Maybe even a story?  Jack and Jill.  Hansel and Gretel. Siblings are a good demographic to aim for.  Keep it simple.  Play with transitive verbs or whatever it is you people like to do.  We’ve exhausted our reserves (and patience) on how many ways to say “Booze Bad. Sobriety Yummy”.  We’ll call marketing in on this one.

4) What is it that book also says – that line about being selfish and stuff?  Yeah, that page…got it?  Good for you.  Now quit it.  We’re getting complaints from the neighbours.  Spread the love a little.  We have lots here.  It’s just sitting in the warehouse getting stale.  We made it to be given out.  We already have the lifelong deal with The Big Client, if you know what I mean.    Remember the last time we let it rot?  We had to fill it with that nasty stuff.  Gave you headaches.  Gave us, and others in your life,  heartaches.  We prefer what we have now.  Open up the windows and let it out.  Get some fresh stuff back – it’s a co-op.

The committee would like to thank you for your cooperation on these matters.

Craziness.  But better than what ego does – just lobs bomb after bomb after bomb.  No real communication.  Just a lot of justifying and reasoning.  The whispering of sweet nothings.  Finding the loopholes and easy way outs.  Crafty bugger.  But I try to ignore ego.  Hard to do, though.  He’s also tenacious.  And devastatingly good looking.  A charmer.  Wafts of his Brut aftershave sometimes come my way and makes me veer course.

My ego.  Wouldn't *you* do what he says?  Hunky, yes?
My ego. ..according to him.

So where does this all take me?  Self knowledge avails me nothing at times.  Insight is great for Twitter quotes and sound bites.  It can also open doors…if, and only if, it is accompanied by action.  And that, mes amis, is where I feel blocked these days.  Locked in the pantry with just enough  spaghetti sauce and Bugles(TM) to get me through a few more days and weeks.  Surviving but not stepping out.

The committee has it’s points.  And hell, I knew they were going to write that note.  It was just a matter of time. I was just waiting for the envelope to be slid under the door.  To make a final point.  I am the type to take action when it’s the 11th hour, when the deadline looms, when people are cursing my name and tapping their feet like Sonic the Hedgehog.  That is when I suddenly find energy and a sense of urgency.  If I can bundle the last 6 months of my life, or the last 10 or 12 blog posts, it can come down to two things:

Fear of failure.

Fear of success.

Failure or success?  It's all in the eye of the beholder.
Failure or success? It’s all in the eye of the beholder. Rock on, dude.

Two sides of the same coin, those fears are.  Ego driven…in collusion with pride.  Self-developed, like Polaroid.  Flowing out from within.

If I am willing to allow the committee’s recommendations to come about, then I need to be deep at the core with these two fears.  I need to be giving this to the Creator to take on.  I am not big enough for these.  He is.  But I need to be wanting this.  But Erik Estrada keeps pinning me down with those glorious pecs of his and winning smile.   And so I pray for willingness to be willing to be free of Erik.  Healthy Step 6 and 7 stuff, with a good dose of Step 3 thrown in there for rebar-like support.  Maybe all this blathering has gotten me down to this:

Fear of success and fear of failure hold me back from being of service to others.

And to be who the Creator created me to be.  Period.

Is that too hard for this alcoholic to figure out?  Why does it need me to once again be against the rails before I act?  Because that is how I knew to deal with life.  Drink it away until it no longer could be drunk away.  Until it lands right in my lap and is spewing lava all over me…then I deal with it.

Ugh.  Maybe insight does have value.  It can move me to places where the light shines a little brighter, to move throughout the cave with the reflection of His light bouncing off the walls and giving me just enough to go on…to move with, to get to the next place where He needs me.  Where I need to be.

And right now, I need to be here, spilling this, cleaning it up, taking responsibility for it.  Owning it all.

And to thank you all for being here.  You are all the lamp lighters for me.


11 Comments Add yours

  1. Oh, Paul, you are my doppleganger right now when it comes to fear of…success and failure! Take a deep breath and realize that it’s all about small steps forward, and, figuring on the next thing, the what’s next–sometimes you just have to wait until it comes to you. Or, until you feel ready to work at it. AWESOME post, had me cracking up! xxx

    1. Hey DDG – thanks for swinging by and making the comments. I had you in mind when I was getting to that part – we just spoke about that on your blog there. I actually had no idea what I was writing, so it wasn’t until I got to the end there that I must have had what we said still stuck in my head. So thank you for the inspiration on this.

      Yeah…overall a strange post, now that I look at it again…ha ha.

      Love and light,

  2. I love your words but the pictures make my day!

  3. sherryd32148 says:

    So glad to hear we flick your Bic…right back atcha my friend.

    And…Like Karen (above)…I too love the way you write and I love reading but the pictures! Holy mother of God where do you find them?


    1. Yeah, the pictures are certainly taking on a life of their own, aren’t they? Maybe I’ll just do picturelogs from this point on. Dioramas, etc. It would save all the typing.


  4. Author, Catherine Townsend- Lyon says:

    **OH MY PAUL…..I surely could have done with out a few of those PIC’S…..*CREEPY*…LOL…LOL…What a *Unique* Post…….I’m still going….HHHHMMMM…..LOL….Thanks for always making me have a giggle or two!! Hugs! *Catherine* 🙂 🙂

    1. I know. That’s why I hesitated to hit “Publish” (more so than usual). Unique is a good word. I just realized almost all the pics are shirtless dudes. What was I thinking? Oh well, it’s good for some giggles.


  5. runningonsober says:

    Fear of failure, fear of success. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. So I say, if you’re damned anyway, you may as well DO! then you live with no regrets that way.

    Sounds good anyway, huh? I know it’s easier said than done.

    Rooting for you! Thanks for sharing your vulnerable side with us, you’re a blessing.

    1. Thanks Christy for being here and the comments as usual.


  6. furtheron says:

    Spot on with the fears both are the crippling outcome of further procrastination!

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