Pity Party

“In the back of the woods in the dark of the night

Palest of the old moonlight

Everything just felt so incomplete

Dreaming of revelry”

       “Revelry,” Kings of Leon


Here’s the things about life – for every night, there is day; for every dark hour, a light one balances it; for every whiny writer who goes to bed crying, “whoa is me,” another wakes and thinks: “Beautiful sunrise.”

It really is that simple, sometimes.

One of the hardest parts of going from being a partner in a small business to going to work for a government agency – for me, anyway – was the sense that somehow you had to button it all down.

I let anyone in who’ll listen. A writer without an audience isn’t much of a writer; so nearly every Facebook friend request is approved, every blog comment answered.

And then some mornings, you realize, in a cross-departmental corporate meeting, 9 of the 20 people in the room read your last post. They know your darkest fears, your weaknesses, the mistakes you make – and all you know is they were a good project partner a year ago and have a couple kids.

So for the first couple years at my current job; I didn’t write much.

But every once in a while, the urge, the force, would be too great – and it would spill out of my hands onto the keyboard. And from there to the blog.

But what I came to realize is that the pain, the honesty, the transparency more often than not helped coworkers and others around me work their way through their own issues.

Heidi and I will often sit on the back patio and think: despite all the things we’ve dealt with, we wouldn’t want somebody’s else life, or problems. We’re grateful for our lives and experiences. All y’all out there are tough; and you cope with a lot.

So now when I’m afraid to tell the truth, to write what’s really inside, I push the fear away and go for it. I share.

And sometime that writing delves into the dark place I was last night. Not sad, not depressed. Just fed up with the universe, ready to scream, “gimme’ me a break, already.”

It’s like a first draft of history; a small glimpse into a complex mechanism.

A complex medium that woke up the next morning, threw on some music, opened all the windows, sipped a cup of tea and thought, “Man, what a beautiful day.”

* * *

And it is a beautiful day.

Spring has found its way back to the desert; an early season heat wave replaced by light breezes and 60 degree sunshine.

The windows are open, the sun is bright. Both maintenance guys scheduled today got here by 9 and were finished by 9:30. Beckett’s 11:40 doctor’s appointment got moved up to 10 a.m.

The weekend is wide open.

So today, I’m sitting in the back room, with all its big windows, working my way through another missive. Beckett is playing behind me on his Xbox, stopping every 10 minutes to tell me he loves me.

It’s his way of trying to patch the frustration he witnessed in me last night. The complaining rant I engaged in at the dinner table.

So, a little while ago, I told him to pause the game.

“What you saw last night,” I said. “That was healthy.”

“Really?” he asked.

“Yeah, a year ago, I would’ve held in it. Tried to work through it myself and it would’ve stayed bottled up and became stress and anxiety. Last night, I just let it go. I let you know, I reach my limit sometimes, too.”

“Ohhhhh …,” he said.

“You get it?”

A pause and then, “Yeah.”

It’s the way he says it, the thoughtful elongation of the vowels, that let me know he means it.

And so it is: counterbalance found in the light of day.




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