Though I’m not much of a daily blog reader I’ve always thought the best ones have a quick hit quality — a left, a right followed by a lean tight uppercut and then out. I’ve never been able to accomplish this in my own writing. Growing up in a small three bedroom, one bathroom house with nine siblings’ attention was granted when say, you broke a window, skipped out on your night to help with the dishes or when you gluttonously finished off the rare box of crack like Captain Crunch that made it into the house. The scorn, along with the damage Captain Crunch did to the roof of your mouth was intense and so worth it. But nobody was ever looking for me to share an opinion or to verbalize my feelings on a topic. Same is true now with my three college age children still at home who know absolutely everything and meet every query with an ironic eye roll. They don’t want to hear it. And, like a dormant flower shutdown and stilted by the cold of winter waiting for the nourishing warmth of the sun and spring rains to reveal its beauty and voice my past attempts at blogging have featured a loquaciousness akin to a rambling Bertrand Russell lecture on the history of Western Philosophy with a few obscure Todd Rundgren references mixed in along the way. Lacking quick hit jabs and crosses, this has made my blogging more or less useless.
But, that is about to change. This Christmas, in addition to a nose and ear hair trimmer, a must for every self-respectable middle age man, my oldest daughter got me this book: 300 Writing Prompts. From the title, you might expect such a book to be the usual subjective bullet pointed discourse on how to get your writing going, but it isn’t that. Instead, the book contains three hundred topic sentences that you respond to within the confines of a single page like a journal entry. With the discipline and economy of a MMA fighter I am going to beat the shit out of these prompts within the confines of the space allotted. And, while I’ll live up to the space requirement, I can’t promise to eliminate all references to Todd Rundgren, cause, ya know...TODD is GODD.
In descending order, Random Prompt #300...
What is your favorite day to spend a lazy day?
In recent years I’ve come to understand that work is man’s salvation and in theory I never have a lazy day. I have an agenda of things to do and accomplish every day and never tell myself: ‘You know what, I’m going to just chill today.’ Of course, there are days when I am totally useless and ineffective or I get derailed by a broken-down car or maybe I’m out late seeing a band and indulging in adult beverages, which leaves me at less than full capacity the next day. But, even on those less effective days I do my best to follow through with my agenda and try never to give in to totally shutting it down.
I’ve also never been much into concepts like “mental health days” or notions of “me time.” Rather, following through on my daily routine is the therapy that keeps my state of being healthy and stress at bay. I work in the “mental health” and “me time” after I’ve completed my daily tasks, which include: a couple hours of writing (or at least sitting in front of computer screen attempting to write), doing my time on the day shift and working out, plus all the daily curve balls life always dishes out. When these things are done I typically sit with a podcast or music and something I call a 42 Dive (4 beers and 2 whiskeys). The absolute worst thing that happens to a guy my age, is not getting old, it’s losing purpose and becoming bored with life. When that happens that innocent and nourishing 42 dive turns into a 63 sweep and then an 84 bomb. The answer to this creeping boredom and lack of purpose is of course: WORK. And, accordingly, in the new year, I plan to put my energy and excess time into combating the forces taking hold in post truth America. Not exactly sure the form this will take yet, but whatever it is, it will serve as my favorite way to spend a lazy day.