It's All Perspective

By | Saturday, June 06, 2009 Leave a Comment
I have felt like shit all day.

I woke up the first time this morning, after only four or five hours of sleep, thanks to my dog's insistence on going outside. I managed to fall back asleep, but I woke a few hours later with a nasty headache that's stayed with me all day. It's certainly not one of those debilitating migraines or anything, but it's certainly hampered my being productive at all.

Lunch was edible, but just kind of sat in my stomach. Dinner was bland and disappointing. I've probably had one too many sodas today, trying to use caffeine to compensate for a lack of drive.

I tried banging out some rhythms on my drums, feeling the headache was brought on by tension, but the volume level wasn't helping. I tried working out, trying for the same effect with less noise, but I dropped in immediate pain -- apparently some somewhat overworked muscles from yesterday weren't ready for a repeat performance. I did manage to take the dog on a walk, despite some sore calves.

Most (well, three or four hours) of my day was spent zoning out on videos found online. I did not work on fixing my parents' laptop; I did not do the laundry; I did not mow the lawn; I did not work on my next JKC column; I did not read through any material I'm supposed to review. The only productive thing I did today was alphabetize my meager manga collection, which took all of maybe 15 minutes.

Now, all that said, let me be clear that I am NOT complaining.

When I got back from walking the dog, I sat on the deck in my bare feet. The sun was slowly setting on the other side of the house, still allowing plenty of indirect sunlight. The air had cooled to the mid-70s with an occasional mild breeze. I sat there, reading From the Desk of Warren Ellis, which I recently found on my bookshelf, having sat there for several years unread. I read, not worrying about whether the words really sank in or not because it didn't really matter; they're mostly his mad ramblings and I never had any intention of formally reviewing it anyway. I sat there, drinking a cheap knock-off of Dr. Pepper because money's tighter than it used to be with this suck-ass economy and the knock-off version is half the price of the original. I sat there, petting my dog when he wasn't protecting the yard from those inherently evil bunny rabbits who insist that property rights have no meaning in the animal kingdom. Nearby birds are placing bets on whether the dog or the rabbits will win this round; it sounds like chirping. Somebody's mowing their lawn the next street over.

Ellis' words drift by and I realize that they were written a decade ago. Much of what he says in the book is irrelevant to me -- as much as I enjoy his work and respect him as a writer, I don't drink or smoke, and his thoughts on the comic industry strike me as out of date. The comics industry of the mid-to-late 1990s is a very different one than we have today. Digital lettering and coloring were in their infancy; most artists didn't have the ability to scan their pencil work and upload it to a company server; Marvel was in the midst of bankruptcy proceedings; Batman & Robin pretty well killed the market for comic book movies. I would never have paid the $29.95 cover price for this book, and I'm glad I didn't even have to shell out $6.95 for the paperback version.

I'm on the deck with my book and my soda and my dog. The sun is fading fast, but the sky is still bright, the breeze is cool and, although she's not with me at this exact moment (one which I wish I could share with her), I know I've got a girl who loves me.

I've still got a headache. The laundry will still be there tomorrow. As will the bills I didn't take care of today. As will the dishes I didn't clean up. And everything else I would've liked to accomplish today, but didn't.

As a rule, I like to live every day as some kind of advancement over the previous one. I want to be better tomorrow than I am today. Every day. But it's unrealistic to think that's possible each and every day, so I can deal with the occasional day when I feel like shit and don't get anything accomplished. So despite having lousy meals, and cheap soda, and sore muscles, and a nasty headache, and disappointing reading material, and everything else that I didn't like about today, it's all good. It puts the better days in perspective. And that's how I get through a crappy day like today -- by just keeping it in perspective.
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