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Friday, April 11, 2008
The old man and the me
It was my birthday last weekend and it was even more low-key than usual, given that it was on a weekend (yay!) and that I've been keeping a low real-life profile lately.
I haven't really hung out with friends at all, or called anyone or really made an effort to be social. Mostly it's because the last month, I've been decompressing from the constant grind of South by Southwest Interactive, which was a lot of fun, but also a lot of work. I stayed out really late, I went to lots of happy hours, I met a lot of people and I think I got several months worth of being around grown-ups out of my system in four days.
What my life is like now is that I get up in the morning, late usually (but it still feels early). We wrestle with handing Lilly back and forth while we both try to get dressed, get our things together and get out of the house on time. I go to work, later than I want, but as early as I can manage. I sit at my desk or go do interviews, I make phone calls, I catch up on RSS feeds and e-mails, sometimes I meet with my editor or scramble to try to turn in a story.
I usually bring lunch with me or go to Thundercloud or somewhere else nearby and eat while I read the paper.
More work and suddenly it's 5:30 and time to pick up Lilly at daycare.
We drive home, which takes a lot longer than driving to work does with the early evening traffic. I make something to eat usually or we arrange to pick up. Rebecca gets home, we eat dinner, hang out, watch TV. I write the next day's Videogamey if I haven't already, catch up on anything I missed at work and, boom, shower and bedtime.
Weekends we do all the stuff (grocery shopping, visiting with family, eating out) that we can't do during the week. If it's a Smallville week, I spend a chunk of the weekend doing that and maybe trying to go to the gym once in a while.
And that's my life right now.
And that's cool. I'm not complaining. It's not as boring as it sounds. I still laugh and get emotional with Lilly and chat with friends/family on IM and take pictures and try to do creative things.
But there's a lot that's just not possible with that schedule. I can't go to the gym every day like I'd like, even though they have child care that I'm too afraid to try out.
I can't be in LCP right now because that would mean dragging Lilly to rehearsals or writing meetings. I tried that and it didn't work.
The one upsetting thing is that I haven't been writing here. I thought I'd have all kinds of stories to share about Lilly and funny observations about being a dad that would be worth posting online, but the truth is that I find if very hard to put into words what it's like. The words feel too small to describe what I feel for Lilly and how it's changed my life. It's a mix of every emotion you could feel, from despair (I get sad that she's growing so fast that she's already galloping past infanthood) to insane joy (she's hilarious; she dive-bombs me on the forehead with her open mouth and goes, "OMMMM!") to worry to stress to just weariness.
Sometimes I carry her to daycare and I feel like the most responsible person on the planet.
Other days, I look at my life and wonder how I got here and I don't feel like I'm old enough or wise enough to be where I am with these kinds of responsibilities. And then I remember my actual age and find that I'm being ridiculous.
Maybe I was old enough for this, but just not mature enough. I've been told constantly that I was going to have to make decisions and prioritize and give up things. Now a lot of what I think about is how sustainable my life and my habits are. How long can we keep this up (commuting, all the time I spend online, recapping, things like that).
I'm not under the illusion that all this energy I have is always going to be there and that I won't burn out.
But right now, everything seems to be balanced enough. I can do this, I tell myself. Mostly because I'm in the middle of dong it and so far, so good, you know?
If you are in your 30s and you really want to make yourself feel like a damned fossil, go to an Extreme Outdoor Skate Festival.
Rebecca asked what I wanted to do for my birthday and I told her I wanted to see a band I like, Girl in a Coma, at this outdoor event. They play in the area all the time, but it's always evening shows and I can never make it.
It was tons of colllege students and teens in bikinis (or shirtless), sporting tattoos and drinking beers and walking around without the possibility that they would go home that night and have a tiny person spit up on them or would need to change a diaper with carrot-colored poop in it. (Although I could be wrong; maybe that's what they do in college now.)
We saw that band it was awesome, but only two hours in, it was like, "It's hot, we're old, our baby is at home missing us, the drinks are expensive and the music is finished, anyway."
We went home. Lilly was waiting for us. I picked her up and she giggled and kicked her feet.
I didn't feel quite so old anymore.
Quick pimping before the real entry
Quick links out of the way first that I've been neglecting: a Google Maps Street View story I wrote (and a blog companion piece to it) ran last weekend. I've been slow mentioning it.
I was also neglectful mentioning a new Space Monkeys! comic that ran last week.
And lastly, two Videogamey entries that I'm particular proud of: "Sgt. Pepper's Kingdom Hearts Club Band" and today's "Grand Theft Auto 4 Videogamey Pre-Order Bundle." Those were fun to write.
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