First off, before I get into the meat of today’s blog post, I would like to thank awriterbecoming for introducing me to the concept of National Blog Posting Month. I didn’t go register on the NaBloPoMo website, but according to their own rules, I met the criteria for a win – at least one blog post a day, every day, for a month, regardless of whether I register with them. I’ve tried National Novel Writing Month twice and I think at this point in my life I’m too intimidated by the concept of writing 50,000 words that tell a cohesive story. I wanted to try this first and prove to myself that I was capable of writing every day for a month. There were times that it was difficult coming up with something to write about, but it all worked out in the end. Now that I’ve done this, I think maybe next year I might try one of the Camp NaNoWriMo challenges. Camp happens twice a year, in April and July, and accepts word counts as small as 10,000 words to count as a winner. It’s more open ended, and I think challenging myself to a shorter story would be the next logical step in my progression to novel writing. Besides, April and July are considerably less hectic on me emotionally and logistically, and I’d be more prone to stick it out rather than let my outside environment take me out early.
Wow, that was almost a blog post in and of itself, wasn’t it? Okay, with that acknowledgment out of the way, time to get to the real post.
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Today I adulted very hard.
I know it’s not an actual word. Urban Dictionary defines its use as a verb as “doing something grown-up and responsible.” I like its usage because it makes me feel less like an adult and more like a kid, which is very much how I want to feel at the end of a string of productive activities.
Today I made sure bills were paid after the snafu with the bank, took care of a long-standing problem with my wife’s tablet, cleaned house, made dinner, and cleaned up afterward. Today is the second day in a row that I’ve been outside the house to face other people, and I handled myself pretty well.
It seems like one of the most basic things to have to write: “I left the house and faced another human being for the second day in a row.” The last time that I did that was over a month ago, when I went camping for the weekend with a large group of my friends. That was the most concentrated socializing I’d done since a similar situation last May. Anxiety can render you very helpless in the face of some of what should be the most mundane situations imaginable.
I mentioned yesterday that I went out to purchase some filter packs for our Keurig. I did well in the store, in part because we were in and out in ten minutes, and that included a spot of window shopping. What I didn’t reveal was the fact that I almost had a panic attack in the traffic on the way to the store, even though I wasn’t driving, and the fact that I wasn’t alone. I haven’t driven to do anything but visit my therapist, make a doctor’s appointment, or drop my wife off or pick her up from work so I could have the car to do one of the two aforementioned things, in over a year. I have not willingly driven somewhere nor have I been the one to drive when my wife is in the car in almost two years.
I think I’m going to mention this to my therapist when I see her on Thursday, this crippling inability to drive unless it’s absolutely necessary for me to do so. I keep talking about wanting to get out and be more social, but if I’m unwilling to get in the car and drive somewhere, I’ve got bigger problems than being around people.
And sooner or later, I’m going to have to start working on the reasons I’m on disability in earnest. I don’t like being on it, but the stipend each month is absolutely vital to keeping us afloat financially, and if I can’t get in the car and drive anywhere, how can I expected to handle the stresses of the workplace?
So I adulted very hard today. I think the best thing I can do for myself at this point in the day is acknowledge what I’ve done, and take it easy for the rest of the evening. I can’t really say that I’ve earned it, but I certainly would welcome the mental and emotional break of a little leisure time.
And who knows, maybe there’ll be a reason for me to get out among people again tomorrow, and it’ll be three days in a row.
Baby steps, I keep telling myself, gotta start with baby steps.