Anti-Virus, Weeks 6-8ish – Puking into the Dilithium Chamber

By Brian • 11 May 2020

In reviewing my previous two blogs, I came to the conclusion that they stink.

No, it’s not because of the quality of the writing. Although, that wasn’t very good, either. But dang, it’s just a blog, not a TMZ article. Give me a break.

Truthfully, they were just too negative. (Not to mention they were me complaining about unimportant personal problems while there are a lot of people struggling out there with real problems right now. Pretty serious loss of perspective there, champ.) In each blog, my negativity hinged on my age-old enemy: time. I’m reminded of a Jean-Luc Picard quote from Star Trek: Generations, which I’m sure is technically not a very good movie, but it’s a sentimental gem because it was my favorite TV show brought to the big screen. When that happens at ten years old, it’s a monumental deal. My brother took me to see it. It was a lot of fun. Give me a break! The score is good, too. Anyway, Picard says,

“Someone once told me that time is a predator that stalks us all our lives. I rather believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey, and reminds us to cherish every moment, …because they’ll never come again. …What we leave behind is not as important as how we lived.”

Big surprise—insightful words from the Captain. The guy could be actively puking his guts out into the dilithium chamber after the O’Briens’ wedding reception and still be capable of saying something eloquent and wise.

I don’t want time to be my enemy, or a predator. Since I can’t escape it, I need to befriend it. The first thing to do is just relax and enjoy my life, for God’s sake. I’d like to believe I’m silly and amusing, but I’m actually super serious 97 percent of the time and rarely cut loose and have fun. I’m like a real life Scott Summers—maybe that’s why I have such a love-hate relationship with his character. Cyclops is never happy. Well, the Chris Claremont version of him, anyway, which is really the only version I know well. Always brooding, always worried about the team, always calling somebody “mister” or ragging on lack of teamwork. He’s just a really stiff, kind of lame guy. That’s me! I’m stiff! I’m kind of lame! My wife is always telling me to unwind. I try, but it is genuinely hard.

What a big, four-eyed lame-o.

Also, remember my friend Lucas’s video that I referenced in my first Anti-Virus blog? Before taking a ride on the woe train once again, I need to remind myself of the two biggest takeaways from that video, and what I’m trying to live by this year:

  • Work within capacity
  • Look at myself with kind eyes

If I’m stressed about time, it probably means I’m trying to work beyond capacity again. Maybe I let too many future projects creep back into my routine, and I need to be patient and scale back a bit. I fear falling behind. No, not the fear of missing out (FOMO), but FOFB. No, nevermind, FOFB sounds awful. But anyway, I see lots of creators knocking it out of the park, producing tons of work, running successful Kickstarters, etc. I fear falling behind them. But, it’s okay. I’m not falling behind. I’m producing, but at a rate at which I can manage. That’s okay. It’s good enough. I don’t think any reasonable person will hold it against me if I don’t create at the same pace or level they do when I often do not realistically have the time in the day to do so. What’s actually going on? I’m just not cutting myself enough slack.

Amanda was looking through an old journal recently, and found an entry from January 3, 2016, in which the thing that was vitally important to me at the moment was “working on creative endeavors without pressure and at my own pace.” That’s the same thing I resolved to do earlier this year! I’m fighting the same battle again. Have I been fighting this battle all along? Will I ever put it all together, just enjoy myself, and stop worrying?

I’m tired of fighting. This year has gone well, all things considered and despite a couple of blogs’ worth of setbacks. Here is the good news since my last blog, amidst this pandemic-induced circus sideshow and my infuriating neuroses:

Approximately two days’ worth of vegetables.
  • I’m maintaining a pretty solid exercise schedule. I don’t do a ton, but I’m at it fairly consistently. I feel physically good, despite being cooped up in the house most of the time.
  • We eat well. Proper meal planning has occurred for a couple of weeks now. The only minor setback there is that Amanda had two wisdom teeth pulled earlier this week, so we’ve had to change course briefly to allow her to eat soft things. Oh, and vegetables are always a challenge. We’re supposed to be eating 5-13 servings of fruit and vegetables a day, according to the thing at the top of the list on Google. Who can keep this many fruits and vegetables in the house?! You buy a whole shopping cart of them? Gone in three days, if you’re trying to keep up with standards. It’s ridiculous. So, not enough of those get eaten, but whatever.
  • On that note of Amanda’s wisdom teeth being pulled, I made her homemade chocolate pudding. Neither one of us were certain we’d ever had homemade chocolate pudding. It turned out, but I got too much condensation in it by not giving it a chance to cool properly. I was still proud of it.
  • My drawing output has slowed down, but it is still happening. I have some new things I can’t show you, yet! The thing about drawing is that it’s incredibly difficult for me to pick it up again if I stop for a significant amount of time, so I’m trying to do it here and there, as I’m able, never taking too long of a break so I don’t fall out of the habit.
  • Writing? Eh…could be better, honestly. Other than the blogs, I set it aside because I got stuck. I need to pick that up again. I worked on it a little bit this week.
  • I reestablished a morning routine. I think a morning routine is important. I’m going to write a whole blog just about that. Sounds boring? I’ll try to add a few jokes so you don’t throw yourself off a bridge.

Okay, that’s enough for now. I thought I owed you (and maybe myself) a decent list of good news items. Let’s build on those as we press onward through this mire of life.

Thanks for reading and hanging with me! Next time: morning routine talk! Yes, I’m serious.