So much for that. Over the last two months I've found myself really wishing I had a place like this where I could write. Now that I've taken my little sabbatical, I feel like I can begin things again with a slightly different frame of reference. No more pressure to make this blog a pictorial timeline of my life (and more importantly, my children's lives). No more guilt-posting. Instead, whatever efforts I can make to record the moments and ideas that strike me -- that was the goal of this thing all along, before the existence of my own family made the whole idea seem a little silly and frivolous. But it isn't, really, and when it all boils down I'm still as selfish and jerky as I was pre-family, and that's who I will remain.
Here's what I was thinking about recently:
First, I found myself harboring a really weird and really intense jealousy for friends who are doing very well financially and professionally. This was completely irrational and had nothing to do with their lives or mine -- I just found myself fuming at paths not taken, degrees earned or not earned, salaries not received. Rationally I could tell myself that this was stupid and that I wouldn't trade my life and circumstances for anything, but I felt like my insides were curdling. An inchoate rage against myself, the world. I felt like all of my problems could be solved with -- what, maybe 60K? I would take more. I thought about how I could monetize things. What's so bad about male prostitution? Surely I could find some kind of market, the Internet's a big place.
Eventually, this weird black balloon deflated and the fever broke, before I cold really explore the prostitution idea. I was able to take a step back and think about why I was worrying about money, and what could be done about it. I read some great short fiction by George Saunders that taps into these kinds of economic fears and we met with our retirement planning representative, which was reassuring in some ways.
The second thing I thought about were some longer term ideas: cash out retirement money to get a down payment on a place! Buy or lease a car so that we can recover some freedom! These ideas seem necessary to help us make sure we're moving towards something. Otherwise it just seems like us in the New York squeeze of money, real estate, and schools. It's a game we won't win, most likely, and really I just want to make sure we don't back ourselves into playing it through our own inaction. If this is our lives, it should be at our choosing.
So that's what I've been thinking about. Money, jealousy and dread. But aside from all that -- things are good and will only get better. Tomorrow's my birthday and it will be a good one.