It’s been a while since I wrote a communiqué, and I apologize for that! Things have raged out of control here just for a little bit. But we’re all busy in life, and I made a commitment to myself that I’d use this space as a “processing way station,” and I haven’t done that. Bummer.
But here I am. Five days a week, I make a football podcast that has to be up by noon ET. I usually wake up at about 6 a.m. to start work on it, and it never fails: no matter how far ahead in the game I think I am on that day’s show, by noon I’m scrambling to get it up. “Cool, it’s only 10,” I’ll tell myself, “look at that, I’m just a few minutes away from recording the intro, I’m absolutely gonna have this thing banged out by 11:15. What a relaxing morning this will be!” And then I’ll decide a particular sound drop from a particular movie would be perfect, spend 10 minutes getting that right, I’ll decide I need to watch something else on game film, whatever, it’s always something, and then it’s 11:30 and I’m still recording the second half of the show and I’m dizzy from not eating and it’s all shit.
I mean, the show’s not shit. I’m proud of the show. I recognize that making one’s living by talking about fantasy football is a particularly silly thing, but I value the audience, and the connection I often feel to them (you), and I also value how much people have told me (usually over Skype) that the entertainment the show provides gives them real and legitimate comfort. No matter what the monetary gains, I wouldn’t make that show and work as hard as I do on it if I didn’t feel like it was serving some purpose beyond just, “Hey, let’s talk about this silly game.” And I do.
But man, if I’m honest, what the hell am I doing to myself? And what the hell do we all do to ourselves? Like, the pretzel shapes I’m twisting myself into: are we masochists? Okay, yes, I am probably technically busier than most of you are right now, but I’m doing this without a family, without a significant other. And so the pretzel shapes you all turn yourselves into, they involve the needs of other humans, and that makes the degree of difficulty that much crazier, right? I get to be selfish with my time. If I have to work a 20-hour day and never talk to another actual human in my house (it’s happened a fair amount over the past six weeks), there’s no fallout, because I’ve built this world — for better or worse — where there are no expectations. But for many of you, you’ve taken on too much and you have to be considerate of these other people who need things from you, and from whom you derive comfort. Wow! I don’t know how we all do it.
And I don’t have a solution. To some degree it’s a thrilling high-wire act to pull off, right? To realize, “Oh, my God, I’m gonna escape the devil again this time!” and have a project work out right. To some degree it’s the most exhausting thing ever. Part of me is tempted to say, “It beats the alternative,” which is to be bored out of our gourds. But there’s no right way to live. I guess insane busyness is okay for a stretch, for a while, and for as long as it doesn’t directly lead to intense unhappiness. And in that regard, I’m still hanging tough. I wouldn’t say I’m walking around thrilled all the time at the moment, especially because I’m still not done with the audiobook and it’s less than three weeks from launch. But it’s okay. Things are okay. The danger for all of us, I guess, is that we don’t see the insane unhappiness coming, it can just happen and suddenly something needs to change or the emotional ramifications for us and the people around us (if there happen to be any!) can be bad. Danger. Gotta watch that.