The temptation was to gloss over it.
Drown it with alcohol. Mute it with busyness.
But he promised himself he wouldn’t.
The flatness overtook him like darkness on the lee-side. The strong coffee and caramel-sauced waffle in his stomach was his attempt to retrieve a mite of motivation. If it weren’t for them he would continue driving aimlessly through familiar streets, marking time.
He began to realise the descent on a Sunday night from having two zesty and joyful children for four days was critical to manage. Successful Sunday evening self-management was becoming instructive to how effective his evening, indeed next few days, would be. For it would only be three until he had his children again.
The presence of any noun which demands micro-management is a wonderful panacea to an underdeveloped self. Be reminded that many have children, yet are not committed to them in such a manner as to care or be personally inconvenienced by them. (Perhaps these parents are the smart ones.)
He had vowed, upon conception, to be an involved parent; as an actual person to his children. The speed of his 20s and the tendency to look outward for personal validation had led him to this place. A place where he knew intimately the needs of those close, but was dim to his own.
How is it, he regularly questioned, that a life spent in the dimensions of modern Christianity meant he was dim to his own needs? Without pointing the finger, he knew a terrible misstep had occurred.
The class on self-esteem had been postponed, replaced by the class on just-about-everything-else. He could recall years when he had explored the dimensions of faith, denied the doldrums or simply cultivated a frenzied optimism, falsely labelled faith, to deal with any dark diversion of mood. It may have worked. But now he didn’t want it to.
He had vowed, a few months ago, to experience things directly. Be it positive or negative.
In a bid to be himself, he would not seek a salve for any mournful moment, or cap a high feeling.
If it was alcohol, then the bottom of the bottle was his limit. If it was exercise, the breathless retching would halt him. If television, the dawn of new day would signal a night poorly spent peering at meaningless info-mercials.
Experience things directly, he told himself, as he sat at the computer.