Moving Those Goal Posts


It’s hard to resist noting that for the past week or so, as I’ve been feeling under the weather, that’s been an appropriate euphemism. Our weather has been pretty nice, if not warm. Definitely not cold, on the chilly side for our winters but nothing extraordinary at all. Right now it’s in the high 30s and it’s not yet 8am. This is nothing, and this week it’s even more irrelevant. Our weather has been all high ridges and sunshine, and I’ve been under and out. I might have had a few good walks in that sunshine, although my ears get cold. But there are things for ears. Moving on.

I’m a little curious about where my mind has been wandering these past few days. There were a few days when I just was too sick to type; text messaging was a horror show, some combination of Klingon and the way a couple of my cousins spell on Facebook. Fingers and brain were definitely not on the same network.

But I had plenty of time to ponder things, and when my fingers were working it seemed I pondered a lot about, for example, this football thing. Why? I dunno. I obviously comment on football a lot less than I used to, as Facebook conveniently shows me every day. I still find pleasure in following the hometown team, and I think most of the people associated with that organization are pretty first-rate. They’ve been successful, too, enough to keep a borderline fan on the border, watching.

I imagine at some point I’ll give it up, probably sooner than later, and I certainly don’t let losses or disappointments linger, or get my hopes up all that much. Maybe that’s why I was so stunned at the New Orleans’ fan reactions.

And really, there were two people, that’s it. Most of the world doesn’t care. These two people on my Facebook feed care a lot. One of them is kind of obnoxious anyway and I’m always snoozing him for a month, just tired of his stuff.

The other is interesting and eloquent, so while I understand—I think I do—the emotional rollercoaster that occurred when these fans realized they were so close to the big game and had it snatched away by a bad call,  the vitriol and just silliness these two have been putting out on a daily basis, now nearly two weeks after the fact, kept popping up. Just bizarre behavior for grown people. It made me think they would have been pretty horrible Little League parents, screaming abuse at the poor ump. They entertain strange fantasies about replays and do-overs, nearly demanding that somehow, somebody in power get Superman to do that thing where he flys around the earth in the wrong direction until time goes backward and pass interference is finally called.

I hid both of these guys until they cool down. I mean, I might not even watch the Super Bowl. I’m barely interested, although I like football and tradition and probably we’ll do something. It’s just curious that I got so fixated on this reaction. I can’t work up the energy to care, really, and energy is in short supply, but it seems to have been on my mind.

Nothing else worked anyway. I could barely read. I watched almost nothing, a few episodes of The Good Place to catch up. I follow the news as always, although I can’t think of anything particular to say. I’ve been horrified, shocked, stunned, fascinated, hopeful, depressed. So essentially the past couple of years, all in one week. Nothing new to see here.

So January ends with a sniffle. February, the worst month of all time, approaches and I have no plans to leave the state. Some major emotional prep work needs to be done, mostly in terms of lighting and getting outdoors as much as possible. The good news is that our meteorological spring comes fairly soon, a matter of weeks, when the storm season ends and we start sliding toward the glory that is (usually) western Washington summers.

And as my head clears and I look back at the strangeness, the amount of time I spent online (and, actually, the amount I didn’t, because I was napping), has made me entertain some ideas about this whole thing, social media and engagement. The best move I’ve made in this regard was to turn off most notifications on my phone, other than messages. If someone comments or likes or does something to interact with me on one of the sites I visit, I don’t get notified until I check. Cleaned up a lot of foolish screen time.

I don’t know about these internet/device cleanses. It seems to give them too much power. I’d much rather just decide what I like and what I don’t, and how to manage.

I haven’t decided yet. I mostly just post things I find funny, but still. There are better uses of my time. I just need to find them.

And the other day I thought about a woman I’m going to see tonight in concert (health willing), and how I wrote about a momentous day in her life a few years ago, coinciding with another momentous day in this country, and I was thinking that was a nice piece; I should run that one again somewhere.

Then I realized it’s been a very long time since any of these pieces that run every week then disappear have been collected all together. I may have a project. Not a new thing, which would be nice, but at least a curated thing. I’ve done this going on 18 years. I bet I can find a few columns that are worth reading, in some sort of order, that might tell a story. It’s always been my story, but it’s still a story.

And that’s how you get a goal, maybe. I may actually have a New Year’s resolution after all.

Chuck SigarsComment