As a boy, I liked to stand on my head. It was only natural, I suppose -- I was built like a caramel apple, more stable when inverted. First I learned to hunker down with my hands on the floor and my knees behind my elbows, then tip forward into a head-and-hands tripod, and slowly extend my skinny legs. I would wobble and sweat and then do my best to make my final tip-over seem controlled and intentional.
As I got stronger, I kept my legs together and controlled my descents. As I got stronger still, I would start by lying on my belly with my hands in pushup position, the elevate my hips into pike, smoothly drawing my toes along the floor until my torso was inverted, then open like a jackknife to point them at the ceiling.
After that, I began to time myself. The well-worn carpet in my childhood living room provided little cushion, so at first this was not easy. Two minutes. Five minutes. Ten minutes or more. I learned to relax unnecessary muscles and shift my weight slightly to my hands to relieve the pressure on my head. It got to the point that I could watch TV to pass the time.
Then I stopped. It wasn't that I had "maxxed out," strained my neck, or switched to handstands. It was fun to learn, fun to perfect, fun to challenge myself for awhile -- but I just didn't see much sense in it anymore. Today, I can still stand on my head on demand (and I do so now and again, just to prove it to the kids). But I feel better with my feet beneath me.
I've told myself and proclaimed on this blog that I am a writer, and that I'm working on a book. I have done a fair amount of reading, and very little writing. Aside from our annual Christmas letters, I write virtually nothing of interest to anyone I love. I am not a writer, but a director of communications. I am also a father and a husband, and blessed to be so -- but most of my waking hours are spent standing on my head for a living, looking at the world in a way that's begun to feel unnatural. I do it because I can, I do it on demand -- but it doesn't seem to make sense anymore.
In the parlance of my peers, I need to "re-tool." I don't know what's next. I won't call myself a writer again until I write something worthwhile, and I don't know what it will be. But I am eliminating distractions, one by one. This blog, though I have loved it, is one of the things that will go.
This is my last post for the foreseeable future. This blog will taken offline soon. If you wish me well, wish me luck.
Labels: family, fatherhood, work, writing