On Sunday night, after a day off from the college, I went to a bar near Brickell and had just enough pints (4) that I couldn’t focus enough to watch another movie off the List when I got home. Ended up putting it off ‘til morning—which is frustrating because I tend to project, at the start of each day, that I’ll have completed a certain number of things by the time I get back into bed and, yeah, it’s always aspirational, I’m always aiming to finish more than I possibly can, but I still get really pissed with myself for not hitting the mark.
But now I’m looking back on Sunday’s productivity.
- Wrote nine pages·
- Watched a 2.5 hour movie from the List
- Did a quick assignment for the ghostwriter·
- Edited a big difficult chunk of the book proposal·
- Did some chores in the apartment
And so I’m wondering if it’s maybe unreasonably to beat myself up for the fact that, at the end of a long productive day (that began at 8 a.m.) I should still beat myself up for the fact that, when I get home from the bar at 9 p.m., I’m not game to do more. Maybe the reason I so often con myself into the “just one beer” thing on Sundays and Tuesdays is because I’m…fucking tired.
This is probably something lots of artsy folks can relate to, though. You’re spending so much time pursuing your craft, you’re not making any money off of it, and so eight or ten straight hours devoted to your writing, or your music production, or your film editing or drawing or painting or scrapbooking doesn’t feel like it’s actually accomplished anything because you know there isn’t a paycheck waiting on the other end of it. So there’s really almost no amount of work you can do that’ll feel like enough. You’re always chasing a sense of accomplishment, of professional satiety, that just isn’t there to be had.
Anyway. It felt like a wasted night and I woke up kinda hating myself and feeling like a hedonistic fuckup—but then eventually, after tending my dog and my teeth and grabbing my notebook, I started walking, at 7:30, toward the bustling opulent metropolis on Brickell where it seems everybody’s in a hurry, everybody’s working, and I figured that if Sunday Night Alex was a fuckup, well, that’s unfortunate; but it’s Monday morning now and I’m out the door and heading for an early start just a little past dawn.
I’ve realized that, if I fuck something up, there’s always somebody who’s gonna tell me that it’s fine, forgivable, that they themselves have been there and moved past it and grown, etc; and when they tell me this, I tend to accept it. “We’re all human,” etc. Sure. But I think it’s probably also healthy to cultivate a sort of internal warden who’s gonna say to me, “Actually, four beers at $7 a pop isn’tacceptable when you’re on a budget and have work to do,” and healthy too for me to just defer to that voice.
Because while it’s maybe not the sort of monstrous behavior that I need to be ashamed of, that doesn’t mean it’s something to be proud of, either, and it doesn’t mean that this won’t maybe become a self-destructive pattern if I don’t occasionally grab myself by the lapel and say, “Alright, look…”