Dispatch From Inside the Paper Bag

 

It’s a common criticism of an average or below average boxer to say he “can’t punch his way out of a paper bag.” Sometimes, even “a wet paper bag.” It implies a hapless palooka who is too weak/inept/cowardly to effectively land a punch.

Well, folks, I am that boxer.

My fight is against depression, as many of you know. Unfortunately, two of depression’s harder punches are loss of interest and lack of concentration.

So basically, I don’t even feel like fighting, usually. Hence, the long period of no posts on this blog. I’ll start a few of them, but following through is next to impossible; I can’t concentrate, and I don’t care.

Sucks, right?

I’m still here, though, in case you were concerned. And maybe sometime, I’ll finally land a punch. I do want to win this fight, really.

But I’m afraid we’re gonna go several more rounds.

 

And How Was Your Day?

 

The surprises life occasionally drops in your lap can sometimes be nothing short of incredible.

 

I drive a shuttle bus five days a week for a particular business. I’ve been driving it for two years, now. In that time, I’ve gotten to know several of the folks who ride it on a regular basis. I know many of them by name, and enjoy talking with them when they ride with me.

We’ll talk about just random stuff: music, sports, the job, the mercilessly hot weather (currently), whatever.

And, somewhere in the conversation, I try to get a laugh or two out of them; maybe make them forget a few seconds about the stress of the day. Some people, I can joke with relentlessly, because we know each other that well by now.

This one fellow, who shall remain nameless, and I are like that, but one day, we got a little deeper in our dialogue. I don’t recall how we got to this subject, but I shared my depression struggles with him, which led to him opening up about his depression, and sometimes thoughts of suicide.

He told me he’s thought about it “logically”, i.e., exactly how he would go about it.

I told him about how I wrestle with those same thoughts, and recommended that he get help, as I did. Because, like I’ve said before on this blog, that’s way too big a dragon to try and slay on your own.

He thanked me for the talk, and we haven’t brought it up since. Which is probably bad; I should have followed up on it with him. But, I don’t see him as much, now; since relocating to the main office, he doesn’t need to go to the other facility too often. Not that that’s any excuse.

So today, when I walked into the office, the lady at the security desk, who I also know, had a card for me from him. Now, we both expected it to be something funny, because he and I sometimes leave snarky little notes for each other with her. She kinda gets a kick out of being the go-between, I think.

Not this time. Instead, it was a thank-you card. Inside was a generous gift, and a note which read:

I really struggled on a daily basis with depression during my old job. Part of the reason I was always on the bus was you. Thank you for making me laugh and smile.

 

I just stood there for a minute, looking at that note, totally dumbfounded. I genuinely didn’t know what to think. I’m still trying to get a grasp of the significance of it.

At the very least, though, it’s immensely gratifying. I have no idea if I’ve helped anyone with what I’ve written on this blog; I can only hope. But, I can take some satisfaction in knowing I helped him.

With just a few jokes. Who would have thought?

I don’t know what this story will mean to you, if anything. Like I said, I’m still processing what it means to me.

But, have you ever been at a point in your life where you never envisioned yourself being, wondering why you were there?

I don’t know for sure, but maybe, this guy was the reason I’m right here, right now.

Which blows my mind just a little.

Love one another, y’all.

 

 

My Final Year As a Quinquagenarian

 

In other words, I turned 59 today.

Anyone between the ages of 50 and 60 is a quinquagenarian. It’s a word you use all the time, right?

Are you kidding? People that age get worn out just saying it. Who the blue devil came up with that title, anyways?

Never mind, here I am, standing at the threshold of 60. A threshold I thought would take a lot longer to show up. Truly astonishing, how fast life runs when you’re not looking.

It’s unfair, too; by the time you come to appreciate just how precious your days on this earth actually are, they’re mostly gone.

But enough gloom and sadness. The larger point is, I’m still here! And, as that noted philosopher once said, “Any day above ground is a good day.”

(Even with the guy we currently have as President, but I digress…)

Also, considering that I’ve spent the last several years with depression as my constant companion, occasionally urging me to just cash it all in, it’s a small miracle I’m still around.

And, on the whole, I’m glad I’m here. Despite what I try to tell myself sometimes, life actually is worth living.

Especially when I can get in some naps. Us old folks need those, you know.

So, have a piece of cake for me. Heck, indulge; have two.

Just don’t make me blow out any candles. I’m still a little winded from saying that word.

 

 

 

Live Streaming?

 

I gotta say, you dudes just crack me up when you stare at your cellphone, even while standing at the urinal in the men’s room.

Really, my man? You really can’t break away long enough to simply take a leak? What are you watching, a how-to video?

Frankly, I’m surprised you found the urinal. You could very well be peeing on the bathroom wall and have no idea. Or even found one where someone’s already standing, and right now, you’re ruining his new pants which DIDN’T COME CHEAP, PAL!

Besides, this looks like a dangerous practice to me. What if you drop that phone?

Myself, I think I would just leave it there and go buy a new one.

Maybe you have more confidence in your grip than I do. (On the phone, I mean.)

Look, guys, I know it’s a boring chore but, come on, we’ve done it for centuries without needing the entertainment of a phone. Just pause whatever you’re doing on there and take care of business, for Pete’s sake. It’s safer, not to mention, less stressful. For me, that is.

 

Which makes me wonder something else…

Do you fellas even put that phone down long enough for sex?

I mean, we’re talking roughly the same amount of time, right?

 

Treading Water

 

I’m sorry, folks.

The truth is, lately, I just don’t care about anything enough to write about it.

And I don’t know when I will.

But, even if I did, I’d likely tell myself you wouldn’t care, so why bother writing? That’s due mainly to my rather low opinion of myself these days. Depression, and all that.

Besides, trying to write anything lately is like trying to swim in mud. I just bog down at some point.

I’m sorry to disappoint any of you.

I don’t know if I should even post this.

But I just want you to know, I’m still here.

That’s about all I want to say for now. I love you all.

The “Terrible Twos”?

 

April 13, 2016. I unleash the inaugural post of my new blog on an unsuspecting world.

And the rest, of course, is history.

Well, my history, anyway. So, here I am, still writing two years later. And, to my amazement, you’re reading what I write! Some of you have even been with me for the whole ride.

This leaves me mystified and gratified, all at once. Even more so, my work has been read in 66 different countries around the world, by now. THAT is incredible to me.

 

As I’ve said before, I write primarily because writing is easier than talking for me. This is a way for me to put out there what I think and feel, but could probably never bring myself to say aloud. I’ve always kinda been like that.

At times, though, even writing isn’t easy. My depression holds me back sometimes; gets in the way of me finishing the four or five posts that I’ve started. That’s why you haven’t heard from me recently; I’ve been stuck in the Land of Half Way.

I guess, the 2-year milestone gave me some added impetus to see this one all the way through to the end.

So, I’m glad to have this outlet. And, I’m especially glad so many of you have found it interesting enough to read – more than once, in many cases. Thank you so much for visiting. You’re definitely welcome anytime.

I love you. Later, y’all.

 

Shutting Myself Up

 

I am a very ruthless editor.

No matter what I’ve tried to write lately, my inner editor taunts, “Aw, come on, nobody’s gonna want to read that! Why are you even bothering? This is junk, pal! Give it up.”

And so, I start post after post, never to complete any of them. I can think of things to write about, but currently don’t have the confidence to follow through.

So I guess this is just to let you know, I’m still here, and that’s why you haven’t heard from me lately, and I hope to find my way out of this frustrating circumstance before long.

Meantime, love and peace to all of you.

It’s Already Been a Year?

 

Well, well, well…

Here we are, exactly 365 days from when I sent my first post out into the great big blog universe.

Flew right by, didn’t it?

To say this last year has been interesting is, of course, a colossal understatement. Of all the years I could have started writing, I picked the year that up became down, left became right, sweet became sour, and that guy…became President of the United States.

Yikes.

I should have known, in a year when the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Chicago Cubs won championships, that anything could happen.

 

From the start, I knew this wasn’t going to be the type of blog that brought together several people with a common interest in one specific subject. This wasn’t gonna be a blog about cooking, or fashion, or auto repair, or nuclear thermodynamics. Although, I could easily have gone with that last one. (kidding)

No, I just had the nerve to think someone might be interested in my observations on life and current events.

And to my shock and bewilderment, some of you are (!!)

Admittedly, for a while, I was discouraged by what I thought was a paltry number of viewers and followers of this little blogsite, compared to some other blogs out there that I like.

However, upon the realization that there are approximately three bazillion other bloggers out there (give or take a few), all competing for your eyes, I’m actually quite fortunate that anybody at all found me.

So, I’m very grateful to all of you who decided to stop and look in on my site, and especially grateful to those of you who have become “followers”. (Ugh, I just sounded like Jim Jones. Sorry; I promise to not make you drink any Kool-Aid.)

And, a big shout out to all the bloggers I’ve discovered, and now follow. You keep me comin’ back!

I reckon I’ll just continue writing, as long as I have something I want to say, and as long as someone out there wants to read it.

Peace and love to you. ❤️

Oh, one more thing: Sean Spicer, just shut up!!

 

Yawn

 

Hello, my loyal fans.

I know, it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything original on this blog; I’ve just been reblogging posts from other people that I found interesting and wanted to pass along, or directing you to other websites, because I’ve been unable lately to come up with a single thing to write about.

That I thought you would find worth reading, that is.

 

When he was President, Jimmy Carter once famously addressed the American people about what he termed a “crisis of confidence.”

I think that pretty well describes what I’ve been dealing with lately.

Whenever I’ve started to write something, I haven’t got very far before convincing myself that what I was writing was worthless junk, so I just give up.

I don’t want to bore you with any more anti-trumpism; I believe you all know my feelings toward the man by now, and just a cursory glance at the daily headlines can keep you apprised of what he and his gang are up to that day.

Problem is, anything I write these days sounds boring. To me, anyway. Maybe I just have a boring life; I don’t know. Nor do I know how long this malaise will last. Hopefully, I will come out of it soon, and I will produce something worthy of your time.

I know, this was boring, too. Sorry.

 

 

 

 

 

Why I Do This

People ask me all the time: “Stan, why do you write?”

To which I always reply: “My name’s not Stan.” (Where do they get that, anyway?)

Also, nobody asks me that, to be truthful. But, as a public service, I’ll tell you, anyway.

I’m obviously not in it for the money, since I don’t make any from this.

I don’t do it for the love of writing, even though I do kind of enjoy it.

I don’t do it to gain a following, though that’s certainly a nice benefit, and I’m grateful to you folks who do follow me; I hope you enjoy some of what I write, anyway.

I do it because I’m much better at it than talking.

 

Conversation has never been my strong suit. Still isn’t. Especially when it’s just me and one other person. I simply can’t think of how to initiate, or continue, a dialogue.

I usually think one of two things: What I want to talk about is so trivial, it’s just not worth even mentioning, or it’s so personal, I might say something I really didn’t want anyone to know. So, either way, I just stay quiet.

Also, there’s this to consider:

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.

The above quote, attributed at various times to Mark Twain and Abraham Lincoln, among others, has been my own personal mantra since before I ever even heard it.

By far, my biggest insecurity about myself is about how smart (or stupid) other people perceive me to be. As I’ve explained before, this goes a long way back.

I just know that when I open my mouth and say something, the person I’m saying it to is internally rolling his or her eyes, thinking, “Geez, what kind of idiot am I talking to?” So, if I have opinions, I generally keep them to myself, for my own protection.

But, when I write, there’s nobody standing right in front of me, waiting for me to say something, or to react immediately to what I say, so I’m in a sort of Safe Zone here with my tablet. Whatever you may think of what I say, at least you won’t be telling me directly to my face.

I suppose that sounds cowardly, and perhaps, it is.

I’d love to be able to say what I feel out loud more often, but in the meantime, this little blog will have to do.

Again, I appreciate all my followers out there. Please keep reading, and I will do my best to present you with something worth your time.

Later, y’all.