But Bruce Willis gets clocked and is okay…

He got hit on the head, but he still wins the fight - right?
He got hit on the head, but he still wins the fight – right?

Years ago, I was watching the show Northern Exposure, and in one scene, a character was saying how he didn’t believe Bruce Willis’ character could have sustained all those head traumas and kept going.

He had a point. I wasn’t yet aware of TBI and its role in my life, but that comment did stick with me.

Fast forward 20-some years, and here I am, with a much better understanding of it all.

And yes, I concur. Bruce Willis plays a lot of characters who get hit on the head and recover promptly — and never show any sign of slacking off. Knowing what I know now, it’s highly unlikely that so many of the characters we watch in movies, t.v. shows, and video games would be able to stand, let along continue to function, after the hits they take to their heads.

Meanwhile, parents have delegated the raising of their children to television, movies, and gaming, leaving them to “learn” about life through a warped lens that has nothing to do with reality. That, after all, is the draw — it has nothing to do with reality.

But do the kids know it?

I’m not saying things are so much worse now, than they were when I was growing up. I grew up watching Wile E. Coyote and the Roadrunner blow each other up, smash each other under rocks, and do all sorts of violent things to each other — and then keep coming back for more. I grew up watching Muhammad Ali pummel his opponents, floating like a butterfly, stinging like a bee, with nary a thought about how that might affect him and his opponents later on. I watched Speed Racer and all sorts of other cartoons where the characters were getting creamed regularly, but just bounced up and kept going.

Is it worse today? I’m not sure it’s ever been great.

The difference that I see, is that all the entertainment-based activities are producing physically weak and vulnerable kids who may be pushing the envelope in organized sports. They don’t have the same core flexibility and strength that we developed 30-40 years ago, just by being outside and active. Nowadays, you’ve got kids who languish in front of consoles and screens most of the spare minutes of their lives — only to be sent out sporadically to play at levels that are arguably more demanding than any when I was growing up. There’s certainly more padding, more helmets, more focus on speed and strength.But there’s less actual strength underneath that.

Back when I was growing up, you played because it was fun — not because it was your only way to afford college and have a decent life.

But now, kids are woefully unprepared for physical exercise, and whey do dive into it, they’re pushed to limits that would have seemed ridiculously extreme, three decades ago.

Then again, Bruce Willis does that sort of thing all the time.

And he’s fine. Right?

Rest up… then decide

Time to go down for the count

I’m in a pretty dark place, right now… Feeling down and alone and just not “into” living my life. Everything feels so overwhelming and confusing and like there is never an end to … well… everything.

I know that I’m tired. I know I’m physically and mentally tired. The upheavals of the past week have really taken a lot out of me. It’s been constant drama with my spouse, as well as their business associates. Everybody is so busy being wounded and slighted and outraged, that nobody has any bandwidth left to just take care of things.

I’m tired of it. I’m tired of it all. And it’s good I realize this. Because I have been feeling more and more like the problem is with me, that I can’t keep up, that I can’t seem to keep an even keel with all this around me.

Earlier today, I just felt like leaving. Packing my bags and hitting the road. This is my go-to fantasy for when things feel too difficult for me to parse through, and I can’t seem to make sense of anything. I imagine what it would be like to pack a small bag with only the essentials, go to the bank, withdraw the maximum on my debit card, gas up the car, and hit the road… and not look back.

I could totally do it — if I didn’t have such a strong connection with my spouse, and if nothing else in my life were right. In fact, if my spouse passes away before me, that’s probably what I’ll do. Just take what I absolutely need, lock up the house, and hit the road for a while. Quit my job, tell my family I love them, cancel all the bills and accounts and contracts that make up the fabric of my life, and go.

Just go.

Where would I go? Probably deeper into the mountains… near here or farther to the North and West. Where there is lots of snow, big bears, mountain lions, and eagles. I might take to running a trapline in Alaska. Or just survive on my own. Build a cabin. Or build one of those self-contained houses that has a greenhouse built in. Take my time. Build it right.

Or alternatively, I’d put in for a transfer at work and move overseas for a few years. Transfer to a city in Europe. Maybe France. Or one of the northern Germanic/Scandinavian/Baltic countries. Learn French. Or German or Swedish or Danish or Norwegian or Lithuanian. And spend my life working a day job for a European company that gives me 6 weeks paid vacation, and spend my time off exploring the European continent. The Fjords. The Hebrides. Somewhere north. With mountains. And snow. And cold.

Where the nights are unbearably long in the winter, and the days never end in the summer.

Anyway, now that I’m thinking about making that kind of a change, my depression is lifting. I’ve got some creative juices flowing, and it’s entertaining me right out of my funk.

I think depression just goes with this time of the year, since it is a time of short days and long nights, and that SADD business kicks into gear right around this time. I also know that I am very, very tired, and feeling despair tends to go hand-in-hand with fatigue. Especially when my days are unstructured, such as today…. and when I’m feeling bad, physically, which I am.

Today is not a day for me to be making any major decisions, such as what I want to do with my life. Of course, when I am tired, I am particularly prone to wanting to do that. I start to mull the big picture of my life, I get depressed, and then I start to come up with all sorts of bizarre ideas about how to make it all better. Like changing careers without having any formal training in the new field I want. Like leaving my spouse. Like quitting my job — and quitting work completely. Like buying a new car and going on a driving tour to see all my relatives in all those different states, couch-surfing for a few decades, till my Social Security kicks in. Like writing a tell-all memoir that reveals intimate details from the lives of little-known people whom nobody cares about. Like writing an edgy novel, full of violence and sex, that will get people’s attention and make me famous — and a fortune.

Any number of things run through my mind.

The thing is, as I’ve said, I know I’m tired, so there’s no point in me going on about this right now. I need to just finish off the leftover hot and sour soup, drink my tea, and take a long nap. I’m on my own today — flying solo — so I have another 10 hours of solitude till my spouse returns with three other friends who need a place to crash for the night. I have a handful of things I need to get done, but for the next few hours, I need to just settle in, get some rest, and then figure out one thing to do – at a time.

See, that’s the deal — it’s not only that fatigue makes me want to make big changes in my life. Fatigue makes me want to make big changes that should never be done, instead of making little changes that need to be done. It seeks out the most exciting, most dramatic, most powerful sources of stimulation, in lieu of the regular, everyday ones, and it blinds me to the little things I can do each day to make my life better.

That being said, now it’s time to chill, take a long hot shower, and lie down for a long winter’s nap. I’ll decide what to do when I wake up.

It’s now officially winter, and I’m ready to hibernate.

Good night. For now.