Not just for me, but for you too.
What, and how, are you going to do?
Not just for me, but for you too.
What, and how, are you going to do?
It’s the world you put into the world.
Enjoy the awesome days, but don’t forget to study them. Each ingredient. Then AMPLIFY.
So I open the bottle of Monterey Grenache I bought at Bottle Barn a bit ago. Not letting it sour or soil the soul of this sequence of time I have to Self. First sip, and I’m spoken to by subtlety’s illustrative principles.
It’s still not speaking to me, doing what it’s supposed to do. This it. An it. Not capitalizing, not surrounding in any quote marks, even the singular. It’s a thing. A monster. A devil. Guess I have to buy a new laptop.
On campus, and much recovered from the food poisoning frolic recent. Still not 100%, but leagues better than yesterday. Thought yesterday at the winery would never end, with the sore joints, fever, infuriated core. But, it’s over, no more. In adjunct cell with blueberry muffin and coffee, appreciating words from a fellow adjunct telling me on of my ‘100’ students likes my “philosophies” and how I share my insights on literature and issues with the class, and how I promulgate discussion and maintain energy in the classroom. She, this other adjunct, must have had him for English 307 or 305, anyway I’m instructing him now and hearing this, unprompted, assures me my life is meant to share ideas. And that’s all my teaching “philosophy” is, invitation. An invitation to exchange ideas and hear what others have to say, appreciate insights on everything— literature, societal matters, general life, work, family, all be.
Can’t tell you how promising it feels to be on campus, even though I let the 100 section go early, I’m in my character, more than just “in my element” as people say.. I’m in teaching mode, and thinking about the future of my teaching, and what I want to learn— learn from students and learn from the collective character of this campus. My mind’s just in a riled and tireless wander, if you don’t mind, post-sick. The incident taught me that I have to keep moving, and when I’m not moving is when I’m most not-me, most upset, and just generally disgruntled. I’m better now, though, and I plan on decisively defeating my Monday, as this one student said earlier. He came to class dressed up, medium-blue hued sports coat, same shade slacks, chic shoes. “You look nice, man. You have a job interview or something?” I said. “No, I just wanted to defeat my Monday. You told us Mondays don’t have to be Mondays, so I wanted to defeat my Monday by dressing nice.” Couldn’t help but bask and study his attitude. Now I mimic, benefiting from my own instruction in a way.
In this adjunct shared cell, I plan further. What I want and how to get it. Easy, I realize. “Go all out.” Cliché, maybe, but truth. That’s one of boon and lovely layers of cliché is that it’s known, accepted, and mostly proven true. At least in this case. So, always be on campus, mentally. I will. I’ll defeat this Monday by taking a mammoth step toward my aim, toward travel, what I want for me and my family. I know, just a writing father professing, professing… This is not professing. This is planning. And my plan… Be the most ‘Me’. I can think and think and think, but I’m now the figure to do, do, do. Everyone in the hallway talking, all those full-timers and lifelong adjuncts who don’t dare do something more, don’t know I’m in here doing what I’m doing. Everyone should have time fixes like this, junctures of immense sight and realization, meditation. So now, me, further into the day, on campus with a near-gone muffin.
No longer calling it a cell. That word stems from the more negative me, and the current current and currency of me is aloft and lively. I quite like this room, now. Done with grading, have to plan a bit for the rough draft workshop. Not sure how long I’ll keep them. If I let out early, there’s a change the writer returns to this very swiveling chair. Can’t imagine I’d keep them the entire time, right?
‘Nother sip of my sparkling water… Productive day. But, as always, went by incredibly quick. And the only Mike I wasn’t today was the running Me. But I don’t mind. Nor care. At all. I’m very happy with the Story’s progression, aujourd’jui. All to yay, and further away from nay.
10:30AM— whoa, how did that happen? Need to get in a drive, maybe just to gather content, photograph a vineyard on Olivet Road, or something. On a roll so far today, and it’s the Positivism, this Creative Positivism that’s found me. More to come… so much more to come…
2:30PM— 3-shot mocha. Funny, as now would be a perfect time for a nap. Why did I get this thing? Oh well.. all yay-say. Class tonight, pretty much planned. And tomorrow, considering hooky, to go to little Emma’s swim lesson with Alice and Kerouac. You know what, maybe I should. Need to do things for myself, little gifts… this could be the first.
Now on the floor of the living room with mocha. This one, strong. Feels like more than 3 shots. Doesn’t matter. I’m awake and I’m writing in my newly minted Creative Positivism. All’s a yay, negating any possibility of nay.
Something different tonight, for class.. what. What do I do differently? Writing prompt, no… Freewrite, possibly. Self-assessment… perhaps have them write an assessment of how they handled their day. What they did, how productive they were, etc…
Really have nothing to write, me, now, here, on floor, with coffee (shocker I know), wind outside. July 18th closer, only 12 days away. Some major step toward the Road must be made. But how and why and what, and within what?
Got a bit distracted, but back. This has just been a relaxing, but quite productive, day. So I’m in a relaxed mood, mode. Not pressured, not anxious, not irked or pressured by anything. Just alive, living, how I want— a writer, positive, creative, with coffee. I feel meditative, now, looking at a picture of Jack and Emma that was taken only weeks after she was born. Everything is for my babies, I understand. I’ve understood this for a while now, certainly since Emma was born but before as well. Just now, today, and just now staring at their picture, it’s re-emphasized. You know what, I think I will take a day tomorrow, go to the pool with my littles, enjoy the entire evening with family. I deserve it, frankly. But let me make the final decision tomorrow, or sometime before, or never—
Maybe I should take tonight off. Ugh, if only. Have to look upon this with positive lens— if it weren’t for this semester, I wouldn’t have the resolution to never teach Summer again. So I can only be positive with the class I have. And I am. The students are wonderful, just I struggle with smaller groups. SO that’s something this adjunct needs to work on, for sure.
Shit, even with the caffeine I’m yawning. Nothing a little drive won’t cure. All positive, this new Positivism of me, for and from me. Complete thought Autonomy— but another yawn, another sip. Need this coffee, so I’m not that free. And I don’t think I ever will be. The writer, or this one, needs this stuff.
I’m quitting negativity. Anything negative. Anything remotely negative. Or even minuscule indignation. No more. Just zen, writer zen, happiness, and like the blogger I follow chanting on about optimism. “Optimism” I’ve always felt was an overused word and turned around and inside out so many times that it has an opposite effect. BUT, this one figure, the blogger, repeats it with a genuine urgency, that I’m assured it will solve every problem I have. One of the biggest of which is my attitude. An old boss said, when I was 23 I think, “You’re biggest problem is your attitude.” Indeed it was, has been, but no longer is. This is more material and story, “content”, than I could have ever hoped for from the day. This realization changed the day’s momentum and tide. Wrote earlier in the Comp Book that “The day turned. It just took a colossal SHIT right on my head.” Not blaming the day, or anyone else. Blaming me. But now it changes. I’m changing. I’ve changed, or I think I have. But either way, I’m quitting. Anything even close to a negative or a frown. From here north, into where stage intercepts sky, I’m answering frowns with luminary statements, ones that brighten what’s around me, and me. And I know I’m rambling, it’s what I do (maybe an additional need-to-work-on).
One thing I have noticed about negativity, is that the reactions which put me in a mood are fairly quick, so the writer learns and moves on with much more efficiency than I would with other interactions and transactions. Be he or a she a writer or not, you’re closer to positivity in a more sped fashion. And, what does negativity do? Why consist of it, persist with it? Not a use in dwelling. So onward. I have a continent of to-do’s and need-to-work-on’s, and any ‘nay’ will contaminate everything, corrode and eventually kill. More than sneaky. More viciously sub rosa than putting a lit cig to your lips.
Could this be one of the more coincidental revelations and instructions of my life? Definitely. I’m 37 and so much that’s happened before and their aftershocks flex in obviousness. Certain vertices with family, friends, at past jobs. But no more. Why? Because I quit. And when I feel my temperament shift, curve toward a fanged form, then I smile, say something encomiastically honeyed about it. Like when the coolant light appears and beeps at me in the Passat, voice something endearing like, “Glad it told me, that’s awesome.” Rather than, “This bloody dump-wagon.” (More than 99% sure I’d speak more agitated and profane lines than that, though. But, with no negativity comes far less cursing. Try it…)
There are so many campaigns and movements against smoking, but not as many against negativity, and nihilistic outlooks on life, and people. I’ve learned, finally, and I’m just quitting. No patch, no gum, just new view. New character and scope. I’ve had it, and instead of answering to any anger, I smile back it. Not turning my back, but greeting it, giving it a hug. ‘I love you, negativity! Thank you for showing me so much!’ Onward, forward… Up, up. And each day will be a struggle, to some extent. But this is something I have to do. Otherwise, like with smoking, you don’t live. You live in negativity, which is no life at all.