On life, parenting, on stand-up
"I feel more capable as a person than I did in my 20's and 30’s.
Talking about preparing himself for life on the road doing stand-up. Writing an hour of material for a year and a special, then throwing it away and starting fresh for the next year.
"To do that you really have to be at a top physical shape… I trained in boxing gyms with boxing trainers, and uh, and sort of approached every special as the fight, sort of my new title fight. I didn’t have a goal to lose weight or look better, but I lost weight to get more stamina.
"When you are boxing? You have to think under pressure. And that’s what stand up is like. So it was a good kind of a metaphorical training."
"‘It’s just training, you just gotta train, you just gotta be in shape.’ That’s all it is, is just getting in the gym and being dedicated enough? to do the grunt work and the boring, constant training so that you’ll be fit enough to take the beating."
These excerpts are from a Terry Gross interview on NPR. I know, I know. You either love NPR, or you can't believe their liberal slant, but whatever. This is my blog, and I LIKE NPR. So there. (see, i have these insecurities all over the place! who cares if i like what i like and you like what you like? we are grown ups here, i shouldn't--i don't have to worry whether my penchant for talk radio bothers anyone. for the record, i also listen to myTalk 107.1. it's like people magazine on the radio. and yes, i DO still buy the occaisional cd, instead of downloading new music, because i like the cover artwork, and to read the 'thank yous' and see who wrote the songs. phew! got THAT off my chest). Anyhoo, I hadn't heard of this man, this Louis C.K. before I heard him being interviewed. It was very interesting and inspiring, listening to his version of life. (I like this. I like to pull together all the edges of the blanket to carry my load. and then I can lay it out in the sun and admire the patchwork, sewn together with many prints and patterns and textures to form one beautiful quilt.)
He also mentioned how depression is part of his existance, and how his children make it doable. That even if he wants to roll over and go back to bed, he can't. They are awake and ready to be fully alive, and they need to eat and get their teeth brushed and get to school. So he has to wake up and take care of the kids, which is partly how he cares for himself.
To paraphrase...Its not about having a really hot spirit, I just have to work hard. Work really hard; wake up early and really challenge myself. So I can have stamina. -louis c.k. What it means to me? It means, well...even when i feel so lowly inside, i must muscle through and work hard. This is the season of raising my children. For Theo, for Suvi, for Judah, I will challenge myself to be stronger. To have physical and emotional stamina. So that their childhood isn't that of emotional survival, but of building and skipping and silliness and hugs and teethbrushing and baths and bedtime stories.
Just before I heard the interview, I'd written parts of the following text. It's raw. Sometimes life is that way. And while I don't feel myself spinning into nothing, I have moments and sometimes parts of a couple days in a row, when tiredness, weariness, drudgery cling close to my head, pinch into my heart. And to positively confess, and to reassure you as my friends and my peeps, I am okay. While the sad and openness that follows is a bit scary to think or feel, it is much scarier to share. Because it's just a moment of my life, and not the general picture. I was sharing the grief of two great lives lost, perhaps. The news of a young life ended, and a gone-too-soon father, having had many losses of his own, well, I felt some of that sadness, and couldn't quite shake it. Those couple of days are passed now, and I feel home in myself again; building my stamina. I feel the lightness of the joy of my children, the future.
i'm really in a weak and vulnerable place. I can see myself making bad choices, like with food right now, and not being even and consistant enough with my kids. It's scaring me. Like, i'm just so completely aware of my longing for [something], knowing that is not likely to happen, and that with all these cracks exposed in my personal foundation, I mean these walls are moving, that it's probably better that I not [make that commitment]. At least not now. Not when I'm so...ugh. Not when I'm so unsure of me and how each day will be. We never are, right? I mean, who can ever really know what lies before them, rather, ahead? We don't know, ever, what tomorrow brings. That's the thing. That's just trusting I will be intentionally and purposefully led. Faith. But when my thoughts are so messy, when my life is cluttered with my wandering concentration, and, honestly, laundry, toys, unpaired shoes... It's better not to contaminate...perfect little people with the confusions of a mother with depression.
i can see it in their eyes, when I've had a trembly day, they know I'm the Mommy who loves them, but they need to be sure of me. They need to know that I love them through my sighing and huffing and stifled tears and the unfortunate escaping shout. They need to brush that away, or prop it up, or sometimes climb over it to see their Mommy.
I'm 35 years old and at times the thought comes to me how nice it'd be to sit in my Mother's lap. So if my 3 and 4 year old need that 76 times a day, then they need me. And sometimes I push them away, so they only get 70 special moments. That is not enough. Yes, I will tend to my own needs, but not at the cost of my darling babes' hearts. They are not to blame if sometimes I treat myself poorly. They needn't be bogged down because I want to suspend time and Reality to wallow for a while.
i'm afraid. I'm really afraid of messing up their bright and shining little minds. When I see the hiccups in their personalities, their compensations and copings, it squeezes my chest. I want them to wake up praising God for another glorious day to walk in His creations. And to be lights. And to feel the joy of the breath of life and loving.
I'm sorry, my sweet babes, for the extra bumps and hitches. But it's not for lack of loving you!
So. I'll have to celebrate the sunny days and remember I'm carried through the stormiest ones. And trust God can bolster you when mommy leans too heavy, and hope you'll understand the dearness of forgiveness. I want to be strong and have stamina, and laugh at ALL the knock-knock jokes you can muster.
Later, I had another wave, with some realizations and clarity about another area in my heart. I've mentioned how my childhood memories are few and far between. Meanwhile, a couple of other peeps in my world have memories that don't ring true with rest of us. It is a point of conflict, as the "fairytale tellers" relay a story, those of us who don't remember it quite that way try to tamp down that "flare up". And correct.
It's all coping. It suddenly made sense to me, all of these forged and created memories. [In her mind,] there just has to be a reason why she's always felt so sad and bad and injured. 'Yes, these fantasy-land things make so much more sense when weighed against the heaviness of my heart. It must have been so, yes, it was my life, so tragic (not, as it were, simply the grey that is survival alone), triumphant! I can gaze at my history with the perspective of having climbed this mountain behind me.' Even tho it's actually a molehill. You see?
it's the same as NOT remembering. Making it up, blocking it out. Coping. I can understand, accept, repent, forgive, love.
I will try, from this point forward, to support the dream, and make room for the other versions of the past. We can never go back on a fact checking mission, so why upset ourselves, why try to straighten out a curving branch. It isn't, after all, weighty enough to bring down the house in any kind of storm. And I will build my stamina, build up my strength for the morning and afternoon and eveningtime of today. This is where I am; here. Today.