The Thief of Joy

Rain by Doug HaglerI most definitely did not wake up this morning feeling like P. Diddy. Given that I am  neither a 42 year-old African-American rapper/producer nor a mind-boggling successful singer/songwriter (Ke$ha), I guess that’s okay. Frankly, it would be weird to wake up feeling like anybody other than me, although I would enjoy a Freaky Friday experience with either Sean Combs or Kesha Rose Sebert at least once.

It’s been a sleepy day for me. I haven’t moved from the bed except to refill my coffee cup and to eat leftover Mexican food from last night’s dinner. The rain that precipitated a flood advisory has come and gone sans flood, and now the only sound I hear comes from a snoring dog. There are four animals in the room with me, two cats and two dogs. All four are dead to the world. It’s hard to believe this is pretty much what they do all day long, day after day.

I wonder if my day is any different, really.

Of course, the laziness of today is a rarity. If you’re a Little Saint, you know I usually get up pretty early and head to work because you have seen me on Commute Cam. (Yes, the reality of Commute Cam isn’t even debated, as compared to, say, the moon landing or the existence of vampires.) But even though I’m awake every weekday, most days working my butt off (unlike my dogs and cats), I sometimes feel like I’m sleeping through life.

I’d like to answer with an emphatic, “No.” Who wants to admit that they sleep through life? However, given that I asked the question, I have to admit that sometimes I do.

In the About for this blog, I wrote, “icanhasgrace is my attempt to share my passions.” I believe therein lies the key to living life to the fullest. One must know what one is passionate about and touch upon those passions daily if one wants to avoid sleeping through it. I’ve been blogging now for almost two years. Even so, I am hard pressed to put into words what I am passionate about.

P. Diddy and Ke$ha aren’t the only people who have figured out that, in order to be successful, you have to be passionate about what you do. I follow several lesser-known people in the blogsphere and the ones I admire the most are written by people who blog about their passions. They also, from what I can tell, have huge followings. I’m talking in the thousands.

The most hits I have had on icanhasgrace was 306 views on December 5, 2009. I think somebody fell asleep on their keyboard and his or her head kept hitting refresh to make that happen.

There are reasons why icanhasgrace hasn’t taken off:

  1. I’m just not doing a very good job at blogging my passions (I’ve already admitted this is an issue as I’m not entirely sure what I am passionate about.)
  2. I’m too lazy about publicizing the blog. (I have automated feeds set up for Facebook and Twitter so that whenever I post anything new it alerts my friends and followers. I tag all my posts so search engines can find them. But I don’t wear the t-shirt Mom made that says “” on the front, I haven’t made up business cards, and I don’t encourage my Little Saints to spread the word about the hilarity that is Commute Cam, the weekly glimpse into the beauty of God’s creation that is Sunday’s Shot of Grace, or the in-depth investigative commentary of posts like “Jesus Said, “Love Your Neighbor.’ How ‘Bout We Stop Right There.”
  3. Just when I buckle down, focus, and get on a roll, adding posts at least once, sometimes twice a day, I slow down, get side-tracked, or start reading a book or watching tv. That’s when the blog fills up with moths and crickets.

There is a fourth point to make. It’s a point that “keep[s it] honest” as Anderson Cooper would say. That point is, let the blog be what it is. I could let the idea, the dream, that one day a blog post, or a shot of grace, or a Commute Cam will virally propel me into a life of fame and fortune be my purge of the week. I may get along much better if I write, take pictures, and record part of my drive to work only because I enjoy doing it.

“Comparison is the thief of joy” after all.

A Touch of OCD

Even though this post falls in the category of TMI (too much information), I feel compelled to share some of the thoughts that often run through my head. I consider these thoughts a kind of OCD of the brain. Everyday activities and encounters almost always trigger a memory or an internal thought sequence.

I’m going to list a few to start and if I think of more, I’ll create a new category on the blog and share updates. What I want to know is, am I alone with this sort of thing?

  1. When I spill coffee, I think of when my parents stopped putting cream and sugar in their coffee because they wouldn’t have to deal with sticky coffee rings if they spilled it.
  2. When I scoop out the litter box, I think of LeeGayle commenting on Facebook, “Well, I know I like a clean bowl.”
  3. When I feed the dogs, I silently quote most of the scene from the original Family Dog. (See around 241 below.) Come to think of it, I think of this scene when the kids won’t clean don’t clean their plates, when I have to clean the toilet, or when I have to do some kind of housework I’m not in the mood to do.
  4. When I eat Pringles, I think of Pringle sandwiches and of calling the dolphins. (Name withheld to protect the guilty.) Here’s how you make Pringle sandwiches: Chew a Pringle, spit it out on another Pringle, put a Pringle on top, eat those Pringles, repeat. To call the dolphins, make a high-pitched noise by sucking air through your vocal chords.
  5. I have a litany of seven curse words and phrases that go through my head in the same order when I’m surprised or a little irritated. I learned the litany around the fifth or sixth grade two girls who where cousins to each other.
  6. When I have a good hair day, I think of my friend Lee, who always had perfect hair. He’s bald now.

More to come.