One day a couple years ago, my aunt—a high school teacher—asked her students if they had any Thanksgiving traditions. One girl piped up with the greatest tradition I have ever heard:

Every Thanksgiving, after dinner, my dad would take the turkey carcass and chase us kids around the table with it.

Holy shit!

Snow! Sticking, in November!

The mess I am in

I’ve spent far too much time near the theoretical line that divides the people who are in control of their lives from the people who aren’t in control. My usual position in that spectrum is hovering somewhere just barely in the “not in control” camp, and the terrible thing there is that being in control isn’t that far away; it isn’t impossible. You can see it just over the next rise.

And in that way your hopes are raised before being dashed on the rocks of reality.

Repeatedly trying, and failing, to get things under control eventually takes a toll on you. I (at least imagine I) feel it physically; my back seems to be growing more and more tight as the months pass, and I’ve had trouble sleeping lately. Even more damaging, though, is an insidious, unexpected (at least by me), consequence: I’ve pretty much forgotten how to have fun.

I can relax and enjoy myself when I have friends over, and Wednesday night dance practices are pretty much a sacred time separate from my regular life. Outside of those situations, though, I feel a constant need to be productive and get stuff done. This is (tragically?) exacerbated by my inability to actually get everything I want done—and suddenly I’m in the middle of a feedback loop that’s been going crazy on my ass for years now.

End result? I buy video games, but never actually find the time to sit down and enjoy playing them. I’ve seen damn few movies released in the last decade. My nose is constantly in my iPod or iPad, trying to catch up on all the RSS feeds I haven’t read. Despite being online constantly, I don’t actually respond to emails in any timely fashion; despite getting my blog set up on WordPress (crossed off that to-do item!), I don’t really post in it. My free time is consumed with trying to accomplish things, and what things I do “for fun” are stripped of a lot of their joy.

This is Sparta madness—and the crazy thing is that I’ve somehow done it all to myself.

I can be trained: using Outlook at work has taught me to hit F7 (check spelling) before sending any email. I now do that at home, on my Mac. F7 does nothing in Mail, which automatically checks my spelling as I type.

Pisses me off every time I do it, too.

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