Thursday, November 12, 2015

I just don't know what to do with myself.

At one time, things were easy. Now, not so much.

While I'm not (nor have I ever been), an organized person I like to take my time planning things. This is perhaps where my fascination and deep love for wargames comes from. The time it takes to assemble, paint, base organizes, plan, adjust, deploy and generally play a game often takes weeks, months or even years. Hell, my model case alone literally contains thousands of hours of work.

A Labor of Love. Or quite possibly insanity.

The devil of the thing is, quite frankly, that all of my interests run deep. And by deep, I mean that everything I'm interested in is deeply time consuming. Not only are my interests time intensive, but they are also focus intensive. It takes a hell of a lot of focus to get through reading material like this:

It's a complicated as it sounds.

Aside from my interests, there is also my vocation. I'm a painter (obviously). iIve also had a good deal of success so far at what I do; in both realms of painting and teaching. I feel like I've made tremendous strides in my ability to paint. I've written extensively about the Dunning-Krueger effect (where the more you know, the less confidence you have in your ability). Since my confidence in my work has been sliding for a while, I suppose it only means I'm getting better... right?

Totally missed the mark... right?

My interests have in a way always defined me. I've always thought of myself as somebody who learns to do things. I am the sum total of what I can do. 

Then this happened. 
Daddy solos the childcare quest in World of Babycraft

Suddenly, I found myself in a world without free time. Being the only one of a pair without troublesome things like a "work schedule" or "responsibilities" I willingly (and happily) opted to become a stay at home dad. But as I took on this new slew of duties, I found that the the swaths of uninterrupted focus abruptly disappeared. There was just no way in hell I could piece together anything even remotely resembling "free time". Up to my ears in diapers, and up to my neck in something totally new. I have been effectively buried for nearly two years. 

Now what once was a sleeping baby in the stripy onesie above, has metamorphosed into this:

Announcing Princess Deep Trouble 
from the Kingdom of the Terrible Two's. 
(which are ironically not as much trouble as everyone makes them out to be)

And recently, for the first time in what feels like forever.

I am bored.

I find myself in a unique position. It's not because I'm not busy, because I am. I'm terribly busy. kids are an egregious amount of work, pretty much all the time. But now, I have just enough sleep and just enough of a lull between naps, snacktime and park trips to cobble together "free time." It's not a lot, maybe a couple of hours a day and one full day a week (when Charlotte is at daycare) where I get to once again become my own master. However, it is enough free time for me to recognize that I should be doing something other than watching television.

The hard part is that often this free time is not enough time to do much other than take a deep breath, or occasionally a nap. But once in awhile I get just enough of a break I can actually contemplate doing some of the things that I used to think worthwhile. I am the sum total of what I can do... right?

Unfortunately I'm having some difficulty deciding what that should be. I hesitate to start any new paintings, simply because Kasey and I are actively planning for a second baby. It wont be long before I'm bitch-slapped back into the land of 4 hours of sleep at night and endless bottle feedings, (plus the added magic of a 2andahalfyearold demanding an "upside down day" (which is where I hold her upside down and walk around the house).

The solution is this far, not blatantly obvious. And really, I don't think this blog gets many visitors, so really I'm just asking the wind questions. And I'm fine with that. Mostly because I'm fairly convinced that at some point, the answer will become obvious. It's the way things have always worked. Whenever I've been at an impasse with no obvious answer in sight, something comes along and shows itself to be the obvious resolution. It worked that way in college. It worked that way with Mission:Renaissance and it worked that way when we bought our house; it seems to be the way the universe functions in these matters.

If that is in fact true, then it's important to remember that all roads lead to Rome. If the resolution comes to you, then in some sense it doesn't matter what you do, the resolution comes when it's ready to get there. So like everything else right now, the solution is simple:

I should take a nap.

Thanks interwebs. You've been most helpful.

-Genius zzzzz....


  1. Frank, I thought I was the ONLY person in the entire world that read that Julian Jaynes book. (Back in 1984) So now, apparently there are two.

    And don't worry, there will be a time when you look back at all the sleep deprivation and diaper changing and think..."Aw, man I miss that."

    Keep painting man. And blogging..

    1. Ha Thomas! Good to hear from you. I'm looking forward to your show at Brian Marki in Dec.