It's Sunday evening, the day I usually try to keep free of thought, but as usual, things snuck into my head, and, seeing as I've got my apartment all to myself for eight more days, I decided to share them with you. My condolences.
Barring extremely inclement weather (read: temps below 20 or heavy, steady rain) I disc golf on Sunday mornings. Usually I try to sneak in some rounds during the week too, but Sunday mornings are almost definite. Then, I leave my cell phone at home and go out to watch sports, play video games and eat wings with a friend in a politics-free environment. None of that's news.
Today, I took my cell phone along with me, because I was waiting for a call, another friend that might be coming to hang out. While I was out, I received two other calls, and ignored them both.
I returned one, a friend who seems to be in a perpetual state of revolving trouble, when I got home. I feel bad when I intentionally avoid her calls, but sometimes life has enough drama, you know?
The other one was from my dad, and I haven't called him back yet. I can't complain too much about my relationship with my dad. We're not as tight as some families and we're not as far apart as others. But his phone calls have one of three purposes:
1) Tech support. I think most of us can relate.
2) News that's not really news. Things like "I shot a deer," or "Old high school won the state wrestling tournament again." Most of this stuff is interesting on a baseline level, but I'm feeling so stretched for time lately that I can't help but feel like answering the call was a net loss.
3) Just checking in. "Just checking in" involves questions like "Are you engaged yet?" "Are you going to start making more money soon?" and "When are you coming home?" Then we talk about the Brewers for half an hour.
Lately, I've been letting him call about 3-4 times before I finally give in and answer it. I used to worry that maybe something was important, but now I think: "He knows I have voicemail."
Then, on the way home, I saw someone walking down the street. She was probably in her late teens, and she wasn't wearing a coat. In case you haven't been outside today or are from somewhere else, it's not real warm in Des Moines today. I slowed and rolled down my window and asked, "You look awfully cold. Can I give you a ride somewhere?" She accepted and I took her home.
Later, I got home, returned the pre-mentioned phone call, and left to pick up a few groceries. On my way into Dahl's, I passed by a table selling Girl Scout cookies. I've been intentionally avoiding bringing sweets into the apartment while I've got it to myself, but when asked nicely, of course I bought a box of Girl Scout cookies. As I was paying for cookies, the girl behind the table asked me if I'd also like to donate to the Animal Rescue League. I gave the Animal Rescue League my change.
While I was getting groceries and afterwards, I thought about the precedent I was setting for myself. This is one of the few cases where I think hard about money. I don't make much money and it usually doesn't bother me. As I mentioned earlier, my dad asks me about once every third conversation why I'm not looking for a job where I can make more. This line, which I've told several times to several people, really baffles him:
"If you're working for a cause you believe in, and you're taking more than you need from that cause, then you're not helping the cause as much as you could be. I make enough money to be comfortable, and I want the group to succeed more than I want to get a raise."
The "helping other causes" argument is the hole in that statement. I gave the Girl Scouts $3.50 today. Hardly a notable contribution. I gave the ARL $1.50. Ditto. Even if I added a zero, or two zeroes, to my salary I probably wouldn't have enough to give worthy causes as much as I'd like to. So I have to prioritize. I just don't know how. For the time being, I've been giving to whatever worthy causes present themselves to me.
Except, of course, for the worthy causes in my own circle. As I mentioned before, I frequently ignore phone calls from my family and close friends. My mom's birthday was last week. I called to say happy birthday, but I certainly didn't do as much as I could have, and I probably won't make time to come visit her until after November.
I guess, to put it in a nutshell, I'm having a hard time making my life balance. That's where this blog comes in.
This blog has been and will continue to be a great place for me to write down whatever's on my mind. I'll keep it going as much as I can, but the political side of it is probably going to dwindle a bit over the next 10 weeks or so. I'm doing 55-60 hour weeks right now and was recently told to prepare to increase. I don't blog from work, and frequently by the time I get home, I'm not exactly feeling motivated to extend my political day by blogging.
As such, keep an eye on this space, I'll continue to write as the free time and inspiration allows, I just wanted to let you all know that if you're not getting as much insight/thought from me as you may have been looking for, that's why.
This shouldn't be taken as a "this blog is shutting down" message. It's more of a "sorry I don't have more time for you right now" message. Thanks for stopping by and understanding.