1, 2, 3, 4

I’m experiencing a combination of drive and paralysis with my non-Variety writing. Paralysis is winning because it’s less stressful – it’s easier right now for me to live with the unfulfilled urge to create than fit the struggle of creation into my schedule.

Ever since I began this hiatus two months ago, I feel like I’ve been catching up on 10 years of lost sleep, dating back to when my daughter was born in September 2002. I’m sleeping more hours per night than I have in all that time, and it still feels like it’s barely enough.

I’ve also been a little less of a slave to the desktop computer than I’ve been in that time. Year after year of juggling projects has mostly, for the time being, been transformed. Other than working on next spring’s revision of 100 Things Dodgers, I’ve been a one-job man since baseball season ended.

That job, of covering the awards scene at Variety, is challenging in that I’m the newcomer now, trying to establish my place among the folks that have been on the beat for years. I’ve done some good work, but there’s always, always more that I could be doing. That alone is enough to cower my ambition in other areas.

Whatever I contemplate doing – and I contemplate a lot – there’s always the feeling that the following is more important: 1) family, 2) Variety, 3) exercise, 4) sleep. Not necessarily in that order. I have a very comfortable bed and I enjoy every moment in it.

As for my waking hours, I’ve been home from the office this week on a staycation, and my chief activity has been preparing for a garage sale. I see offseason Dodger news and mostly feel relieved I don’t have to pause to address it. I miss the idea of doing Dodger Thoughts and how special it made me feel, but I don’t miss the reality of it.

I’m not sure when the yearning I have to create again will translate into actual activity, or whether I can find fulfillment completely in my day job, which would be somewhat ideal. Even this post, which was meant to be a five-minute stream of consciousness, has become something that I’ve spent more time than I intended on – and yet not turned into something entirely satisfying. Doing something of substance requires a level of commitment that I am wary of.

I’m still never sure if I’m working the appropriate amount. Recall my post two years ago about myself, Matt Kemp and John Wooden.

… I approach life a certain way. I want to be better, and I’ll grind at it, but there’s a limit to what I’ll do. I work very hard, I feel, but I can’t emphasize that limit enough. And that limit can change on a weekly, daily, hourly basis. There always has and always will be a part of me that wants to do nothing more than smell the roses, whether those roses are Saturday morning cartoons as a kid or a nice long walk in the twilight as a grown-up. I like the work I do, but I don’t like to work. I accept the process and can even enjoy the journey, but the result is a big part of my reward. I always want my life to be easier; I always want things to go right the first time.

And so that limit of how hard I’m willing to work is a moving target. …

Should I be working harder to provide more for my family, or should I be working harder at being with my family, or should I be content to get a good night’s sleep? Thanksgiving doesn’t answer the conflict between ambition and satisfaction.

  • http://www.linkmeister.com/wordpress/ Linkmeister

    Well, whatever you decide to do, stop by and say hello at the new digs. ;)

    Happy Turkey Day, Jon and family!

  • Anonymous

    Hope you and the family had a great Thanksgiving!   I find myself currently in So California visiting dear old mom, back to North Carolina tomorrow.  In any case, I’m thankful for the DT community for reviving my interest in baseball in general and the Dodgers in particular.   Thanks Jon and best of luck in the big leagues of journalism — where you obviously belong.

  • Anonymous

    There is an old saying that at the end of your life, you won’t say that you wished that you had worked more, but you might wish that you had spent more time with your family.

    I am an attorney who regularly worked 70 hours per week. Part of this was the necessity of my caseload, but part was the ego boost that I received from working hard and being the best at something that is difficult to do.

    A few years ago my wife had the first of two strokes. Now, she can’t walk, eat and has trouble talking. In addition, her kidneys have failed.

    You can be sure that I no longer work 70 hours per week. I treasure every minute that I spend with my wife.

    Get your priorities right and stick to them. I love the Dodgers and follow them all year long ( including the off-season). I went to my first game in 1959, have been following them ever since. But they can’t be my top priority any more than my job can.

    Love your family, do well at your job and the rest of your priorities should follow in whatever order you choose.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Jon good to still see the occassional post whenever you can…The best thing about my Workman’s comp injury is I get to spend almost every waking hour with my son as he is now almost 2.5 years with over another year to go since they have to re-do the back fusion…I love being an integeral part in his learning curve

  • Anonymous

    Jon…. I totally remember that posting you did on you, Wooden, and Kemp….Seems like just yesterday…
    Time flies, doesn’t it?  :-)

    I’m with you… Sometimes, life just gets too hectic…. and, you need to take a step back.
    I always liken it to the concept of those 70′s performers who used to get plates spinning on sticks….
    As soon as they had 3 or 4 going, one would start to wobble…and, they’d have to go get it spinning
    again so it didn’t fall…. and so on, and so forth…. It’s even stressful to watch.
    Sometimes, you just want to let them all fall and just walk away.  And, come back another day.
    That’s how I feel at least.
    ….
    Now, I had an idea for you with regard to DT….
    If you ever decide to give it a go once again….
    How about a different format?  A format in which  it required less of you to provide content?
    How about making it somewhat of a “Dodger Depot?” …
    “Depot” in that it could be a phone/pad app which anybody can get on and comment very easily, especially people at the games in real time…
    “Depot” in that it could capture Tweets / Social Media input from the athletes (both Dodger and non-Dodger), the media (both sports and, even your friends over at Variety, etc.), relevant celebrities, personalities….etc.
    Perhaps they could be captured by using “keywords” like Dodgers, etc… I don’t know the specifics…
    People could comment, ask questions… perhaps the Dodgers’ front office could offer special sales on tickets, souvenirs, make announcements on appearances, etc.
    Heck, I’d love it if Vin Scully or Magic Johnson would put comments out there…
    Remember Vinny and the “AJ Ellis trending” game?

    You could ace the “top – down” blog format of a posting, followed by comments.
    Rather, you could use a left hand column / right hand column with the tweets, postings, etc. on the left as a running “ticker tape” with the bloggers comments on the right.
    Just a thought.

  • Anonymous

    When my kids were younger, I couldn’t wait for them to grow up.  Now that they are in their late teens, I long for those younger days.  I was there for them and an active part of their lives, but I still miss it.  Life if a balancing act at all times, that’s why God gave us both a head and a heart.

  • Anonymous

    Family should always come first, sadly sometimes it does not and I am guilty of that as much as anyone

  • Anonymous

    Does anyone think

  • Anonymous

    Need garage sale details.  :)