Have you ever noticed how when you’re in a good mood, the city and the colors look like this:
And when you don’t feel good, maybe you’re legitimately sick, or you’ve realized you work for someone who makes 11x more than you but not as smart, or really for no reason in particular the city and colors look like this:
I am pleased to submit the 5th day of freedom is still producing the former, a side effect I am convinced is due to the simple yet sometimes difficult act of listening to oneself. In the older days of 3 weeks ago, I might be contrived, anxious and tormented by the theme music for 60 Minutes on a Sunday night, due to a Pavlovian-style response sure to deliver the following message: “yes, you are the proud owner of waking up early tomorrow to devote energy to something you’re not in any condition to give.” This coming from a person who’s DNA can only be described as a beautiful mess strewn together from partial likenesses of all characters from the famed Texas society TV show Dallas, with tiny bits of SoCal mixed in. (Details on this DNA makeup and other stories of Texas family intrigue are an entirely different series requiring the space of its own Internet; we can get to that later.) The point is, it is deep in my genetic code to want to happily drink Mint Juleps, live off of oil money checks and sell ladies golf equipment from a boutique in Escondido. And so far I’ve declined.
The aforementioned deep affection for, and potentially purposeful renunciation of certain parts of my southern roots aside, I am not lazy. Which is why this entire no job thing is such a contrast, albeit a much-needed break. I suppose that needs no explanation given my very eager and playful acceptance of a pseudonym that begins with “deadbeat”.
So, as part of this hostile take over of body, mind and spirit, the first to go I think as a young, early thirty-somethingish professional, is the body. To my own fault and no one else’s [except maybe for Craft Services and literally thousands of fancy LA cupcakes], the last 8 years I have treated my body like a literal safe haven for red wine (white if it’s daytime of course), bourbon with one rock or none, and the occasional handful of trail mix from the 4th floor vending machines. This behavior, my friends, may promote intermittent spikes of witty banter, sugar coma and brief spurts of fake flirtation with either sex, but it does not promote muscle growth. Rather, the slow and steady proliferation of what I am calling Advertising Atrophy takes hold, as demonstrated by the graph below:
This somewhat generalized state of deterioration that takes years to build, should not be confused with a very serious condition entitled the Stress Tire, which is the late afternoon onset of a midsection tire, that has matured throughout the day with virtually no food or water. Only stress. There are flaws in the AA theory however which will require further analysis, namely that the only cure for Stress Tire is bourbon.
Anyway, when you’re in advertising, or really any busy, stressful environment for long periods of time with no real recognition of your body, it becomes just a physical delivery system to get your brain to and from work. In this state of body unawareness, someone could literally have told me I had developed a mermaid tail instead of legs and I would have believed them and booked it to the nearest large body of water. Because really, who can tell the difference what physical presence you uphold when all you can think about is where the next coffee fix is coming from, or how many people you have to fight with to get one of seven outcomes you had planned at the end of a successful meeting.
So, to wrap this up, I suppose the point is- listen to your body. It is probably screaming at you to do something nice to it. This doesn’t mean the abandonment of an occasional boozy lunch, or boozy anything really, because Jesus what in the hell would we all do with ourselves. Just balance it out a little. Take a walk, drag yourself to Yoga, do something that you listened to once and it worked. It will make all the wine, and cupcakes taste better. Promise.