Not Taking Appointments

I would first of all like to apologize for not posting since the beginning of December – it’s becoming pretty apparent between this blog and my Youtube channel that I am pretty much incapable of sticking to anything even vaguely resembling a proper posting schedule. Either way, I’m here now so I may as well make the most of it.

The impetus behind today’s post comes from an incident between myself and my dad earlier this week. Since the end of finals in early December I was able to put together all the parts I had bought for a brand new gaming PC – my previous one, while venerable, was unable to even run games that had come out recently, so I upgraded. As a direct result I spent quite a bit more time down in my basement home. After all – I had more games to play on an even better computer, my friends were gradually running out of school to keep them away from playing these games with me, and I no longer had classes that necessitated me to spend time going in and out of the house.

Generally a nice state of affairs after the frenetic activity of college, but my dad was rather disappointed. As a direct result of all of this, I spent a lot less time talking with him. I’ll admit I was rather ambivalent about this – I have a cognitive understanding of the problem but I felt the whole thing was much less urgent.

At any rate, the issue rapidly became one of communication. My dad would regularly come downstairs and knock on my door (generally when I was in the middle of something) and ask to talk. I rarely actually wanted to talk, but I did so anyway because the times when I didn’t my dad would walk away citing the fact that he just wanted to have a conversation, usually leaving me feeling like I was supposed to be the unreasonable person in this scenario.

Now, before I go any further, I must hasten to make as evident as possible without the use of neon signs that I am not trying to shame or antagonize my dad. This post is not meant to cast blame in any direction, just to help my dad (and you as the readers) understand what’s going on in my head. I have a more than functional grasp of the steps I can take in order to remedy the situation, the first and largest of which is the blog post you are currently reading.

Now – of course my dad has no real way of knowing that I’m in the middle of something, whatever it may be. I could be recording gaming footage, talking to a friend on Skype as I do homework, editing a video, or simply watching the news. I don’t like to be interrupted and I have this tendency of waking up and going “Ah! I think I shall watch this video on the state of Minecraft modding as I eat my breakfast, then set about this useful task I need to complete today!” Since my thoughts don’t go to a live ticker mounted on my door (and we should all be thankful for that), Dad can’t possibly know that. Therefore, when he interrupts me with quite good intentions, I snap at him and come off like an intolerant and slightly rabid honey badger.

This state of affairs satisfies neither of us. First of all, my dad wants to maintain a relationship with me. That goes both ways – he is my dad, so obviously I want a relationship with him as well. The problem seems to be in communicating when would be a good time, given that I have a few things on my to-do list at any one time. Second of all, blowing someone off spur-of-the-moment is generally assumed to carry the meaning of: “you aren’t as important as this conversation I’m having with my friends or this video I’m watching,” which is not the case. I simply lay out a list of things I’m about to do in my head, then work down it and when something tries to jump the list I rap it smartly about the head with a rolled-up map of the world and tell it to get in the back of the line. That’s all.

Spending time just sitting and talking with my dad does happen, but when it does it’s usually at my own behest. Attempts by him to initiate them tend to “jump the line” so to speak and as such meet resistance which I am usually incapable of articulating in any way other than short, clipped responses and a general air of “go away or I’ll rip your lips off.” That’s not my intent. I would just like to have a little bit of room – I do come upstairs and initiate conversation from time to time, but it’s when I both feel capable of it and have nothing else that needs to get done right then and there, thereby making sure it won’t short-circuit whatever I’m trying to do and cause a critical communications failure.

Anyway, hopefully I can finally give myself a firm enough kick in the backside to actually post in this blog somewhat more often than previously. While I’m here, I’ll take the opportunity to thank my readers for their feedback. None of you send it directly to me (usually dad is the one posting it on Facebook) but it really does mean quite a bit to me when he points it out to me. Thank you.


5 thoughts on “Not Taking Appointments

  1. I hope this is helpful to both you and your dad or anyone else who might come rap on your door. If you are a honey badger, you always will be my favorite honey badger.

    • Thanks for writing again. I always enjoy reading what you have to say. You have an amazing talent! I think many of us have mental to-do lists that get in the way of interactions with others. This is a good reminder to me to not let the busyness of life become too great.

  2. So, one of the things I ended up doing at your age is adding “time with family” to my internal schedule. It made me aware of the fact that I needed to talk to them (and wanted to), as well as giving them regular contact so that they didn’t feel ignored or unloved. Also, if you schedule it, you’ll have time to mentally prepare for it and sort of rehearse it in your head.

    Also, that said, if you did come up with a written down schedule that your dad could look at and see where your brain is at a given time, he might be able to be less prone to interruptions that threaten to throw off your coping skills. You might consider creating a Google Calendar and sharing it with your dad, if the two of you think that would be helpful. For him, having a way of knowing how you schedule your time (and that you’re willing to share it with him, as well as make time for him) might be a great way of reducing that tension.

  3. Thanks so much for posting-I am just trying to understand and have a relationship with my son. He just turned 13 yesterday and I’m lost and trying to find my way to a relationship with my son.

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