Monkeying Around
Written by
Kathryne Arnold
July 2011
Written by
Kathryne Arnold
July 2011


It has become painfully obvious (to myself and I assume to others) for far too long that I haven’t been as easily amused, and slacking in the goofing around department, with daily minimal enjoyment and chilling out. I somehow forgot about the significance of monkeying around- aka, you know- the essential act of “[email protected]&%ing off”. I’m too serious lately, walking around all heavy hearted, my eyes unblinking and glazed from relentless work, plowing ahead like a good “do bee”, all staid, deadpan-faced…trudging forward in my singular effort to “succeed”. The sheer thought of being a broken record, boring, whining, impatient, all work-and-no-play kind of person has really brought me down. Yes, cyclical and ironic. The realization that I’ve succumbed so much to my fears and life uncertainties, and oh yes, to my Protestant work ethic, is almost frightening. Oh sure, I’ve been known to hang with the best—can pull the silliness right out of me, be charmingly witty when the occasion calls, will dare to behave spontaneously…seemingly making light about whatever, but inside I know I’ve misplaced my mojo.  


Being all Ms. Serious is a fool’s game…never thought it would happen to me. It’s crazy when you literally watch yourself becoming so anxious at times, down in the dumps, morphing into a problem solving machine, having a hard time turning down the dial tone when the negativity chatter in your brain goes awry. Concerned about finances, employment issues, family problems, state of health…you know, the usual. Seems like I used to have my act more together, my ducks in a row, excellent at time management and goal setting, usually meeting or excelling my own expectations. I like to stay in the lines for the most part, don’t color too far outside if I don’t have a safety net. But now and then, when I’m feeling brave and more adventurous, I’ll go ahead and dip my toe in the deep end, hell, maybe jump right in! Well heck, now I’ve gone and done it. I’m not sure if I’m sinking or swimming, maybe neither or both, like there’s no clear picture of where I am. Am I succeeding or failing, falling or flying, things are unpredictable, a big mishmash…not sure which way is up. I guess it’s supposed to be that way, that’s how you get stronger, right? Life’s a big mystery; never know what’s going to happen. Hard when you can’t measure present life “challenges” against anything…no yardstick or chart to gauge my successes or failures against, those would come in handy right about now. But I fear that ain’t gonna happen…got to go by intuition, hone my senses, learn to better feel my way around in the dark. Praying, too…doing lots of that. Maybe I’ve bit off more than I can chew…I’d like to believe not, and in fact, I’ve got to believe not. That’s the only way to survive. We all know that life difficulties are never going to end, no matter how hard we try. Presently, there appears to be too many layers of gray in the sky, probably because I’ve worked so hard trying to keep circumstances manageable, wanting to be “in control”, and I don’t do well when my little world seems to be crashing down. I mean, it really pisses me off after all the toiling away to construct the perfect fortress against life’s ups and downs, and then it doesn’t work. It’s not fair!! 


So, as you can see, I’ve become very, very humorless and down-in-the-dumps. In my own eyes, a piteous creature of sorts right about now. Good time to break up the monotonous, poor-little-me syndrome and put a halt to being like a horse with blinders on (or more aptly put- acting like a horse’s ass). Time to flee up North to visit family and friends, hopefully party, get away from the home office, my proverbial ball-and-chain. Got to giggle, maybe flirt, be silly, have some spontaneous acts of fun!! Leave the drudgery and the dull grownup behind, like a snake coming upon a new season, shedding its outer layer. I’m going to relax with my mother, go out and play with my younger brother, have good ole’ heart-to-hearts with friends, open myself up to lightness. Gonna let loose, revisit old haunts, rekindle fond memories. So that’s my plan for the next nine days…no real agenda, no deadlines, no albatross (read-computer) dangling around my neck. Yes, the only thing on my schedule in the foreseeable future is to do some mandatory, very earnest, gravely intense monkeying around!


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