Lost in thought a lot lately. Time for retrospective and more than a little second-guessing.
We came to Floyd County with so much enthusiasm and hope in 2004. After 39 years in journalism and politics, much of it on the road, I looked forward to a more relaxed lifestyle and a laid-back life in the country.
Well, relaxed I’m not. Laid back? Not hardly. After five years, I’m worn out, exhausted both mentally and physically and wondering, for the first time in five years, if Amy and I made the right decision to leave the hustle and bustle of Washington.
I’m sure there are more than a few out there who agree that we should have stayed in Washington. God knows I’ve caused enough trouble over the past several months. Made a bunch of people mad. Hardly a day goes by without at least one threat on my voice mail or an angry, hate-filled, anonymous diatribe via email.
Deciding to close our studio — my second business failure in five years — has brought on a deep funk. I try to lose myself in work but it doesn’t help. Failure does not sit well with someone who has enjoyed success for most of his life. Amy, the eternal optimist of the Thompson household, tries valiantly to bring me out of this depression but even her ever-cheerful perkiness isn’t working this time.
It’s not just the closing of two businesses: They are just the culmination of things. I find myself extremely bothered the recent debate over an announced data center in the Commerce Park. Maybe I shouldn’t care but I do. I certainly shouldn’t care so much.
I worry that Floyd County may be losing its soul. Some of my friends say I’m overreacting. I hope so.
I’ve overcome a lot in my life: a 23-year-denial of alcoholism followed by a 15 year battle facing the beast; the loss of loved ones under tragic circumstances and enough exposure to enough death and horror to make Stephen King retch.
But the malaise brought on by the latest events and setbacks won’t let go. Even 100 miles on my motorcycle can’t put my mind at ease. I keep looking back, wondering where and why things went wrong and second-guessing the decisions that led our current situation.
It’s not my nature to be morose or to dwell on the past, but lately I have been guilty of both. As age 62 approaches, the prospect of starting over scares the hell out of me — and I’ve never been one to scare easily.
Doctors call it clinical depression. Amy calls it being human. I call it unacceptable and will, in time, work through it, so please bear with me until I do.
(Edited on 9/24/09 to amend some language)