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Funny Messy Life

80 EpisodesProduced by Michael BlackstonWebsite

Stories about life, relationships, and culture delivered in a way that will help brighten your day or at least make you ask, "What is he smokin'?" But don't worry. It's all in good fun and it's family friendly. I'm Michael Blackston and these are tales from my blog - in audio form - all based on rea… read more


My Type A Personality - 045

   I can never seem to make people understand that keeping busy is the way I rest. People see me staying busy and because they, themselves, are happy to spend time in front of Netflix, they think that’s the way everybody out to chill. “You need to take time to rest, Michael.” You’re going to kill yourself working so hard. You don’t always have to be doing something.”

   And that’s where they err. I DO always have to be doing something because if I’m not, chances are my heart rate is up, I’m filled with anxiety, and I’m about to explode. My blood sugar raises to DEFCON 80 if I spend too much time idly watching TV that’s not something that teaches me “How-To” do a thing. My blood sugar goes up because I’m an emotional eater. And also, I have the palette of a four-year-old, so I go looking for Oreos or anything with milk chocolate in it. My hands HAVE to be doing something, so if I’m lying in the bed watching The Mentalist, I’ll unconsciously occupy them by frequently dipping my fingers in a jar filled from one of the four million bags of Cadbury Mini Eggs I bought for .89 cents at the local bin store. It’s just one of the aspects of being a Type A personality and I’m the poster boy. I’m Michael Blackston and this is a rather tedious look into my Funny, Messy, Life.




   I think it’s pretty important that people understand that there are different personality types and what’s good for the goose is not always good for the gander.

   My wife needs to rest in the middle of the day. For the longest time, I considered her a little lazy because she’s always wanted to take a nap. It was well into our marriage before I realized that it wasn’t that she was lazy. Studies show that women require more down time, but being an introvert, her body also requires mental recharge time in order to function. Have you ever seen a person melt into unrecognizable goo after about 20 minutes in a crowd? Introverts do that. Kayla has friends who are also introverts that she can relate to. They make sure the other one is going to be at the same parties so they can huddle in a corner and not talk to anyone but each other. I figure the conversation probably goes something like:

   “Hey. Glad you’re here so I don’t have to talk to anybody else.”

   “Yeah, me too. But I still don’t want to be here, even though we’re friends. I love you and all, but ... you know ... there are people here. I want to be alone in the dark with my cats.”

   “I agree. I think I’m gonna go.”

   I understand that about her now, so when she’s taking a mid-day nap, it’s okay. I can go right on teaching myself to paint with watercolors and simultaneously learn the basics of arranging orchestral music for the hurdy-gurdy and the didgeridoo, and everybody’s happy.

   Take this episode of the podcast for example.

   When I left work to go to lunch, the folks in the office told me to take a load off for a while and not think about anything. I’d been tediously etching a triple portrait using a photo reference that was about as clear as that video of Big Foot walking through the woods.

   When I said I’d be writing a blog post for a podcast episode, the lady behind the desk said, “Heavens no! You sit back and let your hands rest.”

I was patient with her. I don’t visit that company very often and they don’t quite know my quirks yet, so I told her that writing was the way I relax and that I was looking forward to it. She didn’t believe me.

   “You work too hard. You’re going to kill yourself.”

   It’s constant because people who have a personality different from mine can’t get their heads around it, especially those who know what I do for a living and don’t understand how I can use my hands nonstop all day and rest by typing or playing my piano in my down time. It’s because I’m used to it and I don’t like down time. The last down time - I’ll call it an incident - that I tried to take, I ended up flying off the handle and going outside to completely rearrange the back yard, including the trees.

   You might ask, What about vacations?

   Well, I love a good vacation. Who doesn’t? But don’t expect me to sit around a pool all day or lay out on the beach. First, I’ll be the guy wearing a full body radiation suit because my skin bursts into flames when it comes into direct contact with the sun. Second, if I am at the beach, I’m probably body surfing or taking my daughter out in the waves or fighting off people who think I’m some kind of alien in my radiation suit. And you can ask my wife if you don’t believe me when I tell you that I will also have a pen or pencil and a notebook or sketch pad with me and I will bury myself in some sort of artistic endeavor.

   We love us some Disney World, but if you’ve been there, you know it’s anything but relaxing. I may not be creating anything at the moment, but I promise I’m doing something constructive. I’m taking in the experience and trying to figure out ways to implement what I see around me into my daily life.

   But you have to stand in lines forever. There’s not much you can create in the line for Pooh’s Happy Grand Adventure Time Experience Land.

   I beg to differ the heck out of that, my friend.

   I’m not looking at my phone like every other schmuck in line who’s trying to pass the time. I always bring a mechanical pencil and a pocket sized sketchbook. I sketch the scene around me. I’ve been known to draw architecture, characters, the people in line ahead of me, and once I drew a dude’s feet because he was wearing sandals and he had funky feet. It really should have been against the law for him to be wearing sandals. I also think I once rendered some big dude’s plumber’s crack in graphite.

   But I still get grief from the people who have known me forever and should be aware that nothing they say is ever going to stop me from keeping busy.

   When I direct a theatre show, I have my hands in almost every aspect of it.

   My last show was Nunsense, I co-directed it, built the set, painted the set, planned the lighting scheme, built some of the props, cleaned parts of the theatre ... all because I wanted to and would’ve FREAKED OUT if I hadn’t.

   My cast, entirely made up of ladies, told me I did too much and was going to give myself a heart attack, then they all laid down and took a nap. 

   They may have been right, though. Scientists have found that Type A’s are the greatest risk for heart disease.

   But I’ll tell you this - try and stop me from constantly being on the go and I WILL DEFINITELY have a heart attack.

   This isn’t a choice I’m making - it’s how I’m wired. I have to create, I’ve got to achieve. I MUST be productive. I don’t believe in the phrase, “I can’t” and I refuse to do “good enough.”

   I have to try and master everything I put my mind to and if I fail, that’s okay because I gave it my best effort. I’ll also try, try, try, try, try, try again.

   It can get annoying. My wife tells me to just sit down for a minute and for the love of all that’s pure and holy because I’m driving her crazy and she can’t sleep with all that moving around the house as I scrub the floor boards with a magic eraser. And sometimes I’ll give it a shot, but it usually ends up with me darting forth like a person who darts forth, yelling, “DO ALL THE THINGS!”

   I guess you’d call it a blessing and a curse, but it’s one I have learned to cope with. And I’m thankful for it, too. It’s because I have a Type A personality that I’ve been able to write the Great American Novel ... two of them so far, actually, although I can’t be the one to call them great. That’ll be up to my readers, but at least I finished them, by thunder! I’ve written two stage plays and a musical, too, thanks to being a guy that never stops. So I won’t apologize. 

   Type A’s are go-getters. We get things done. We may have ulcers, but we get things done. Yay for Type A! And now the thing I need to go get done is to wake up my wife. She needed a nap.

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