Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Wait Until Everything is Perfect, THEN Live Your Life!
I was talking with a friend of mine the other day. He is excited to become a writer, and he's very talented. He told me that he'd been walking along Maroon Creek Road and he'd come across a man and fallen into conversation with him. This man was a writer, and he told my friend that he lived in a little house with no running water and no bathroom on the edge of the river, where he did nothing but write every day. He'd written several screen plays and several novels, and lived that sort of idyllic, idyosynchratic life of the eccentric writer.
I thought about this as I walked down to the laundry room to get on the internet and write a post. I thought about how many times in my life I'd pictured what things could be like if they were perfect.
A lot of us thing that once the house is clean, we can sit down and write that story we've always meant to, or once the lawn is mowed, we can spend some time playing with the kids, or once the laundry is done, we can finally read that book that's been gathering dust on the side table.
And that once we make our money, and we have enough in savings, we can do the thing we were meant to do.
I don't think that life is meant to be like that. I think that life is passing us by at warp speed. And I think that how you reach for the things you wish for in life, every day, is what living life is about.
If you wait to write the great American novel until you've paid all your bills, "succeeded", you have six months of savings, your kids room is clean and you've caught up on the laundry, and you have a roast in the oven, or until you have succeeded in life in the way that society thinks you aught, so you've proven that you can, and then, with your savings, you buy a second home and spend three months in your cabin by the river, at which time, you will uncork your creativity and let your passion flow, you are missing your life.
It sure would be nice to be independently wealthy and be able to afford that little piece of property, and take some time out of your life to do the creative thing that you wish you could do for a living. But I think if you wait for that day, you will be waiting for a very, very long time.
And that's not to say that you should just chuck it all and go live in that cabin by the stream with no bathroom and no running water. That's to say that nows as good a time as any to stick your toe in.
What would happen if you let the laundry go for one more day and indulged yourself in an hour of journaling? What would happen if you decided that your "perfect writer's den" was the kitchen table, and the soundtrack of your peace and quiet was your children playing with Legos?
I think about this when I think of skiing as well... we search for the perfect turn, and sometimes, we hang on to our old turn because we love the safety and security of it so much... we are so sure that the next one will be the good one if we can just hang on to this one long enough and get ready, be totally and completely prepared for that next turn, and by the time we've triple checked everything, we've missed our opportunity, the next turn has come and gone, there's a tree in the way and its time to make a drastic, quick move to avoid catastrophe.
What if, in life, as in skiing, we let each "should have" go as the turn passes us, what if we kept moving into the future, reaching for what was working, and letting the ski glide under our bodies, letting the snow spray, letting the sun hit our faces, what if we let the pen glide under our hands and the knitting needles fly at the strangest times, in the most inopportune moments, because we don't care about the time and place being right, we care more about living.
What if we fell in love even though it seemed like a ridiculous thing to do? I missed you guys. Its good to be back. Thanks for waiting for me.