I’m very excited about starting a blog. I have a lot to say, though right now, I can’t think of much. Such is my struggle with writing. I have countless moments while talking or thinking about something and realize it’d be a great idea for a blog post. When it comes time to write, there are so many things that need to be done, like taking the pile of Bed Bath & Beyond coupons to the store. Did you know they’ll let you redeem your coupons months after you bought something? The coupon has an expiration date, but they really don’t expire. With knowledge like this, can’t you see why I’d have to put off writing this for at least another day?
I’ve been thinking it was time to write something for weeks – well really since I was about 12. The best part of wanting to write something is my home/office gets really clean and organized. This time, I put away all the stuff piled in the living room chair. There was a magazine I’d planted there when I returned from a trip last July. It sat there reminding me of something I wanted to write. Still haven’t written it. There are reminders of tasks to be done everywhere. Little piles that call out to me. Aging emails, discolored scraps of paper, and the leaves in my garden, all ask for my time and attention.
The compulsive part of me really believes I can get it all done. That nagging voice is sure my day of rest will come when the to-do list is complete. “Just one more thing,” the voice tells me. “Okay.” Ten more things later and I’m worn out. I call this part of me the production manager. His life’s work is efficiency and production. He believes my life will only be measured by what I accomplished. His tombstone would read, “He did a lot.”
When slots on the to-do list are emptied, the production manager refills them with responsibilities I didn’t even know about or had forgotten. Eventually I get to the important projects, like writing. In this realm, there are two kinds of important desires, the ones I do and the ones that haunt me. It’s easy to see clients, play golf, make love. It’s more of a struggle with the unanswered passions. It takes great effort most of the time to write, play music and find ways to express the parts of me who live under the weight of that to-do list.
The planet keeps moving, days pass, I get older, and opportunities slip away. Important desires lay in waiting. Projects left undone. Phone calls never made. Trips not taken. Books unread. Movies not watched. Hugs that didn’t happen. Impatient parts of me miss being fully alive while I live my day-to-day life. I’ll die with things not finished. If only I could get this pile of paper on my desk taken care of.
So what to do? The best I can, I guess. I won’t ever be a pro athlete. I’m not going to make a living as an actor. Singer/songwriter? No. That’s gone too. My trip to the urologist made sure I won’t be a dad. The dreams that never happened are as daunting to grieve as the dreams that came true and are gone. I’ve come to learn, that without goodbyes, or good grieving, I won’t have fresh hellos. Saying goodbye helps me move on and be more of who I already am and all I can become. I am an excellent therapist, a good companion, a man of growing wisdom. Maybe one day, a writer.