Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that’s the stuff life is made of.
Benjamin Franklin, ‘Poor Richard’s Almanack,’ June 1746
I’ve been thinking about time a lot lately.
Specifically, how much time I’ve wasted over the years and all the ways I’ve wasted it. I think too much and do too little. Hell, I channel surf too much and produce too little. I’ve been making a concerted effort to do more lately. It probably doesn’t show on my blog, as I’ve not been producing entries at my pre-cancer rate, but I have been reading a bit more. And, I’ve been talking to people more. That, in its own strange way, is productive for me. Oh, I can list off excuses galore for why I haven’t done more, espeically lately, but, in the end, that’s all they are, excuses. So, I’m trying to waste less time. To have fewer wasted moments. Obviously, I’m far from perfect on this, but, in the end, if I want to change my life then I have to make the change I want.
So, I’m trying. Trying to lead a more productive life that makes me happy.
A friend asked me some time back what I did to have fun and I was stumped. It’s been so long since I allowed myself to have fun, as opposed to just not work, that I didn’t have a good answer. Freakishly, I think the last fun I had was coding some Perl or PHP for my writing and fantasy webpage, Fantasist.net. I guess that really does make me a hard-core geek, but, well, getting the funky tools working on that site really did kind of flip my switch. Not enough to make a career out of it, but enough to give me a sense of geeky glee. Sadly, many of those tools have been disabled because my current webhost can’t deal with the traffic that they were generating. So, maybe, when I have a little more mental snap, I’ll work at recoding them to work with different technology so that they don’t overload their servers anymore.
And, along with all the reading, I’m going to try to write more.
For me, actually writing is about letting go. Letting go of all the crap that I know will come out before the gold does. That’s always been the way of creating really good stuff, at least for me, knowing that 90% of it will be crap and that’s okay. Also, it’s about discipline. Now, there are people who know me that would tell you I’m the most disciplined man they know, but I know better. It only takes a moment for that discipline to slip and, once it slips, it’s hard to get back. Writing is like that. I used to write all the time and the discipline was easy, but now… Well, now it’s slipped and it’s proven very hard to get back. Still, if I own that I want and need to work at getting it back in enoug places with enough people, then I hope that I’ll be able to do just that.
So, I can’t promise that I’ll never have another wasted moment.
I know people tend to think that surviving cancer, which I haven’t even quite done yet, is supposed to change my life in some deep, meaningful way that leads me to “Live Strong” and do away with wasted moments, but it’s not quite so simple. Changing a life is hard, but, I think it’ll be worth it, so I’m working at that. Who knows, maybe one day, if I change enough, my former step-daughter will look past the lies her mother has told her and see someone worth getting to know again. For that alone, it would be worth making some life changes.
In the end, all I can do is try. And, so, I will.
Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"When the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail."