Sunday, February 12, 2012

In defense of not doing what really matters

Paolo Coelho, or so I read, writes for eight hours then does social media for three. I’m full of excuses (and don’t live up to his standard though I’m in awe). Work-wise, and in many other areas I’m pretty disciplined.

But I meander, day dream, listen to music (Spotify and itunes both!), scan most forms of media, play with perfume and my blackberry. Currently I’m obsessed with my new Smash journal/scrapbook and am looking at pictures for “inspiration”. I read a Vanity Fair article on Lady Gaga and most of the Sunday New York Times this morning. I don’t go to the store often enough to keep my kids in strawberries and I’d love to ride my bike on the beach today but haven’t gotten it fixed. Mostly I pay my bills on time but I left a birthday party early yesterday (to write/edit, BTW).

The reality is that we make choices with our time, resolve and discipline. Making the (online) world circuit now is Mark Zuckerberg’s desk sign of Stay Focused and Keep Shipping. Those few words pretty much sum up our cluttered worlds…we make the choices that lead to the consequences but can’t do it all. He ships and thus built a billion dollar company. We all have intent and even discipline but do we complete things?

My sequel to Captive is almost done and the revisions are coming slower than I’d like. But they’re coming. I resurrected a different book from over ten years ago and it’s currently being reviewed by a friend who will help me decide whether it ranks another revision or the trash bin. My next project is in outline form awaiting my attention.

Four hundred pages is a lot to write. I forget what I wrote periodically and need to re-read to remind myself. Nothing could be (much) harder than the revisions. I “ship” by not doing other things. Ask my friends or kids’ school. I don’t show up to many flag lines or dinners (and less right now as I’m cramming to finish this book and start my new project). I don’t cook well anymore, don’t watch television and rarely see movies. My closets are a mess and I really need to throw a lot of things away. I don’t meditate and keep ignoring my blogs. I don’t care.

I still spend time with people (friends and family), read books, do yoga or run on the beach and shower.

But at the end of the day I need to “ship”. And I need to be a good mother to my children. The rest matters, don’t get me wrong …. because it all matters. But today it matters just that little bit less; tomorrow all bets are off and my priorities will likely shift again. Sometimes you can’t do it all; then what really matters doesn’t matter quite so much.

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