Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Dreadful Selfish Crime

I am guilty of a dreadful, selfish crime.

I have wasted all my precious time.

Robert Earl Keen

On a recent weekend I wandered around the house with my tea mug in hand, looking for a place to alight and do nothing. I found several suitable locations: the comfy chair in the living room, the comfy chair in my bedroom, the comfy chair in front of the desktop computer. I spent considerable time in each of them.

I watched The West Wing on dvd. I re-read Artemis Fowl: the Opal Deception (a young-adult fantasy novel of great creativity and little depth. The perfect choice.) I played computer games. I browsed the web. I found Sheboygan, Wisconsin and decided I had to go there. They have a beautiful art center, which is a good enough reason to make the trip, but really, I just want to tell people I’m going to Sheboygan. I like saying the name. Sheboygan.

Anyway, I’m approaching a Significant Birthday. A milestone birthday. And I’m wondering if maybe I’ve allowed myself a few too many weekends like that one. It’s the kind of thing you wonder as birthdays like this roll around. Am I doing enough? Am I contributing enough? Have I accomplished anything? Am I making a difference? Or am I spinning my wheels, idling, wasting my (all of a sudden very) precious time?

Luckily for me, this past Friday I performed with my guitar at a local Peace with Justice event at a church across the river. I heard the hostess introduce me with words like “published poet” and “artist” and “unschooler.” None of those words applied to me ten years ago, when I first started performing. All of them took some work -- and some time -- to achieve. Now they're a part of who I am, and what I've done. What I do. So really, I have been busy. It just doesn’t seem that way – or feel that way – on a day-to-day basis.

On a day-to-day basis the grass doesn’t appear to grow, either.

Lots of people never have the good fortune of being introduced to an audience and hearing their accomplishments enumerated. But we can enumerate them ourselves. And we should. Even if you’re not staring down a Significant Birthday, you can still take stock. Maybe you’ll realize that you are indeed wasting your precious time -- and you'll get up and get going. And maybe you’ve done a lot more than you give yourself credit for, even as you know there’s so much more to do. If that's the case, maybe you can give yourself a wee bit of a break, already.

Consider: if I hadn’t been wasting time that weekend, I wouldn’t have discovered (here it comes again) Sheboygan. I’m thinking road trip. I hear it’s pretty there this time of year.


  1. Hi there. I just found you by way of the run.ning. Someone there wrote you have a nice blog and she was so right. I love it. And you and I have at least two things in common, well we used to. I watch the West Wing and used to be only other woman this side of the continental divide without a cell phone. I just sold out though. I've had one for a month now. Hang in there, be tough.

  2. I'm hanging tough w/o the cell, Jane, but it is getting a little silly. Considering how I love road trips, it's probably time to give in. Probably. Soon.

    Thanks for coming by. ~ps


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