Hope is a luxury only afforded to those at ease. Roger had given up ease and hope months ago.
Pancreas. A death sentence sooner rather than later. There would be no appeals. Three months in and he decided to give up treatment. “Dead is dead” his father would say when someone passed. No mourning. Dead is dead.
The temporal nature of life hadn’t ever entered Roger’s mind. He was 48. Young. He would make something of himself. He had plenty of time.
They were the same lies he told himself all his life – he would be someone. Failed venture after failed venture did not dissuade him from his fantasy. He knew it would happen for him “soon, just around the corner….” The books all promised it. “Just believe,” they would say.
Now he realized for the first time he was done. Dead is dead.
His children were grown, out on their own. Occasional cards but no genuine contact. His wife left him a dozen years ago. “I can’t do this any more,” she said. He didn’t even have her address now.
He was alone. Dying alone. Still a nobody, also-ran in life. Dead is dead.
Positive thinking, motivational posters all meaningless now. He would never be anything. He had wasted his life pursuing greatness and had, in the end, become nothing. There were no family, no friends, just a tiny life. One of 7 billion.
His children would come to the funeral, of course, it was an obligation. But that’s it. He had squandered his life selfishly chasing his ego dreams and had ignored the truly important.
We reap what we sow, he said to himself.
Dead is dead.
This is me.
OK, not really. It would be me:
- If it were daytime.
- It it were summer.
- If I were actually done working.
Instead my marathon week continues.
In real life (yes, I have one) I own a small digital publishing company. We help people create books and “value added products” they can sell along with said books.
Some of the books are actually good – one of our writers hit the NYT Best Seller List back in November. Got to number 3. Not too shabby.
Our team does things like building websites, producing videos, writing advertising copy, schmoozing the rich and infamous. They’re a good team. We enjoy one another. Nice people. Joe is a little gassy, but we hold our noses because he brings the best food to Potluck Fridays. Come to think of it, the two may be related.
Today we launch a book. Good book. Written by a wonderful woman who is right now the bane of my and my team’s existence.
Built her website to her specs back in ’13. Yup. Every month since she’s been going to get us the content, going to get her book out, going to cover everything.
First week of January she tells me “got a firm date – we’re launching January 21.” She asked me again for a list of all the things she had to get to us – things like press kits, digital photos, content for her website pages. “No problem.”
Why do I always believe them?
Timeline is set. Deadlines for content pieces. They come. They go. We get her site – sans much of the content – “finalized” last Friday. She can’t walk through it with until Saturday. That was OK, I wasn’t seeing Waco last weekend. She said she would want some tweaks.
But she didn’t want tweaks. She wanted to tear down and rebuild the Hoover Dam. Damn.
I kindly explained to her in a Steven Hawking like fashion how time works. She stared at me blankly. “It’s just a couple things” she said. We negotiated what was actually possible for humans – even super-humans like us – to accomplish.
We whittled her list of 1,674,238 items down to a little less than 300. Yeah, I know. Late Sunday night (my time) the Indians dug in. Monday us US peeps joined the fight.
We did well. After a Monday of diligence and another night by our brown-skinned Asian neighbors, by Tuesday morning it was done. FINAL final walk through.
It was a 2 hour marathon call of “the sweetest little voice” demanding the most unreasonable things. She has the uncanny ability to convince you she’s just asking for a little more sugar in her tea.
Again, we compromised. Some of her recommendations had merit. But we still lacked content. We still needed a ton from her. She was working on it, “have it to you by noon.”
We went about the new list. Moral was flagging. I circulated (again) the picture of me dancing in my underwear at last year’s Christmas party to cheer them up. We rallied like Iwo Jima.
Now it is 6am Thursday. The book drops in a few hours. I have had a grand total of 90 minutes sleep since 8am yesterday and only 5 hours the night before. I’m beat. We’ve made it, just need to “turn the key,” but I am spent.
I am looking forward to a warm bed, a warmer Waco and a deep sleep tonight.
While trying to complete a simple task, the Indians destroyed the site.
Client calls to make sure the book sales pages are ready to go! Fortunately, we had already fixed those.
Client calls to tell me the video she gave us yesterday wasn’t exactly what she wanted, but in an act of God’s mercy she already had a replacement at YouTube.
Indians are finding more problems they created on the site. YAY!
Book is number 3 on Amazon. Can someone say BOOM?
It is rational to love first, everyone you meet.
It is rational to listen and actually hear someone’s heart and words.
It is rational to accept people exactly where they are.
Most would generally agree.
It is rational to love yourself, no matter what.
It is rational to listen and actually hear your own heart and words.
It is rational to accept yourself exactly where you are.
I wonder how many agree?
Posted by LittlePiecesofMe:
The question is….If I could permanently ban a word from general usage what would it be and why?
Hands down the word for me would be “should”. I should get out of bed, I should have called my mother, I should have hit the shot, I should go to the gym instead of eating ice cream. “Should” is a horrible reason to do anything, it carries with it guilt and it does not motivate at all.
According to the dictionary “should” is the simple past tense of “shall”. I like the word “shall”. It implies conviction with a pleasant overtone, a promise for the future. Turn that “shall” to past and make it “should” and I brace against it. “Should” is a hollow uncertain auxiliary verb that makes no promises, but merely offers a weak excuse for a possible attempt at action.
Instead of doing something because we “should”. I think there should be real concrete and positive reasons to our actions. I am getting out of bed because it is a new day and I am happy to still be on the ride, I am calling my mother because she birthed me and I’m thankful for the life she gave, I didn’t hit the shot, but I will next time because I will practice and I will get better, I will go workout because I will feel amazing afterward.
I believe what I say to myself is very important and the reasons I provide as motivation for all things I do will come from a place of energy and desire, not a place of guilt.
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If only I’d.
Defeated before I begin.
After Dr. Shell’s comment below, possible clarification is in order.
Many beat themselves up constantly by not accepting they are good and valuable as they are. Looking to “become” lovable we often think if we just did what we shoulda/woulda/coulda, we would be worthy of love.
You are lovable. You have value. Silencing your inner critic is key to finding real self-esteem.
Hopefully this will help some.
Last night I was texting with Waco.
As I mentioned in a previous post, she is dealing with some chronic health issues. She is amazingly strong and refuses to let those issues determine the course of her life. She has consistently chosen to push through whatever happens and live a happy, successful, fulfilling life.
But lately, those issues have been tough. Last night she declared: “I refuse to be limited!”
And she won’t be. She’s tough, determined, persistent and appropriately selfish. She’s also beautiful inside and out. I’ve been fortunate to have her in my life for the last year, to see her as she is.
But we also talked about reality. There is no magic bullet for her. She will have to make choices to maintain the life she enjoys long-term.
This morning, it got me thinking. Thinking about ways I procrastinate in life. Ways I pretend reality isn’t real. How I am spending my future happiness by not making the payments today.
Denial is a subtle liar. It seduces you into not making a somewhat difficult choice today even though the consequences will be paid with compound interest. Denial always whispers its alluring lies in the present, the only time we can take action, while lulling us into the warm comfort of “I’ll do that hard thing tomorrow, I’ll have plenty of time and health and energy and wealth then.”
Cats Cradle – only we’re our own fathers.
The run I don’t take today. The money I don’t save. The time I don’t spend building a relationship. The action I don’t take. These all live in the present but butterfly affect the future. My future can be sick and poor and alone. My future can be healthy and wealthy and full of love.
Today don’t call me between 9:30 and 10:30 – I’ll be on my run.
Thoughts are things with weight and dimension.
Running on a loop like an 8-track tape.
Songs glued in our heads.
Echoing since childhood.
One reminder then stuck again.
Our lives whistling their tune.