In defense of not waiting

Cliff jumping in Busan, South Korea circa 1993.

Cliff jumping in Busan, South Korea circa 1993. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Warning:  inspirational thoughts ahead!

I got stuck in line in the store the other day, waiting to check out.  I always think it’s a little funny to look around at everyone’s purchases and wonder what’s going on in their lives that led them to select a baby bottle, a pair of spaghetti tongs, and a phillips-head screwdriver for their purchases that day.  Of course, I’m usually holding something like a coin-sorter, a pack of pens, and an extra-large energy drink, so who am I to talk?

Then I went home and cooked a meal on the stove.  This is rare for me.  I’m a microwave girl.  I can estimate microwave times like my mother’s mother could estimate how much sugar to include in a recipe; I just know, without really knowing how I know.  I don’t need the back of the box to tell me.  So the whole stove thing was taking way too long for my post-modern impatience.  “Patience is a virtue,” I reminded myself, just like I did while I was waiting in that interminable line in the store.

But here’s the thing:  I don’t think patience is always as much a virtue as we seem to think.  I would like to stand up in defense of not waiting.  Most of the good things in my life I have because I grabbed for them before I let myself get scared of trying, or before someone else with more guts got to them first.  My most precious memories are of seizing the moment, even if I didn’t have any particular reason or need to, and getting as much out of life as I could right then, without waiting.  A lot of the time it wouldn’t have made much difference to wait a little longer, but when it does matter, it matters so much.

Because sometimes things happen, and people are taken from us, or opportunities are unexpectedly lost, and if we didn’t go for it before, we’ll never get another chance.  The future is so uncertain in this ever-changing world.  I’m not old, but I’m not young, and here’s what I’ve learned:  if you see something you want, go for it right then.  Don’t wait.  If you think to yourself, “My husband is completely fantastic.  I can’t believe I’m this lucky,” tell him right then.  If there’s a girl you like, or an activity you’ve wanted to try, or a project at work that’s got you scared but intrigued, go all out after it (or her) right then.  Don’t wait.

Skier carving a turn off piste

Something on my blind bucket list (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m going blind, very slowly.  I’ve got a whole list of things I want to do before I completely lose my vision.  I’m proud to say that my list isn’t as long as it might be if it weren’t already part of my nature not to wait.  There are things I was able to do years ago that I could never do now, that I’ll never be able to do again.  But I’ve done them.  I don’t have to put them on my list of regrets, because I didn’t wait–I just did them, because I could, because they were there.  It’s one of my rules:  if life leads you up to a great big cliff, don’t wait for a parachute:  just jump.  Right then.  Figure out the parachute on the way down.  Sometimes you’ll go splat, but sometimes you’ll learn to fly.

And if a second register opens up while you’re waiting in line, don’t wait for someone else to get there first.  Elbow that old lady out of the way if you have to!  But, from time to time, it can be worth waiting for a meal cooked in the stove rather than the microwave.  Sometimes, you can wait.

How I write for my blog

Deutsch: Der Denker durch Auguste Rodin. Grubl...

Image via Wikipedia

My legions of adoring fans often ask me, how do you write such incredible blog entries?  Well, two people have asked me what goes into keeping a blog.  So I thought I’d post a breakdown of how I spend my time while drafting a blog entry:

1.  Trying to think of hilarious ideas for blog post:  15 minutes

2.  Criticizing all ideas thought of as lame, boring, and/or ridiculous:  10 minutes

3.  Picking least lame/boring/ridiculous idea and beginning blog post:  3 minutes


4.  Drafting first half of blog post, thinking, “Actually, this isn’t half bad.  I’m really quite brilliant.  This is going to be hilarious!”:  20 minutes

5.  Finishing draft of blog post, thinking, “Good God, this was a suck idea.  What on earth possessed me to write about this?”:  15 minutes

6.  Saving draft of post just in case:  2 minutes

7.  Surfing other people’s sites for inspiration and becoming increasingly dispirited at how much better their blogs are than mine:  20 minutes

8.  Wandering off to get a snack and maybe watch some videos of frogs playing Itunes apps on YouTube by way of distracting myself from my inferiority:  30 minutes

9.  Playing Itunes apps on ipod and trying to beat frog’s high score:  15 minutes

10.  Reorganizing my shoes:  15 minutes

11.  Reluctantly returning to my blog and re-reading my blog post, thinking “Well, I doubt I’ll come up with anything better, so I might as well go with this”:  10 minutes

12.  Finding suitable image for blog by typing into Google such word combinations as “cat sock surgery” and “funny sunglasses restaurant”: 10 minutes

13.  Reviewing finished draft, looking up whether “alcohol-induced” has a hyphen (it does) and hesitating over whether I want to reveal to my readers my lack of talent once and for all:  15 minutes

14.  Publishing post:  1 minute

15.  Responding to comments and apologizing to people I’ve offended with said post and comment replies:  well into next day

So there you have it:  a typical blog post routine.  To those I’ve offended or will offend with my replies to comments, I apologize in advance in the hopes that I can save myself some time tomorrow, because I’m going to need it in order to think of another idea for the next post.  The blog, she is always hungry!