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this is what you shall do:

Thursday, June 10, 2004

[That personal essay thing]

It's Not Procrastinating

They call it procrastinating. I call it contemplating. Mostly, I spend my time contemplating. Contemplating and dreaming. Dreaming about winning the lottery. Dreaming about my future. The company I work for wants people to be "Do"-ers. I am not a Do-er. I am a dreamer. Getting past the dreamer step and into the real world is a challenge for me. I am always looking for that shortcut. As a kid I always immersed myself in books. I read all the biographies in the child's section at a very young age and have always had a special fondness for non fiction, for the book that would tell how to get something done. Now, as an adult, I am at a particularly pesky part. The answer is not in the book anymore. I generally have the answer. I know what I need to do to have a good retirement - save and invest. However I seem unwilling to actually do the work. Instead I dream about it. I know what I need to do to be healthy and live a long life - eat a balanced, healthy diet of fresh ingredients and lovingly prepared food. Exercise every day. But instead I sit in front of the television eating my Sonic Burger and tater tots and plan and plot my healthy lifestyle shortcuts. To play the guitar, I must practice everyday, but instead I stare at the guitar, by more books and cds on how to play it and hope I will find the short cut. There is no short cut, I just must do the work. I come to this easily enough. My father was dreamer, holding on to his last dying days for a chance to win the lotto. He dreamed of being a Senator or a Governor. He dreamed of the big house and the big farm. My mother, too was a bit of a dreamer, although smaller in scale and scope. She cares very little about the lotto or the Governor's mansion. But she dreams. She has big dreams for her husband, her sons and daughters. She has big dreams and plans for the new life she is sculpting in her mountain valley home. The dream is a sign, perhaps that we are alive. That we still are filled with hope and desire. When the dream is gone, when the desire dries up, with it goes the ambition and promise. But getting past the dream, getting past the blissful stare out the window and rolling up the sleeves and actually getting to the work is the real challenge. When doing the work, when fulfilling the dream, there is little time or energy left to do much else. Dreaming takes us away from the work and the work moves closer and closer to fulfilling the dream. Now, if I could just find that to do list and get to work.