I was inspired to write this by a comment on the last post, wherein Jaye Robin Brown mentioned “second half of life intentions.” I’d been meaning to blog about this for a while, but well…in an ironic twist of irony, I kept putting it off. (Author’s note: sometimes when blogging, I am intentionally redundant. Just go with it.)
The thing about somedays is, they really are a sketchy concept at best. A lot of people secretly dream of someday following said dreams, of breaking with long-standing tradition or retiring from their hated, soul-sucking desk job and finally doing what they love. But not right now. Not when there are bills to pay, children to raise, or other people’s opinions to worry about. Not when there are x amount of risks to consider, or y amount of obstacles standing in the way.
I like to call this the Someday Lie, because it rests on a premise of total uncertainty. You’re not making promises. You’re pointing vaguely into the murky future and throwing around if/then statements. People aren’t immortal. Nor are they psychic. Ipso facto (Oreo, Keiko, Presto, Change-o): THERE ARE NO GUARANTEES IN LIFE.
And yet, we keep telling ourselves these lies, pretending they somehow give us an excuse to NOT be or do what we want to be/do RIGHT NOW.
“Someday, when I’m financially stable, I’ll travel.”
“Someday, I’ll lose these last few pounds.”
“Someday, I’ll go back to school and get my [insert higher degree here].”
“Someday, I’ll write a book.”
That’s the worst one, IMO, because it’s so often repeated that it’s become a Hollywood cliché. Like the Boy Who Cried Wolf, the proverbial plaid-clad, bespectacled hipster lurks in the corner of a dimly lit coffee shop, furiously typing away on his iPad or computer, only to later reveal that he’s been whiling away the hours on Instagram, or Twitter. Or UrbanOutfitters.com. “My book,” he fervently promises, looking into the camera, “will be a modern day Catcher in the Rye.” Audiences of all ages roll their eyes, thinking “Right. We’ll believe it when we see it, buddy.” Because that’s the way it works. Nothing exists until it does. You aren’t a traveler until you’ve traveled. You aren’t a writer until you’ve written. At least not as far as the universe (or your future posterity) is concerned.
So. Here’s the moral of this rant, in case you’ve missed it. (I direct this mantra at myself, as well as sending it out into the atmosphere.)
YOU DON’T HAVE SOMEDAY. YOU ONLY HAVE TODAY. EITHER MAKE IT HAPPEN, OR STOP TALKING ABOUT IT.
You’re welcome. (And thank you.)
How have you motivated yourself in the past when procrastination threatened? What are your secrets for staving off self-doubt and/or lame excuses? Also, just for kicks, what are your feelings about Catcher in the Rye? (Is it really all it’s cracked up to be?)