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There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting. ~Buddha

 

I’ve been thinking about writing this blog for years. I am certain there are many who never thought I would. I was one of them.

The thing is, I never wanted to find out that I couldn’t do it, so instead, I thought about it while I wrote stunning essays in my mind – ones that never came out exactly that way on paper. The real ones are infinitely harder to craft.

The blog you never write, the person you never marry, the career you never pursue, all end up as perfect as they are untried. This, wrestling with real life, is messy.

The writing I never get to will always be successful. What I can imagine has so many more perfect possibilities than really doing it. It…I…dwell in possibility to borrow an oxymoronic phrase from Emily Dickinson, if I continue to nurture my pretend blog. In my imagination, that blog will be seamless to write and something that people will clamor to read.

“If your fidelity to perfectionism is too high,” said the late cultural critic and novelist David Foster Wallace, “You never do anything.”

Busted.

And it wasn’t that I cared too little. I cared too much. And most of it, I admit, was caring too much about what others thought. I didn’t want to commit offense by writing the wrong thing, stepping on anyone’s toes or boring anyone. Mostly, I didn’t want to open myself to criticism. I amuse myself now with that bad advice, as I note that therein lies a recipe for not vibrant, not thought-provoking writing: Stay comfortable. Don’t offend. Write the expected.

But here I am, starting. Because at my stage of life there’s something else tugging, that goes beyond whether I fail miserably or if people like me. It’s hard to explain and I’d like it to be a continuing topic of discussion: What happens in life that drives us to take action when we did not do it earlier? What do we want and what are we waiting for? Part of what moves me brings me to the name of this blog: It’s About Time.

It’s About Time that we just get to it already, that the voice of desire becomes louder than the voice of fear. It’s About Time for those of us in midlife, because we know we’ve lived as much or more of life than we have left. It’s a far different experience than when we were young and the future seemed endless.