I have a very nicely paved road to hell.
Immigrants, before they come to America, they imagine the roads are lined with gold, the buildings gleam with their inlaid silver, and that the cars exhaust is filled with perfume. They are not prepared for the reality of what they face. My roads, mine that I have built for myself are lined with gold.
My good intentions have been many. I am the queen of new year’s resolutions, yom kippur resolutions, Monday resolutions and new school year resolutions. I build towers in the sky with my ideas and ideals and think I can accomplish much more than I actually can in a day or a week or fuck, give me an hour and I can cure your cancer. It turns out that things actually take time and energy and effort and discipline.
I have never gone for ritual. I always equated it with religiosity or some other form of hocus pocus. Why do the same thing every day whether or not you feel like it? Why not follow your passion, your whim, your fancy? What am I? A 19th century British gentleman? It has taken me all of these years to figure out that my passion, my whim and my fancy has been good to me so far but at some point it would fail me and my lack of discipline would kick in.
See, I am a pretty well self motivated sort. I get up without an alarm clock, but not as early as I would like. I manage to do my job, be home for my kids and really not much else. Why is that? Well, it turns out because I have not carved out time to do the things that need to be done. And yes, then I end up complaining about it. And not because I am busy doing things, but because I just haven’t figured out how to get the things done. The other day I was reading something I don’t really remember what it was. Maybe it was about meditation or getting things done or checklists or some other thing on how to be more efficient and it said something we all know and take for granted. That in fact, in this day and age, we have more time than we have ever had before. We get more done than we ever have in the past. Let me give you an example. In the olden days, when we would get discovery on a big case, it would be paper. Loads and loads of paper. We would have to go through all of it to find the thing that we needed. It sucked. BIG TIME. And it took a shit ton of time. I used to get to work at 3 am to dig through stuff and not get done until midnight then do it all over again. And guess what? Back then I had time to hang out with friends and exercise and be a human being. Maybe because I was so busy? Now, I have a service I use that actually sorts all the CD’s I get of discovery. Sorts them and makes them searchable and all I have to do is look at search terms. Uh huh, that’s right, that’s what it does. And you know what? I am still so busy. Right? Am I right?
Greenfield is right. This is a lie I tell myself and I will not speak for you and you and you but you know you waste your time. I am not saying looking at pictures of kittahs is a waste of time and is totally unneeded. Good for the old coot to never need a break from his toils and troubles. I mean that seriously. But there are real wastes of time – those that live in your brain that say do this instead of that. Do this other thing instead of the thing you are afraid to do. Just do it. Do it despite your fear despite the dread despite the idea that you think you don’t have five minutes to spare. Do it. Do it. Do it.
And to hell with thinking rituals are lame. Sure, I may think your religious crap is crap. But kudos to you for doing a dumb thing every day with serious discipline. I mean that in the kindest way. It makes you whole it makes you better it makes you aware of your failing in that you cannot rely on your passion and whim and fancy to get this stuff done.
I am busy but not with the things that matter. I have busied my mind to avoid those things precisely. Tell the truth, my dear reader, don’t you do the same? We are all guilty of it.
But thankfully, we are all not guilty of something.