'14 WINNER: Crumple up the past, toss it aside and begin on a new page.
Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results. ~ Narcotics Anonymous (misattributed to Albert Einstein and Benjamin Franklin)
Knowing what you want to do with your life partially comes from experiences of failure. Like a moth stubbornly trying to penetrate the glass to get to that flame, I now see it is time to realize a new path to what I desire because I'm at a crossroads in my life.
The girl I married 18 years ago evolved into a self-sufficient, no-nonsense woman with ideals that have taken shape over time. She distanced herself from the meandering dreamer who still doesn't know what this journey called life has in store for him.
My life has been about squandered opportunities, not having the confidence to pull the trigger on decisions that would have ultimately impacted the outcome of my life. I look back at the wake of obstacles I’ve avoided and wonder how I managed to get this far, steering my life through the wreckage of lost chances.
Why do I just let life happen, rather than live it? I don’t interact with it; but try to shield it, pulling down the shades so light cannot shine on what I'm meant to see. Each new day is squandered indoors by the dim light of a tv or computer screen. I avert my eyes from what little opportunities are left for me. I dare not reminisce on what I could have had or how I have not lived -- don’t want to spiral into deep regret.
Self-justifications distort reality. The more you use them, the more you create an alternate universe for yourself. ~ Brett & Kate McKay
Today...today I live. For what little there is left for me, I scoop heaping handfuls into my mouth and savor every bite. If I have to look back at another day and see what I have failed to pursue, I will die another thousand deaths of self-piteous contempt. I do not blame anyone else for my misdirection anymore. My loving wife and darling children are blessings not obstacles to the future I choose to have.
Just taking life day-by-day, trying to keep it on an even keel, is not going to work anymore. Keeping it positive and putting my focus on the things I enjoy in life is the first step. By not writing regularly, my muses flew off to help someone else. Now that they don't consort with me, I am only forcing out disconnected words onto this screen. The more I write, I feel their wings take flight to lift me up again.
By being away from Writing.Com for an extended period of time, I had forgotten that yearning to take roost with writers who have similar interests. I have searched for that one true friend with whom I could share these visions. Blogging daily and nightly draws them nearer to this flame. If one of them could find entry to this writer's soul, could we compare notes and soar to our achievements together?
Writing.Com allows me the life-support I need when my words will otherwise go unnoticed. By reviewing and interacting through various forums and other activities, I'm making new acquaintances. I'm inspired to do something selfless. By giving, I can at least fill a part of me that is empty. Reviewing will help me in that process to deconstructing great writing and figuring out how it will work for me.
Too many diversions took me away from the core of the writer I once yearned to be. It's too easy to get distracted with the trivial stuff and not keep my eyes on the goal. For starters, I have never been very disciplined, especially with setting goals. And now I have a chance to construct a vision with the "Dear Me: Official WDC Contest" [E].
I want to write the novel. I say it all the time, but will I do it? It will take organization, an outline and time every day to draft each chapter with renewed vision. Yet, I am getting ahead of myself. That little moth cannot get to that flame directly. Remember...
Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it. ~ George Santayana
Daily "To Do" lists will temporarily take a backseat to the first big "To Do" list for the immediate future and likely the rest of life:
1) Complete my physical therapy at home with diligence to fully recover from the rotator cuff surgery. I will add yoga to supplement this. My core fitness is key to my return to more rigorous exercise.
2) Get back to the low carb diet with an eye toward portion control and continue high fiber foods while drinking lots of water.
3) With sleep apnea there needs to be a regimented sleep schedule. And I must maintain the prescribed oral device for my apnea to make it last and get the best sleep benefits.
4) With medications, there are challenges. I must continue to be aware of changes in my eyesight. I do not want to risk any more unnecessary vision loss from glaucoma. With good health, I've been able to pare back depression medications but still have anti-anxiety remedies for those times that are difficult to manage.
5) I will go back to the gym and play basketball three days a week and get as much physical exercise as I can to return my body to the form it desires to be.
The most rewarding aspect of being fit these past few years was being able see these limbs function so appreciatively, that it inspired me to blog about my experiences with the game I love. And, I can feel like one of the guys again.
1) I must take time daily to be with people I love. I should be in contact with all my brothers as often as possible. My family is important.
2) The end of clutter begins now. My house is a museum of unfinished projects and a disjointed collection of undeserving keepsakes. If I am to be a sentimental fool, at least pack all these obstacles into a box and shove them into the attic. Or, be really brave and find a trash can. If they have any value, make plans for a garage sale in the spring and donate the rest to Goodwill.
3) After the house is in order, I need an area to write. This location isn't going to be as elaborate as Mr. Brady's den. It would be nice to have a place just for dad, maybe with a window to look out and see dreams take shape. Thanks to the iPad, I can journey to a coffee shop or bookstore where the muses will more easily be heard when their whispers don't reach me above the family din.
4) I need to develop a list of books to read daily. I must engage my mind with words of other writers.
5) I need a schedule for writing and prepare my mind each day to release the pent up words into this virtual reality. I need time alone to myself daily, maybe even a short vacation. I require a recharge because my soul is depleted. I cannot again sit with my head in my hands and tears in my eyes and try to figure out why I'm upset. I have to have a plan.
While outlining a novel, I don't dare rewrite sections of failed fiction attempts. And, no more poetry. At least, not to be shared as 'statics' on this writing site for reviews. Sometimes, when I pen or blog these little odes, there is an expression aching to get out. So, if I see these words take form, I will jot them down and analyze how they can be used with my novel pursuits.
You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair. ~ Douglas MacArthur
Aging and the Future
And one last thing you should always do, REREAD REMINDERS LIKE THIS TO YOURSELF.
A while back, I blogged, "Once upon a time, a writer yearned to be an author so he could prove to the world and the people who shunned him in it that he had worth. Frustration led to anxiety which ruled his days and he steered himself off course of his goal and found other diversions. Reflection allowed him to minimize anxiety and found serene calm and decided no one need judge his value to have worth. Now his goal is to do what makes him happy; and if others jump aboard his wagon, then the more the merrier. Misery loves company and the life of the party gets to be friends with the rest. Through good times and bad, I hope I still enjoy the ride to my ultimate destination."
I want to stay grounded and connected to who I am and have it be the same for the loved ones around me. I can't stop my children from growing up. It takes time to accept this aging/changing process. Sometimes, it seems like it is going faster than it should. Unfortunately, the mirror is truth. Every day, I try to get it to lie, wish for some magic potion to heal what troubles inside of me. Let me find acceptance above all else, allowing me to flutter away from the past where it brings me into the present.
I desire a reawakening. I want to be in love again, the way it used to be, excited and full of anticipation -- like meeting someone adventurous, pining to know what love has in store. I want that kind of youth to blossom inside of my barren soul. This romance need just come from new experiences that I desire to fuel my renewed endeavors.
The aging process has you firmly in its grasp if you never get the urge to throw a snowball. ~ Doug Larson
I can't have a perfect life, but I wonder if I had some do-overs whether I could correct the errors of my ways and perhaps positively affect lives that I altered with my selfishness of yore.
R.I.P. Brian Keith Compton