I’m afraid of wasting things. Time. Money. Resources.
Yet I seem to do a lot of precisely that.
I procrastinate when there’s work that could be done.
I buy another cup of coffee when I’ve already had three.
I lose pens all the time.
Sometimes it feels like our culture has set up these impossible standards of how “successful,” or “influential,” or “wise” people live.
“Carpe Diem”—seize the day!
Take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way!
Work yourself to the bone because there is no tomorrow!
You never get this day back so make sure it counts!
This kind of thought has made me anxious about the work that I do as a creative person. I’ve often thought about how many authors have kicked the can in the middle of a project. Oh, if only they could have finished! Maybe they spend too much time drinking or too much time playing cards or too much time surfing or whatever! If only they had been slightly more dedicated to their work…
After all, the world needs our work, and if we waste our time, we rob humanity of what we have to offer.
Last summer I was woken up pretty early one morning by a thunderstorm. Once I decided that I wouldn’t be able to get back to sleep, my thoughts immediately turned to the days work. This will be great! I’ll be able to get a two and half hour head start on this project and that project—I should get up this early every day!
And then I rolled over and saw my beautiful wife lying there in the dark. I curled up to her and lost an hour of cosmic time to snuggling. I’ll never get that hour back. I may die without writing whatever it was that I could have during that time. But I’d never wish it back.
It made me human.
It fed my soul.
It reminded me that I am not a machine.