What’s Next

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I come home and all I want to do is sit, have a drink, watch some tv. Working hard, and working late means that I don’t have the time I used to. I basically went from being at home all the time with access to the outside world and a host of activities – to a working women who spends all her time answering emails. Since I started my job I have had much less time to work out, to write, to cook proper meals.

And so last week when I was faced at the prospect of writing a blog post about something I wasn’t that interested in, I shut down. I didn’t write a word. I figured Sara had skipped a week before so I could do this time. So I let it be and Thursday passed by and no one died! I thought it would feel good to take a break, to let myself get used to the routine of my job. But instead of feeling relaxed, I had a nagging feeling that I couldn’t shake. In a sense, I felt guilty for flaking. This is a project that Sara and I believe in and soon want to expand. Why shouldn’t I relish every moment I get to write whatever I want each week?

What this has made me realize is that, it is important to do things you don’t necessarily want to, but that are good for you. Maybe I didn’t want to write my blog post, but establishing routines when you’re tired or you’re sad or you’re uninspired, is really hard. There are so many ways that you can excuse yourself from responsibilities that have no real consequences. Who’s going to yell at me for not posting? Certainly not my boss. But I believe that’s the wrong way of looking at this. I don’t want to be someone who can’t finish something, or can’t see a project through. That’s not how one becomes successful.

But being aware of your crap and actually trying to overcome your crap are two very different things (thanks Grey’s Anatomy). It kind of sucks when I look back at the last couple of posts that I’ve written and I see my posts as one-note.I feel like a person who complains about having no time, one who constantly laments on the struggle that comes with needing both money and flexibility. But I don’t want to talk about that any more. I want to talk about things that matter and things that inspire me, not things that make me feel tired or frustrated. And there are going to be nights that I don’t want to write or don’t think I have time. But it’s what I want to do because it’s what makes me feel like I am participating.

I don’t always feel lucky, or smart, or conscientious, or beautiful. Frequently, I feel the opposite of all those things. And I thought that’s what I needed to feel in order to create something special. But really what I need to do is write, as often and as powerfully as I can. My thoughts and ideas and desires to change the world and how people think can do nothing if they just sit in my head and don’t end up on paper, or spoken out loud to those who will listen. If you want something, you have to work hard, you have to show up. I thought I learned this when I finally got a job after a year of working hard for one I want. But there isn’t ever an ending – books and movies have kind of lied to us over the years – life doesn’t full-stop once you’ve achieved your dreams or found the one you’ve been searching for all along. Inevitably, tomorrow will come.

I’ve been doing a rewatch of The West Wing lately, and one of my favorite things about President Bartlett, is that after every meeting or conversation he asks, “What’s next?” That’s my challenge for myself the next couple of months. Whenever I think I am done, I have to ask myself, “What’s next?” Because I am planning on living a long time, and I might as well do something with it.

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