It's been an odd week

posted 10 July 2005

My mind is still all over the place.

Even before Thursday came and rocked my world, I'd been having an odd week, full of possible sweeping changes to my life. Then I had a week of being alone in the house every night to think about stuff -- never a good thing for me. It makes me think too hard, and then I start waxing poetic, like I'm quite possibly about to do now.

Nothing makes you feel more alive, Terry Pratchett wrote, than knowing someone is trying to kill you. My life's been cruising along a bit recently; I've been letting myself think in longer and longer time frames about getting stuff done. It's not procrastination so much as deceleration, maybe, or maybe just getting a better handle on estimating how long the things I always plan to do will realistically take.

Then Thursday came and reminded me that I don't necessarily have all the time in the world. For the unlucky souls of Thursday, it all ended immediately, suddenly, pointlessly, through no fault of their own.

It has been my goal for as long as I can remember to create something, write something, design something, develop something, that people will remember and will last. But I need to remember that planning these things isn't going to get them done. I need to do them, now. No waiting around until conditions are right, or the timing is better, or I've got more time. You've got to make time for getting things done, or you will fritter away your time having an full, enjoyable, and inconsequential life.

For many people, that is a goal in itself. And I'm not here to say that it's not a worthy goal to have a full and happy life and raise a bunch of happy children. But it's not my goal. I need to leave the world richer, and fate has seen fit that I'm not well suited to do that through my children. I need to think of it, build it, and do it now.

This extended weekend has, for me, been a knee-jerk reaction to the realization of the horrors of Thursday. No matter how distant I really was, objectively speaking, from the danger, it didn't feel remote. It felt like somebody had tried to kill me, personally. Suddenly, immediate primal urges became imperative. I cried because I felt like it, slept when I wanted to, ate when I felt like it, danced because it felt good, and indulged in the physical, immediate demands of the body with my brain stuck in neutral.

Now is the time to emerge, reconnect, and get those urges back under long-term control. It's time to channel them into something good that will last. Not because if I don't, the terrorists win. Not because "life goes on". Life, this week has proven, definitely does not always go on. So it's time to make sure I don't fritter away the life I have on just living.

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