Personal thoughts · Writing

Get Out of the Groove

I remember the day my oldest daughter became mobile; I had laid her down on a tummy-time mat while I was doing something on the computer. I felt something touch my leg and voila, baby at my feet. I set her back on her mat and she crawled over to me again. I was a proud papa and called my wife, who was at work, to tell her. We were both excited, but it made my wife upset that she missed that milestone. I can understand I have missed my fair share of things.

I hate missing moments.

I hate the fact that my and other parents’ working years coincide with all of a child’s developmental period. We miss so much. From birth and beyond, they spend large pieces of their lives with other people. Daycare providers, teachers, grandparents, and many others take your place when you are not there. Even when a baby is first born we only are allowed a few weeks away from our jobs.

You can’t go back and see firsts. You can’t make kids unsay their first word, or take back their first steps. They insist on growing up in a blink of an eye and making you wonder where the time went.

I know where the time has gone.

We are all time-travelers. Unfortunately, we can only move forward and we never get to go back. We are allotted a limited amount of time in our life.  It is a finite resource, with which we are frivolous. We waste so much of our time, and you cannot reclaim what you have lost. You can, however, slow time down.  You have to break your routines and not get into a groove.

We try to squeeze in as much time as we can during the work week. We try to do something special on the weekends. Something seems to come up, or you are tired. Plans get canceled and you fall into the groove. All the days blend together.

Once you start having days that are almost exactly the same then those days fade in your mind. String enough of those days together and whole chunks of your life turn into mist and you only remember the times when something was different. Remember the time three weeks from last Thursday when you had an uneventful commute to work?  No, of course, you don’t.  But I would wager that you remember the wreck you were involved in two decades ago.

Last week, I took some time off from work. The girls’ summer break is now over, and I wanted some time to decompress and time to spend with the kids before they went back to school.  The week was nice, we had fun, ate too much ice cream, and it was over all too soon. Monday comes and with a heavy heart, I resume the routine: Commute to the workplace, do work, commute home and dream of more time off.

That Monday morning was hard, I sat on the couch and dreaded going to work. Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining about having to work. I am grateful that I am employed and able to provide for my family, but my family is the reason I do what I have to do. I would much rather stay at home instead of going to a building where they expect me to do tasks that I would rather not do and spend at least 40 hours a week with people I can barely tolerate.

This is why I want to start making more memories. I don’t want to look up and find that all of a sudden my kids are moving out of the house to go to college. I want to slow the ticking of the clock. I want my kids to look back and remember moments with my wife and me. I don’t want to stay in the groove. I want to start taking more moments to enjoy life.

Personal thoughts · Writing

Why I Write…

I have always been an avid reader. I love the way words affect me and how they put the pieces of the world in an order I can understand. It is magical the way a simple phrase or story can bring people to laughter, tears, or any emotion between. Words are powerful and full of meaning.

I am saddened when someone tells me that they do not like to read. I pity the person that discards reading as frivolous or as a waste of time.  I cannot even fathom that kind of thinking. I lose myself in books and the worlds they create. I travel across an infinite Omniverse to different worlds, and the only vehicle that is necessary are the words on a page.

I am tired of always being the passenger on the literary journey. It’s my turn at the wheel. I want to steer the reader’s ship in the uncharted territory of my imagination. I am not as proficient at painting a picture with words as I would like to be, but I am improving. I am reading writing blogs and listening to writing podcast. I have started sharing my thoughts and experiences with you, my readers.  I hope to find my own voice. I want a life less ordinary.

Staring at a blank page I know what I want to say but the words come out wrong. It feels like the mechanics and structure of turning the words into sentences, and sentences into paragraphs get in the way of the raw information I want to share.

Grammar is a concern. It makes me wish I had paid more attention in 8th Grade English.

I can not tell you how many commas I stare at and wonder if it belongs or not. I check to make sure I am writing in the active voice and not the passive. I try to use forceful verbs instead of adverbs. I write and revise, rewrite and re-revise, and beat my words to death until they make a semblance of sense.

I believe that most of the rules for the English language were drawn out of a hat at random and change every leap year to keep us on our toes. If you see any of the mistakes I have made, be kind, I am getting better.

I hope people enjoy reading what I write. It’s harder than I thought opening up to let my words out. Most of you reading this blog are strangers and have no vested interest in sparing my ego with critical judgments. That being said, most people are kind and provide positive feedback.

I feel like a fraud at times. When I read my words on the page they seem so sub par. I can only try to improve. A part of me thinks the uplifting comments are coming from people that are being nice. I try to dismiss these thoughts that come from the negative aspect of my personality. The one that tells me that I am wasting my effort and that I am not good enough. I can’t listen to that side of me.

 

I won’t stop