Friday, November 18, 2005

Conflicting Views

So, I was watching the WB show 'Everwood' last night with my wife. Normally these shows have a theme that runs through all the substories. I can't remember what that theme was, but one of the MDs on the show (can't remember his name, but he's the younger one from LA) went out with his extreme sports buddy. His girlfriend, who he lives with, didn't like that he was spending is only day off to take a dangerous downhill bike trail.

So this sparks a discussion that seemed poignant. The MD was miffed that his girl didn't want him to go, and the extreme guy was like 'that's why I'm single.' That seemed to be this guy's M.O., he liked being single and the illusion of independence that brings. He was basically advocating that the MD should stay as busy as he could, and make something of his clinic (like open franchises or something, which is a stupid idea). Seeing this conversation, I figured the MD would mount his bike and in a twist of fate fall down the hill to his demise. I mean, they're having this conversation about 'what's important', the MD agrees he should keep trucking (he's over worked and doing too many things, BTW) and that everyone else is stupid for trying to hold him down. Well, his extreme friend ends up being injured (He'll never walk again sort of thing), blames the MD for going to the trial with him (because the trail wasn't officially opened until the following week and it's some extreme thing that probably wasn't safe), and basically wants to die and blames his MD friend for ruining his 'life.'

So, in summary, because this MD was working too much his free time became too valuable. He planned weeks ahead to take the day off to do this with this guy, the trail wasn't opened so they he pressured the extreme guy into taking the risk that day, because rescheduling for next week wasn't an option, his girl was pissed because he planned to take this day off (out of his ultrabusy schedule, she'd been blown off for several weeks) without planning with her... Then they have this conversation where they guy's like 'you're not dead yet, keep busting ass to get what you 'want''.

I tried to summarize that as best as possible. So what does this mean to me?

I'm working too much. I'm constantly on the computer, writing, doing IT stuff, researching for stories, planning my own business stuff. I'm constantly detached from friends and family, trying to make something of myself... Be it more money to pay off my enormous debt (mostly from my stint at a private college but a little consumer stuff), or trying to switch careers to something less IT-centric... It's all pretty self-centered really, but it's all in the guise of taking care of my family.

In all of this, I've been struggling because I'm doing too much to really be good at any one thing. I try to look for advice from a variety of sources, movies, literature, my experience, my friends, my wife, and the Bible. I've prayed on it a lot, and had plenty of time to meditate on it.

In the end, I can only say that the best thing in life is to Savor it. Not devour or inhale your time, chasing dreams that will die before you do or with you. I keep looking back at the parable of the wealthy landowner (or farmer). This wealthy dude had a good crop, and decided to store all his crop in huge barns that he would build and he wouldn't have to work every again (sounds like retirement doesn't it). Well, he spent all his time doing this, and in the end his barns burned down and I think he died.

So, it looks like between all this, we should live each day, try to 'survive', and savor every second. If that means that I take the time and thoughtfully rake leaves, so be it. You will never ever be able to stop 'working', but if you take that work and try to get as much joy out it as possible, then you'll be ok.

I'm doing too much to savor anything, and I feel like I'm spinning my wheels and wasting my precious life without accomplishing anything, connecting with my friends and family, or really making anyone happy (not even myself).


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