As I referred to in “Dreaming of Kevin J. Anderson,” I’ve often sympathized with Freddy Mercury’s lyrics in the Queen song, “I Want It All.” The fact is, no one can have everything they desire. Success demands compromise. As with the Biblical parable of the Pearl of Great Price, the trick is to want something bad enough that you’re willing to sacrifice everything else to get it.
When my wife and I dedicated ourselves to losing weight, it was a month before we left on vacation. The entire time I was in Hawaii, I wanted to eat at the old level. I grew angry, resenting that I had to cut back. Yet I managed to channel that anger against my former lack of restraint. A friend told me later that I was foolish to have cut back when I was on vacation. When I had the opportunity to indulge on all the good food available locally, I should have grabbed it, and resumed my diet when I returned home. Yet, while I was in Hawaii, I knew that if I did so, it would be just like all the other times I had postponed a new diet. To be effective, my diet had to remain in place, not just during my vacation, but for every day of the rest of my life.
In “My Portable Desks,” I spoke of how the various circumstances life had thrown at me in recent years had resulted in an office that I could barely squeeze into, and impossible to work in. Well, this weekend my wife and I spent Friday and Saturday trying to take back the office. I don’t think I’ve felt this exhausted since we spent a weekend installing our microwave (or before that, when I did the "Prince Albert’s Message" series in May). As if this wasn’t enough, I also tried to assemble a plastic model kit Friday evening. I guess I’ve missed working with my hands lately. Unfortunately, my garage is in much the shape that my office is at the moment, so even if I could find the time, woodworking is impossible right now. In any case, after doing the series last year on the Star Trek episode “The Cage,” I bought a model of the Starship Enterprise. So instead of watching a movie and going to bed at a decent time, I dug it out of the closet. The next thing I knew, it was nearly midnight. This meant I was dragging on Saturday, and more like a zombie on Sunday.
Monday, thought seemed elusive, and writing impossible. But, since I started my blog early last year, I’ve started a new writing regime, one I’ve (for the most part) stuck with. I’m proud to declare that even though it took much longer than usual, and even though the scenes I wanted to write were difficult, I finished them. Just as important for my future, I can look into the office with hope. I can envision getting back in there eventually, and as a result, being more productive. I’ve got some old manuscripts that need a thorough going-over, after which I could probably start submitting them again. By the time I finish this particular draft, hopefully the office will be useable, and I can do just that. I don’t know what I’ll have to sacrifice in order to keep it that way, but if it’s important enough, I’ll figure out a new system that works for me.
In regards to the title, I’ve realized two things. Number One: I cannot stay up late any more without ending up with a dull mind and a weak body. Even if I sleep late the next day, I’m still exhausted! I don’t know why this should be, but that seems to be the case. And Number Two: I never had x-ray vision, but I used to have better close-up vision. Now, even with reading glasses, I had to squint to read the numbers on the plastic parts, as well as when I was trying to assemble them. So maybe I’ll have to leave the modeling to a younger crowd, and plow my mental focus into developing my new efficiency regime. I'm no longer in my twenties, so I know I'm not Superman, but why must a little less sleep, and a little extra work, drag me down like chains forged from Kryptonite? After all, Kevin J. Anderson is older than me, and he climbs mountains while he writes. Shouldn't I be a little more resilient than this?
No longer changing my clothes in a phone booth,