Writing, Goals, and Mortality

Like most people, I had a brief stint where I was terrified of death and what was beyond the final breath. I think I had just discovered the theory of relativity because I realized that my life, compared to the history of the world, would be over in a flash. People a hundred years ago didn’t know about television, trips to space, or cellphones. What would I be missing when I died? What would I accomplish?

And like most kids, I got over that and went on watching Power Rangers and munching Cheetos. Life resumed a peaceful balance for about 18 years which brings us to about three weeks ago when I laid in bed staring at the wall. I asked my husband what his theories were on life after death and we chatted for an hour, swapping ideas and philosophy. Either way, I fell asleep with one resonating idea: it’s not the time that matters, it’s how you spend it.

Now I’m wondering if I’m spending my time the right way. I’ve spent the last three years of my life stressing out with teaching, managing my time, and maximizing my productivity. For some people, that’s the way they want to live their life.

But that’s not what I want.

I don’t want to come home too mentally exhausted that I don’t read, write, or enjoy my time with my husband. Escaping into TV is a fun adventure every now and again, but it isn’t healthy if that’s all I do. And it’s all I did for the past year. I came home, pecked out a few words for a chapter, and then surrendered to binge watching Hannibal. (Mind you Hannibal is my favorite TV show and I don’t regret it. I regret the hours I wasted doing NOTHING but that.) I wasn’t really accomplishing anything. I’d convinced myself that I was doing marginally well by writing a few words and watching endless TV or playing video games for hours.

This year I’m practicing making life-long habits. Drink water. Write. Read. Enjoy life. It’s a slow process, but I’m already feeling more accomplished because of these small goals. I read most nights, drink 64+ oz of water a day, and write at least 500 words a day. It’s caused my husband and I to choose our other activities more carefully.

And that’s okay.

It is.

Because I’m feeling proud and successful when I lay my head down. I don’t feel as stressed about work for a lot of reasons (a blog about the NC education system is in the works), and I’ve accomplished my goals. I’m one step closer to my dream. I’ll feel glad that they can write on my tombstone “She Never Gave Up”. And that’s fine by me. I tried, and I kept trying despite everything else in the world.

So whatever your goal is, go get it. What do you want to say to yourself at the end of the day? How are you going to accomplish that? Start. Today. Right now. Take the first step. It’s scary as hell, but you’ll feel better when it’s done.

I’ll wait here while you get started.

Get going.


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