It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important. – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
And really, any time spent on something loved is no waste. We might look back and think, oh I wish I’d done this or that, but what about the things we did do? We might think, I’d better get to this list of stuff before it’s too late, before I run out of time. But what about the list of stuff that has already been accomplished?
I bet it’s vast and impressive. I bet it’s filled with poetry and love. I bet it’s longer than you think and grander than you imagined.
So why not take a moment and make a list? Start with 10 things that you have done at any point in your life that stand out. Then maybe add 10 that are prompted by those first 10. I bet if you dig around you could make a rather large list. And who is to say what is an impressive accomplishment but you? It’s easy to compare one’s self (oneself?) to the great and glorious happenings of the people who live huge swaths of their life in the public eye, but I wonder if those things would make it onto their lists? Here is mine.
- I did not lose my shit on my first day in kindergarten, only because I saw a kid do it and it wasn’t pretty, and I didn’t want to be that guy.
- Apparently I used to talk to a boy who never spoke to anyone before I came along. He came to my 5th? 6th? birthday party in a powder blue suit and gave me a doll in a blue dress with a white crib named Alice.
- When I was 13 I wrote a kids book about a dragon named Wuffle who couldn’t breathe fire, and my best friend Shannon did the brilliant art work. It is a really good book and maybe one day I’ll publish it.
- I have never been fired, though I probably should have from the Goods in Ymir more than once.
- I went to school to be a heavy duty mechanic, and finished, even though I hated it and knew that I didn’t want to be a mechanic less than halfway through.
- I published a book of poetry that had to have a second print run, because the first sold out.
- I was able to treat my sister to Costa Rica.
- I spent most of my twenties barefoot, and working in music production.
- I’m really good at video games.
- I once helped remove two engines from a boat, take them apart and fix them, put them back together and reinstall them, to perfect working order.
Those are some grand and glorious things. But what about the smaller things?
- I got to see the Marriage of Figaro at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees in Paris. Halfway through I realized there were no speakers, no sound equipment, it was all the projection of their voices that carried the opera through the theatre.
- I had an indoor hanami (where the Japanese gather in parks to watch cherry blossoms fall) party for my birthday when I lived somewhere that was too wintery for spring to show itself on my birthday, and all my friends pitched in and helped it be spring in my house.
- My mother braved the mountains in November to make sure that she was at my very first book launch. I was upset at the time because I’m not great with surprises like that, but in hindsight it was such a great gift.
- I got to go surfing with my witchy sisters and faery goddaughter on her 17th birthday.
- Tasha wouldn’t drive the car for me when it was parked on a hill, and that’s the story of how I learned to drive a standard.
- That time I got everyone guest listed at Sarah Harmer.
- Comped to Zap Mama and drinks with Aidje after.
- The drives to Soundwave.
- The drives from Soundwave.
- Frogs as early warning systems.
- Lost dogs coming home.
- Fireworks on my dad’s birthday.
- How it just gets better as we go along.
- All the times we laughed until tears, there were so many.
This is just the beginning. There is so much, but for now I will carry myself to bed and dream of all the times I’ve not wasted.
I bet you have a whole bunch too.