The Joys of (Not) Traveling

Although I enjoy a good road trip from time to time, I’m not really into travel. I like home base. I like to be around my dogs, my computer, my garage fridge, my deck, my world. Some people find that odd, I guess. Almost every bucket list I see says something about “travel more,” and I think, god, I’d hate to have to do that.

Luckily, I don’t have to. It’s one of the things I love about the modern world, I don’t have to travel to explore. I am an explorer, at heart. I explore ideas and history and people and the characteristics of people, and I never get tired of any of it. At the same time I don’t really care about grand canyons, vaulting pyramids, hanging gardens, teeming redwoods, gushing geysers, or cascading waterfalls. I mean, they’re neat and all, and they have their place, but I’d never go out of my way to go see them on my own. In fact, I’m more likely to pull them up on my smartphone than trek across land, sea, and air to see them.

Because I’m not all that into trekking. I have friends who love to hike, and that’s fantastic. But when I’m asked to go for a hike my first instinct is, “do I have to?” Walking for long periods of time and carrying things around are two activities I actively avoid. I’m not adverse to exercise, mind you, I just like to do it in furious twenty-minute bursts. Or less. And I have nothing against the great outdoors, I just prefer it to stay over there while I’m over here.

My favorite style of camping has room service, an adjoining restroom, and turndown service in the morning.

Even after a few days of that, however, I’m ready to go home.

Finding this out about me sometimes dismays people. They expect, as an adventurous human being with a strong social nature, that I’d be willing to take up any expedition. Others think I’m isolating myself, learning too little when there’s a whole world out there to explore. I find, however, that travelers – by and large – don’t seem to learn too much about the world or themselves that cannot be found in close observations of every day life. They get to reach out and touch things they’ve dreamed of reaching out and touching. They get to ride a mule down to the bottom of a large gorge. All these things they’ve wanted to do. But they seem no wiser about the predisposition of human nature or the terrible plight of the aborigine than they did before their trek. Travel is rarely, from what I have seen, a journey of illumination.

There are exceptions, of course. I am a living exception to so many rules that I tend not to make statements that generalize any group with assumed predilections. In fact, I envy the itinerant one. Not because of the things they see in the world, but because of what they already understand about themselves. They understand that they love to travel, they have a bucket list, and they are living it out. That’s fantastic. I’d love to love something so much that I pursued it with such abandon.

But I don’t. As complex a man as I am, I am a simple one, too. I like being near home. I love my dogs. My wife and I enjoy simple, quiet times together. I like to explore the profundities of the world 30 paces from the coffeemaker. I prefer the depth of exploration to the breadth.

I’ve tried to create bucket lists of my own before. When I try, they mostly become a list of things I do already. Then I seem to list things I think I should do, but generally don’t care if I do. I like too many things, and love the option to choose, each day, which one has my fancy most.

So, if I have a primary objective in life, it is to fill my daily world with the things I love. Right here, within my reach. A home I enjoy. Companions I cherish. A fast computer. Coffee and beer. Amazing friends. Me, being me.

If I have those things – the simple staples of a valued life – then I can die tomorrow and feel like I have not missed a thing. My bucket is already full.

If this must end in advice, which I am not of the nature to give, then I would say: follow your own heart. Always. If travel is your want, go. If leisure is your game, relax. Love nature? Hike. If you love people, mingle. If life is a celebration, revel. The number one item on your bucket list is to find what you love most. The only other item within is “do that.”

Even if that changes, every day.

Now go welcome yourself home, wherever that may be.

Saving the World (Once I Find the Time)

I have two wildly competing ideas on my mind that I hope to cover together, without sounding completely discombobulated. To be coherent I should break them away from each other and write two entries. I might. Let’s see how this goes.

Continue reading “Saving the World (Once I Find the Time)”

Tom 4.9

As I approach the final week of dailies I also approach my 49th birthday. This is always a time of deep introspection and June nearly always brings some level of previously-unattained personal growth. This year will be no different.

The first and most important change I need to make relates to my level of health. I haven’t seen a doctor since 2010. That must change. After the recent scare with my friend, I realize we must take nothing for granted. I need to exercise more, which, for me, means more morning walks with the pups, and doing daily push-ups and stretches. I’ll never be a workout warrior but a little bit goes a long way for me. My last, and maybe most important, change is to bring down that weekly unit count.

I don’t have a ton of bad habits. I’m not one to eat a lot of sugary foods. I don’t like soda much at all. I essentially have three daily liquids: coffee in the morning, tons of water all day long, and generally a couple of beers in the evening. A typical day for Tommy involves 2-4 cups of coffee, a half dozen or so 17-oz bottles of water, and 0-3 beers. June has not been a typical month on any of those scores.

When it comes to eating I generally stick to what most people call a version of a diabetic diet. I eat small, somewhat healthy foods every two hours. A banana at 8. A handful of nuts around 10. A Smart Ones around lunchtime. An apple at 2. A snack bar, or maybe one of those tiny bags of chips, around 4, and then sometime in the evening a fairly big but reasonably portioned hot meal.

Again, June has not been typical for any of those habits, either.

June has been broken air conditioners and abnormal house chores and kicking-off-the-summer celebrations and daily blogging and just about anything else you can think of that is a routine-breaking event. July will probably stack up to be unusual, as well, with the big trip thing coming up.

But I’ll do my best. On Thursday I begin my official 365-days ‘til 50 countdown. The 40s have absolutely been the best years of my life, bar none. I intend to make my 50s even better, but I might need some help. I might need some health. Just need a little better nudge in the right direction.

Any more than a nudge and it ain’t gonna happen. I’m not looking to change, just improve. Tom 4.9 is 3 days away. Tom 5.0 will be better than ever. I don’t need to rewrite the program at this point, it’s finally been running good. I just need a little software update.

And another cup of coffee.

Happy Monday, my friends. Be atypical all day long.

My Shining Moment

All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy.











All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy.

All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy.


My Own Health

I’ve been considering my own health a lot lately. Maybe it’s because of my friend’s recent battle for life, at a young and vigorous age. A battle he is still fighting, by the way. A battle he is winning, by all accounts, but with a long road ahead. Every day I hope there is some way I can help him.

Maybe it’s the loss of a great-aunt. Her name was Nadine, and her funeral was yesterday. I was telling my sister, via text, that I don’t remember if I ever met her and Uncle Vern or if I’d just heard about them. Probably somebody in the family knows the truth about that. Families and extended families can be huge, and being the youngest of 7 probably means I met many of the family elders when I was very young. I’m not very young anymore. I hope Nadine rests in peace.

Maybe it’s because I’m becoming physically aware of my own advance in time. Things hurt more when I move about. Mostly in the legs. The way the legs used to hurt when I played 5 AM basketball three times a week in 2012 for 6 months. They often feel like I played basketball yesterday. Maybe I’m not stretching enough. I can still touch my toes when I stretch, though, so that’s a thing. Heck, I can still touch my heels, most days.

But, still.

In 12 days I’ll be a year away from half a century old.

There should be some sort of daily countdown for that, right? Like The Twelve Days of Christmas, only geared to someone I know better. The Twelve Days of Thomas. Oh, I could bore the hell out of all of you with that.

🎶🎶“On the First Day of Thomas, my good friend sent to me … a Resistance link and #LockHimUp meme.”🎶🎶

No, I won’t bore you with that. As fun as it might be to do twelve of them, I won’t do that.

Unless I run out of ideas tomorrow.

In thirteen days I’ll be 50. I say that, because I have this quirky little thing I’ve done since I was first sentient. The day after I turn one age, I start referring to myself as the next. I do this because (a) I’m still a weird little shit like I was back then, and (b) it prepares me mentally for what comes next. I never fear the age I become on the age I become it because I’ve prepared myself for it for a year.

Told ya it was quirky.

More or less, I’m prepared to be 50, mentally. Or 49, for now. I don’t feel it mentally because, in my mind, I’m still a stupid kid. Honestly, if I could go back in time now and answer that dumb question we all get asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I’d answer “a stupid kid.” I never want to grow out of the age of wonder. I never want to stop playing superheroes. I never wanna grow up.

But I’m going to have to, pretty soon. I’m going to have to make a doctor’s appointment and go see if, physically, I’m about to be a 50-year old man. I last saw a doctor in 2010. I was the picture of perfect health then. I’ve carried that knowledge with me for 7 years. There is no reason to expect that has changed. No reason at all.

Except age. I guess even superheroes get older.

So I’ve been thinking a lot about my health lately. I need to acknowledge some things about the body and about reality and go see what an expert has to say. They’ll probably give me some good advice like “cut out red meat,” “stop drinking so much beer,” and “get more exercise.” Hell, I tell me that. I probably won’t follow any of it until I have to. Kids can be so stubborn.

As soon as I’m done here I’ll go research general practitioners in my network. When I was young I never thought I’d write that phrase. I’m not that young, anymore. I need to make an effort, see what’s going on inside, make some corrections. It makes good sense. It’s what we do when we get older.

I have to think about my own health.

It’s about time.

Building A Better Tom

I’ve been thinking a lot about the things I want to do, and the improvements I want to make, so let’s talk about that for a minute. I’m not sure I can do that in 400 words or less, like I promised, but I’ll try. Those 18 words didn’t help. Neither did those 5. Or those 4.

Okay, stop that.

In so thinking, about Tom being Tom, I’ve been looking over previous documents. I took a good honest look at my homemade Quality of Life scale. On the scale, I’ve basically been in the 90th percentile of personal contentment for about two years now. That’s the best it’s ever been. Some of that has come from incredibly good fortune. Most of it, though, has come from making a conscious decision to focus on what I can control, realizing what can be done to improve any aspect that is lacking, and following through.

So simple a dog could do it.

But, just like any good canine, we can only stay on track with our good behavior and good intentions as long as we are reminded what they are. For Ludo, it takes Daddy or Mrs C to do the reminding. For Tom, there is only Tom.

This morning, in my quarterly QoL update, I scored a disappointing but honest 75%. That’s still a pretty happy guy, a guy who is 75% content. For most, that would be just fine. But not for Tom. Not for happy-go-lucky, delight-in-life, fool-in-the-rain, get-that-stupid-smile-off-your-face Tom.

No sir.

The good news is, I know from experience – and from the spreadsheet – what is lacking. I know what I can do about it. I know that when my Health rating gets a 2 (NI, needs improvement) it’s because I’ve taken, like, 4 walks in 2017.  My push-ups stopped when I finished the challenge. I’m eating heavier lunches than I used to, and my beer count is a bit high. I control all that; I can fix all that. In fact, looking at the scale, there are 3 or 4 factors I can fix almost immediately that would spring my personal satisfaction rating right back into the 90th percentile.

See, and you thought I was just another pretty face. 😉 I’m introspective and self-improving, too!

There’s more I can say on the subject, and I probably will. But not today.

That’s 417 words. Pretty close. I would have made it without those nonsense sentences in the first paragraph. And this one here.

Have a great day, my friends. Never stop looking inside for answers, and never, never, ever stop improving. 🙂

My Reading Habit Tends to Suck

I’ve been working like crazy on my reading habit lately. In general, I’m terrible at it. I tend to have 4 or 5 partially read books around me, at any given time. I have 160 articles currently saved in my pocket, for later. As much as I try to recover from that number, I always seem to be behind. If I forced myself to consume two of the older ones and two of the newer ones every day, it would take me 40 days to clear the backlog. And I probably add 4 more every day. My reading aspirations seem to far outweigh my reading capability.

I’ve tried everything. I’ve tried to make Tom set aside a certain time, every day, just for reading. But Tom is a terribly elusive person with a mind of his own that likes to pick his particular passions pertinaciously at any point in the past or present. He’s apparently randomly alliterative at times, too.

I’ve checked out all the books on the subject. I’ve read the timeless How to Read a Book, by Mortimer Adler. And when I say I’ve read it I mean that I have a partially read copy around here somewhere begging me to stop being pertinacious and finish it. Terribly ironic, that. That book, by the way is on everyone’s “how to start a reading habit” list. If you ever want to start a reading habit, or finish someone else’s list, check it out.

If you like a more modern take on how to improve your reading time and retention, try Ryan Holiday. He’s got a load of articles on the subject and, despite his busy schedule, seems to find time to finish 20 books a month. That, to me, is ungodly and personally insulting.

I’m doing better, though. I’ve finished (finished!) 3 books in the last 3 weeks. A book a week is pretty damn good by my standards. I did it by making myself read one book at a time, and by enjoying the time doing it until it’s done.

That last reason is the most important. I can’t remember if it was the advice of Ryan Holiday or Dylan Andersen (two of my favorite modern muses) that got me reading for enjoyment again, but I’m glad it came. It’s changed my life. At the very least it’s changed the life of my books, who are happy to be consumed and cataloged away again.

I’m going to continue to do that, most of all. Read for pleasure. I’m not going to set aside a certain time that I must read or set a goal of how many books I must finish. None of that. I’m just going to go find me some shade (or a warm blanket in the winter), and read. As often as possible. As often as I want to. And now that I take great pleasure in it again, “as often as I want to” seems to be all the time.

Now if I can only figure out what to do with that pocket …

The Indispensable Value of Free Time

I trust my friends to tell me the truth, and my best friend did just that this week.

“This trial needs to get the f* over,” said friend.

“Why?” said I.

“Because you’re acting like an asshole!”

Maybe those weren’t his exact words, but they were close. Another friend pointed out that I appear on edge. My boss really hates my time away. Everything suffers when our life, however temporarily, is disrupted by someone else’s schedule.

I’m on a jury. That’s all I can tell you about that. It’s not that bad, the sitting and focusing and taking notes part. That’s good for me, I think. I joke a lot about my ADD. I am truly an inattentive person, whose brain is always firing, whose eyes are always wandering, whose legs are always restless. I’m forced to sit, focus, be in the now. That’s good for me. I suppose that’s worth a couple of thousand dollars in lost wages. I suppose.

The hard part for me is the loss of routine.

My wife works a lot more hours than me, so I pick up the slack. Around the house, I do more these days. So I work a full day and, when I don’t take a much-deserved beer break with my buddies (or write a blog or something), I do chores. On my day off, I do a lot more. A ton. And these days there’s a lawn that needs mowing about every 4 days. A big lawn. I call it my park. And when I don’t keep it trimmed the dog poop is really hard to find. I’m happier when I can find the dog poop.

But lately, it’s hard to keep up.

I don’t know how I did it. Between the years of 2009 and 2013, roughly, I worked a 6-day work week. Voluntarily. I had another day off back then, during the week, but I wanted money more than time so I asked, and eventually demanded, that I get to come in on my day off. I make money when I sell stuff so, honestly, it didn’t cost the company any more. And I’m real good at what I do, so it actually benefited them greatly. And, for a while, I really enjoyed it.

Until I didn’t.

When I didn’t, it took me a while to get that day back. Folks get used to a person doing something so when I wanted that day back it took several months to get it. I call the day I got it back until today the happiest days of my life. I’m sure that’s a coincidence, but that’s honest: the last few years have been the happiest of my life, and I have two days off a week. Like I said, they probably coincide more than they correlate, but there could be some relation, too.

But not this month.

This month I sit in a jury box, in perfect attention, for three full days. Then I work, to sell stuff, for three others. I get Sunday off. I have a good routine on Sundays I don’t want to miss. I’ll tell you about it sometime, but when I don’t do it – this favorite Sunday thing – I get a little cranky during the week.

I’ve been really cranky, apparently, for the last few weeks.

You’ve probably noticed. No blogs. I love writing and I love sharing and I love Being Tom. I haven’t had as good an opportunity to do that in a few weeks. I’m spread too thin.

I have a good idea what I’m going to do when I get my time back. I’m going to take the boys for more walks. I will tackle some of those projects around the house that have been in procrastination-mode on my list. I’m going to write more. I’m going to read more. I will treat very dearly the time I’ve taken for granted. You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.

I’m not here to complain; I’m happy to do my civic duty. I think people complain about it too much. The system is put together so that we, the fair-minded peers of our community, can gather and open-mindedly judge our fellow citizens in legal and civil disputes. Happy to serve. But it’s hard. It’s hard to lose a lot of money and it’s hard to lose a lot of time.

I’ll be glad when it’s over. I’ll do my level best to be the fairest of them all, and I will do this thing that I must do with pride and attention. But I’ll be happy when it’s over.

And so will my friends.

Thank you for taking the time to read my gripe.

Sorry if I came across cranky. 😉

Mission Revisit

As the news continued to pour out of Trump Tower this week about billionaire-selections for cabinet-level posts, and the promise of America took further hits to its central purpose, I dusted off my own mission statement to see if I was living up to snuff. As I explained back in March this document is a statement of my core principles in life; a reflection of the the value of Tom being Tom. It’s a rewarding exercise in discovery I recommend to all human beings of at least moderate self-awareness and current levels of evolution. This site can help you get started.

As I looked at mine, I immediately caught glimpse of certain passages and intentions that needed an update. I decided the best way to go about improving it was to break it down, sentence by sentence, to ensure relevancy. Below I show my work. Here’s what I learned this week, about Tom:

My mission is to delight in life, to show appreciation for each new day.

This I do remarkably well. Okay, sometimes I do this too well, but that’s the price of loving life. I believe we only get one crack at life (since I’m not the spiritual sort) so I think it’s important to enjoy every day and surround myself with positives. I don’t think any of us can afford to wallow in the muck too long, even when the world does stupid things. It does. It always has and always will, long before I came and long after I’m gone. But for these eight to ten decades, I get to be me like nobody’s business. I intend to do that well and enjoy the hell out of it. For the most part, I do.

In so doing I will not wallow in remorse of past things or fear the things to come, but instead revel in each trial knowing that it is in the fire that we are forged.

There’s that wallow word again. I haven’t been wallowing in any kind of remorse lately, so that’s good. In fact, 2016 has been a pretty good year for leaving things behind that wore heavy on me. I have been able to move on. And except for a genuine concern over the possibility of tyranny in America, I haven’t spent much time fearing the things to come. There isn’t much I can do about that, anyway, that I haven’t already done, so it would be pointless to stew too much. What’s that line about accepting the things we cannot change and wisdom and whatnot?

The last bit, about being forged in the fire, seems aggrandized to me. I’m not writing poetry here but a statement of purpose. Everything after the comma is irrelevant. Fires will come; sometimes they will forge and sometimes they will burn. I don’t need that reminder.

For myself I will practice balance, seeking a habit of meditation, moderation and temperance in my daily living.

In a way this has been a very balanced year for me. I have balanced revelry with responsibility, indulgence with discipline, and conflict with patience and understanding. But there are times when my moderation and temperance are out of whack with my mission, and that’s something I can work on. My habit of meditation fell apart early in the year but I have discovered a new level of reflection in my writing that seems to have taken its place. This section needs rewording.

For others I will strive to help them in their journey as I continue to define my own.

I’m not as good at this as I could be, and this has been a divisive year in some ways. I find myself in need of a greater understanding of the voyage that others find themselves on. We do not all have the same boat; we do not all sail the same seas. This line stays as it is but requires effort on my part in the form of greater empathy.

I will show love, devotion, adoration and encouragement to the love of my life, my wife and partner, every day.

I do this. I show my love and devotion daily and even when I misstep – which I do, bless my heart – I try to make corrections quickly. I fail at this most when I think I understand what is better for her than she does. Empathy, again. My mission will be clearer as I strengthen that quality.

I will remember that success, like happiness, is a product of effort and focus.

This line is fluff and will be removed from the next draft. The definition of success in my life is happiness, and I cover that in the first line of my mission. The rest of the process is about effort and focus. This line is unnecessary.

I will honor the thoughts and traditions of others even as I strive to break from traditional thought myself.

This is my favorite line of the whole exercise, and the very definition of who I am along my path. I am a big believer that many of the things that hold us back as individuals, and as a humanity, are related to our obedience to traditional thought. Things like religion and nationalism are impediments to our evolution. I am always seeking to shed such constraints to be freer in my own world view, more objective in my analysis. However, I strive to never disrespect others’ devotion to tradition. For many, it is that which defines them in their personal journey. It is not mine to judge, but to learn.

I will always seek to gain a higher perspective on my path to wisdom and personal evolution. I will find solace, and a creative outlet, in writing.

Mostly fluff. Sounds airy and all, but unnecessary except the last part.

So, after a year of staying mostly on mission, the statement gets a revision while it becomes more succinct:

My mission is to delight in life, to show appreciation for each new day. In so doing I will not wallow in remorse of past things or fear the things to come. For myself I will practice balance, seeking revelry and contemplation in equal measure. For others I will strive for empathy so that I can help them in their chosen path. I will show love, devotion, adoration and encouragement to the love of my life, my wife and partner, every day. I will honor the thoughts and traditions of others even as I strive to break from traditional thought myself. I will seek solace, and creative outlet, in writing.

Nice. But I think I’d like to make it more colloquial, like I’m talking to myself like a real person:

My primary goal is to delight in life. Just enjoy it. Time is short and there are so many great things about being alive. I want to spend as little time as possible wallowing in what was or worrying about what will come. I want balance. I love nothing so much as revelry, nothing so much as reflection. I want to understand the journey of others, and help them along their way. I will love the missus unconditionally at all times because she’s the best. I will be who I am, and let others be who they are, honoring their traditions even as I break from tradition myself.

And I will write. I will write all the time. That’s my thing.

I think I may like that better. Either way, it’s small enough to fit in my wallet now.

So tell me … what’s in your wallet? 😉

On Slowing Down

One good thing about being sick is it makes you slow down. I’ve been battling this bug for almost a week now and in that time I haven’t had my usual gusto, my usual push to “get something done; now!” I’ve had to relax. I’m not always as good at that as I could be.

Slowing down leads to intellectual exercise. Reading is one of my favorite intellectual exercises, but in my regular hustle-and-bustle mode I skim more than I read. I get the gist. I don’t digest. It feeds the beast but it hardly nourishes the soul. I’ve had more time to digest what I read this week.

Another favorite intellectual exercise of mine is to simply reflect. To sit, or lie, in a quiet place and sort through the mountains of data moving through my head. It’s shocking the amount of input we have to assimilate as human beings in the modern world. We become natural compartmentalizers, sifting through the information and storing it in places like “look at later,” “trash,” or “will I need this on the test?” It’s boggling. Meditation is a fantastic way to process it all. Our brains are natural servers and given a little bit of time and a moment away the mind can sort it all out on its own. I think that’s why a lot of folks like hiking in the woods; it’s a natural break from all these inputs.

But here’s what happens to me when I’m “away”:

I’m a natural thinker. I suppose we all are. My mind is always processing this stuff and storing it in that “look at later” folder. Most of the time, that’s the last I see that stuff. I have ideas. I have thoughts I could turn into potentialities, turn into intellectual exercises, turn into blog posts, game ideas and hours-long discourses at local watering holes. I have ideas I could turn into money. But in the cacophony of modern life I tend to pass up more ideas than I use. Who’s got the time to make money?

But in these quiet times, when I’m too sick to run around, too ill to hustle, and too tired to care, the ideas come faster. The ideas get better. The brain works harder on compartmentalizing and it finds a way to make sense of the cacophony. I begin to think I could do something really great, really soon.

But I’m terrible at writing stuff down.

I know, that’s funny, huh?

The kid who won’t shut up, this list person that I am, who likes nothing better than to take his half-baked ideas and blurt them out to the world on social media or a personal blog is terrible at writing things down.

“That’s a great idea, Tom,” Tom will say, “You have to write that down when you get home!”

Too late.

By the time I get home – or to work, or back from the bathroom, or out of the shower – a dozen new things have confronted me. Another text. A golden dog. Dinner plans. A cold beer. A moment of procrastination leads to a hundred more distractions. I’m a terribly unfocused man.

I’m the first to point out my strengths and the first to point out my flaws. I’m a great thinking man. I do it as well as anyone I know. I’m terrible at applying thought to constructive activity. Maybe worse than anyone I know.

Oh well.

I’ll record that transgression, assimilate the data, promise to get better, and store it all in the “look at later” folder. I enjoy the process of thought far better than the application of thought, anyway.

All week long the mornings have felt better than the afternoons, but yesterday morning was particularly bad. By evening, I was wrecked. At bedtime I took some sleepy medicine, it wired me, and I spent the entire night thinking in silence. It was awesome. I had some really good ideas. I was going to spring up and write them all down this morning.

I did this instead.

What can I say? I never even used to do this. I suppose if I live to be a hundred years old, and if my mind stays intact, I might just evolve into the sort of person that takes all these neat ideas, packs ’em between his mitts, and hurls ’em at the world like snowballs. Maybe.

But I’m starting to feel better, I think. I’m starting to get restive. Pretty soon there’s going to be something to get done. Pretty soon it will need to be done “now.” My gusto will return. My hustle-and-bustle will be on. In that world, Tom will go back to being Tom and all these ideas will be shelved.

I guess that’s for the best.

Life’s too short to spend all of it thinking. 😉