I thought that by the time I turned seventy years old, I’d have it all pretty much together. But last November when I hit the big seven-oh, I was still fumbling my lines and couldn’t remember where on the stage I’m supposed to stand. Let’s just say I’m still rehearsing my act.
When I was a kid my parents often told me that I took life and myself too seriously. I was supposed to laugh more … have fun … quit being so sensitive. I believed every word they spoke and started building what I thought my worth was … in their eyes.
I grew up, got married, had my own kids, and still hadn’t figured out that what I did was really good and important. Whenever I thought I was doing something wrong, which was most of the time, I’d say, “I’m sorry.” I still say it, but not as much as I used to. I recognize those words as just a misguided belief and an old habit that may take a long time to find its way into the trash can.
A few days ago, in the midst of making an appointment, I was confounded when I tried to schedule a time that would be convenient for me. In the past I always found it much easier to schedule things whenever it was best for the other person. Even if I had something else to do, I’d somehow find a way to work around it, never wanting to inconvenience anyone else. I was constantly frustrated and anxious about my own work and how I was supposed to get it done. And I often blamed the other person for being uncooperative. No more.
The other day when I told the receptionist what time I could be there, she told me that it wouldn’t work; that they don’t take appointments between noon and two. But this time, without a second thought, I told her that 1 PM was the only time I could meet. I told her that I work from 9 AM till noon, and my chosen time was the only one that would work for me, as the rest of the day was filled to the brim.
I felt annoyed; prepared to argue it out. But there was no need. She smilingly said, “Oh, okay. We can do that,” and quickly wrote my name down in my chosen time slot.
For days I’ve been stunned that I said what I had and that the receptionist was so willing to help me out. I’m flabbergasted and embarrassed that it’s taken me so damned long to take my work and myself seriously enough to just say, “No, I can’t do that.” I’m proud of myself for the commitment I’ve made to the work of writing my book. In the past my thoughts would have been something like, “I’m just writing a book. What’s the big deal?”
Tonight join me as I toast myself for finally beginning to learn my lines.
How about you? Do you take your dreams seriously or just dismiss them as unimportant?