Like all of you I have a myriad of day to day chores, most of which I'd like to wriggle my nose at and make go away. But Samantha is no longer with us and even if she was it's still our problem not hers. Each day the choices sits before me like they were written on a chalkboard: start the laundry, walk the dog, check email, eat breakfast, read for 1.5 hrs. meditate, eat lunch, clean house, run errands, find Lamplighters, return phone calls, put your financial manager hat on and after March 1st add gardener to your list. I'm sure there's a lot more but trying to sift through and figure out which is most important is the challenge. Sometimes I daydream about how many more years (or days) before I have to drop my body. Curses!! No matter how long (or short) away it is I'll never get everything on my to do list done. Okay, now that I'm being honest with myself I might as well delete (honestly) what isn't important and capture what is. That way, when I do drop my body I'll feel fulfilled (or something equally feel good).
Okay, let's start with what is most important in my life. My family and friends. Dang that was easy. So phone calls and emails get taken care of first. Now, what's next? Lamplighters! I only have 46 chapters in six countries and I need thousands in hundreds of country. Good Lord! Such arrogance. Oh well, I need something to get my pot stirred so I need to find all these glorious and wondrous people who are going to be a part of the army of the Lamplighters. Marketing my books is the next on the list. I bury my head in my hands as I drift into a zombie like state at my own inability to be a Marketing Expert. I don't even know how to have a garage sale much less sell the four books I've published. My publisher says get in your car, pile a ton of your books in the back and start driving to every single church there is. They're supposed to be the people with the biggest problem of incest and childhood sexual abuse. Do a speaking engagement at each one while you busily collect money for your books. But I can't do that right now, maybe later. ( I'm so good at convincing myself that I can do all that later - is that what they call procrastination?) I'll send out so many emails to so many religions they're going to have to start Lamplighter chapters just to get rid of me.
Besides I have a husband and a Golden Retriever who are very dependent on me. Without me, Tom (my husband, the illustrator, who's life is so simple all he has to do when he gets up is link up to Flickr,the photo sharing social organization and he's good to go)would be sleeping in a sleeping bag on the bed - so he doesn't have to make it in the morning, eating Jimmy Dean Sausage and Biscuits for breakfast, which means you have to use the microwave, eating popcorn for lunch (more microwave) and several more hours of counting his fans on Flickr (he's had about 3 million hits which makes him way more popular than I am), then go to bed and do the same thing the next day. Without me, Guinevere, our adored Golden Retriever who, at 85 pounds, sleeps in bed with us and sometimes actually lets us use the pillow for a change, would be digging through trash cans for food instead of eating the gourmet feed I give her twice a day. All she wants out of life is to eat, get tummie rubs, go for a walk and play in the yard. That is her list of what is important. Tom's list is simple. It has one word: Flickr. I'm what's known as a Flickr widow.
But I'm still back to figuring out the importance of being important. I guess after people what's important to me is books. Books to read (we have about 8000 and I read about 5 a month), books to catalogue in my Excel program and organize in our 45 ft by 9 ft library (ha you think I'm joking), book sales to go to at the Pima County Library Book Sale in Tucson, books to write (I've written 15, sold 4)and books to sell. Mostly, I wonder if there is a books anonymous 12 step program I could attend. It's the only hope for me.
The good news is I've figured out what's most important and I'm involved with both every day. I have a few on the sidelines, hiking, gardening, traveling, entertaining company, playing piano and/or guitar, cooking a wicked pot roast, but what the heck. I'll get to them in good time.
So this is all you need to be happy. Figure out what's important and what isn't and throw the latter away. After all, there are only 365 days in a year and who knows how many years you'll get. Make sure each day counts.