For those who follow this blog, you may have noticed I missed my Tuesday night entry. When I started writing this blog, I committed to publishing one essay a week, if not more. Tuesday became my patterned night. I’m one who needs goals and deadlines. They push me and give me focus.
I wrote an article for this week—a long one, even. I filled it with funny stories of actors and movie sets, and tried to make a poignant tie-in to real life at the end. I even made a witty reference to George Bailey from “It’s A Wonderful Life.”
Tuesday night, I sat in front of the computer monitor for hours working on it, until my eyes were bleeding. A friend called and asked what I was doing.
“I’ve got to get my blog out,” I said.
“You don’t have to do anything,” he replied. “It’s not like you’re under a deadline.”
I muttered something like, “I am under a deadline,” then went back to work.
Eleven o’clock came and I couldn’t bring myself to publish it—I didn’t feel good about it—so I did what I said I wouldn’t do. I missed my deadline. The next day, I took another look at it through fresh eyes. I did some quick editing to make the words flow more smoothly. But still, I wasn’t happy about it.
It was missing something. Though the stories were funny (a recount of my experience on the set of the awful movie, “Gigli”), the essay itself fell flat. It wasn’t written from the heart, so I dumped it.
My life is moving into a busy period. It’s my desire and my choosing. I see things happening that fill me with excitement and passion, and right now I have a focus and clarity I haven’t experienced in years. But it’s going to be difficult and it’s going to stretch me very thin, if I’m going to get where I want to go. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Recently, a man from my church passed away. He was a well known comedian and presidential impersonator, most recognized for his impersonations of George W. Bush. He traveled wherever the job took him. He had just returned from a comedy tour of Hong Kong and was about to start a local comedy show in Los Angeles.
His housekeeper entered his residence one morning and found him dead. Natural causes. He kept himself so busy, I have to assume it all caught up with him.
I can get very focused and very determined. But when I heard the news of Steve’s passing, I had to stop and take inventory of my life. Was I pushing myself to exhaustion? Could that possibly happen to me? That night, I stayed home, picked up a Steinbeck novel and read for a while, then read some Scripture and prayed.
I’m moving into an exciting period of life, but I have to slow myself down, making sure I stay grounded. And I can’t forget praying. I figure if I put off one task a night, if it means spending the last half hour before going to bed in prayer and silence, that’s probably a good thing to do.