If you could do anything what would you do is a question that vexes me because it tugs on two different sides of me with reckless abandon.
It touches upon the dreamer who doesn’t accept limitations and is willing to run through walls and will dance in the fire for as long it takes to get it done.
But there is that other piece that says, “slow down cowboy and deal with what you know is real.” I hear that voice and I nod my head because it is sensible to take a step back and try to focus on the things that are possible and ignore that which isn’t.
Yet every time I do that a piece of me dies a slow death. It reminds me of decades of playing football without pads and repeating the mantra that you only get hurt if you are scared.
Calm your nerves, quiet the whispers and run across the field without fear and all will be well.
It works. I know from experience. More than 30 years of playing tells me that there have been sore muscles, some bruises and one dislocated finger.
My grandfathers and father told me many times that I was being foolish and that one day it would catch up to me. I laughed and told them that I would fight the devil himself and prevail because that is just how it is.
I see them shake their heads and I understand because I would tell my son not be a fool. It is foolish talk and no one outruns life forever.
Balance Can Be Had
Balance cannot be found in everything but in this area it can be. I can marry these two schools of thought. I can find a place where it is comfortable for all of us and that is what I try to do.
My approach is to look at the question in simple terms.Â It is not about what superpower I want but how I want to live my life. That is the root of the question. If you could live anywhere, with anyone and do anything what would those things be.
I suppose this is part of why I want to live to be 1,000. There are lots of places I want to live and things that I want to do. I want to live long enough to become an expert and an authority on these things. I want to spend enough time living in these places that I am not a tourist or newcomer.
That is all fine and good but it doesn’t answer the question in the way that it needs to be answered. That answer is subjective and will be different for all of us.
I am willing to share some of these thoughts with you but not all of them. Some of what I am working towards will remain unspoken and unwritten. That is not because I am afraid to share it but because we all need to secure pieces and parts of ourselves for those who matter most and no other.
The general focus here is to do the things that feed my soul and make my heart swell. It is to live a life of as much love and laughter as a man can experience.
It is why I keep pushing myself to become a better writer. It is why I focus on the creative side.
Responsibilities Versus The Song of My Heart
There are little people that lean on me. They expect me to love them unconditionally and to keep them safe from harm. They expect me to listen to their stories and to teach them things about life and living.
It is an obligation I never forget about. It doesn’t upset or anger me. I knew what I was doing. I wanted children, more than I have now.
But that doesn’t mean that I love mine any less. It is not even a question.
What is challenging is trying to figure out how to give them what they need and deserve while not losing sight of myself and my dreams. There is no guide or map book for this.
Some of this falls into the category of learn by doing. There are moments when being a parent is a bit like walking through a dark forest at night without a flashlight or moon.
You do your best not to trip too many times and hope that you don’t get scraped up too badly. Those mysterious crunches and the things youÂ sense lurking sometimes make you uncomfortable, but you ignore them and keep moving ahead because that is what is required.
When I Close My Eyes
I tell my children the goal is to fall asleep knowing that we did our best and that even when we have a bad day that should be enough. It is harder for me to accept it, but I try.
It works best when I know that I am doing my best to live in sync with the life I want to live.
What about you? If you could do anything what would you do?
This is part of Just Write #44.