“An Evening With Mr. Responsibilty” or “I Hate Cats!”
Driving into work this morning, a million ideas for this article popped into my head. I thought to myself I should record these on my iPhone so I don’t forget later when I’m actually writing this article. I figured my memory is good enough to remember a few ideas. Then when I sat down to begin writing it struck me that I’m 45. My memory is limited to what my wife tells me we’re having for dinner, I have to get gas on the way home, and the guy Obi Wan cut down with his lightsaber in Episode 4 was named Dr. Evazan.
I come up with my best ideas in two places: in the car as I make my way to work at 5:30am and around 3:30am when I’m jerked out of a deep sleep by the idea. Either way, it ain’t the greatest of places to begin making notes. I guess what I’m saying is that I need a new system. I’ll work on that.
My workday mornings consist on the same chaotic routine daily. 5am I awake to the barely audible beeping on my Casio watch (I got it for 50% off). I’m a very light sleeper. I have ninja-like reflexes when I sleep. NO ONE can sneak up on me. Not even the cat (stupid cat)! I shower, shave and… you know. I make my daughter’s lunch, make my lunch, make the dog’s breakfast and I’m out the door in 30 minutes or less. I merge onto the 401 in Toronto traffic. It’s like being in a real-life version of Super Mario. Cruise to work in about 50 minutes. At my desk with a cup of tea by about 6:50 and ready to face the day. Rinse and repeat. This is my life for the time being. Can’t say, with any level of honesty that I love this situation but there ya go. This is the way it has to be for now. But I’m often looking to the future and how I can secure enough income to support my family on a solely creative capacity. I have all these talents and skills but do you think I can make a goddamn living at it? Uh uh! Why? Because I’m Mr. Responsibility and I can’t take chances with my family’s future. Plus, it might have something to do with the fact that everything I’ve put out there is shit. I’ll work on that too.
The thing about having talent is that if it remains unused, the older you become the more it becomes nothing more than a conversation piece. I’m probably one of the only artists out there that doesn’t make any art. When you factor in my day job, my children, my wife’s job, the cat (stupid cat), I just don’t have the time I’d like to commit to my passion. I feel trapped between what I HAVE to do and what I WANT to do. I know you know what I’m talking about. It happens to everyone at some point in their lives. It’s damned frustrating! But like a kidney stone, it’ll pass.
It goes without saying that the older we get the more complicated life is. It seems that every corner we turn in our adult life is fraught with new responsibilities. I sometimes look back on the days when I had virtually no responsibilities. I had no kids, no wife. I could sleep in till Thursday and eat Sugar Puffs for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I could waste an entire day cataloguing the various species of dust mites I found in my apartment. But despite the bedlam, burdens and bullshit I really wouldn’t change much. I can’t even begin to think about life without my wife and kids. They’re a blessing (even in text that sounds sarcastic but I mean it). As for the responsibilities, well, they may not lessen but as we age I think we become better able to deal with them. They just become second nature.
We all dream of something better. Whether it be a better job, less cats, bigger house, nicer car, less cats, we all have the capability to BE better. I have to be better. For my kids, my wife and for myself. The beauty of being in my forties is that I’m aware of my limitations. I know who I am and what I’m capable of. I know I have the skills and talents to do great things. I just gotta come up with that ONE idea that’s breaks the barrier. How do you stand out from everyone else in the world? That’s a discussion for another time.