Monday, February 9, 2009

Me, Justified

“Explain yourself,” my step-father intoned from the driver’s seat as we traveled to the north shore of Oahu. “Justify your existence!”

He snickered wickedly. This is his idea of small talk.

JB is cursed with an existential preoccupation. He takes stock of life regularly—his and everyone else’s. What have we accomplished? What will we leave behind? And, after all that, are we happy? Have we learned to let go, figured out what matters, mastered a pitch-perfect balance of meaning, occupation and pleasure?

I have this same problem. That’s why we get along so well.

Of course he was only joking about me justifying my existence in a 25-minute car ride. Sort of.

He giggled with delight. “Well?”
The problem with hard work is that I’ve never felt like it was the only way to go.

I’ve done a lot of writing in the past decade but not 10,000 hours worth because I’ve filled half of those hours with other things—hiking and skiing and camping and reading a novel in the sunshine and learning to play the guitar and napping and loving and running and making money and raising babies and, finally last week, a little surfing.

I’ve never wanted to spend all of my life working, and I never have.

Perhaps at some point justifying my existence will mean learning not to apologize—not for unachieved successes, but for what was compromised for the sake of happiness.

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoy your blog. You always make me think, laugh and even sigh a little. And you look damn good without your braces.