I'm sitting in my office at work as I write this. My oldest daughter, Sydney, is sitting beside me, pecking away at her computer. We are a home school family and this year I am in charge of the Creative Writing class. Each week Sydney and I jump in the car, get away from the chaos of the house, and together we focus on the art of telling stories using the written word. Being a dad is a pretty good gig, if you want it to be.
I'm trying to come up with a topic for this post when I hear Sydney ask me, "Why are you staring at the ceiling?" Still gazing upwards, I say the first thing that comes to mind, "Well, I was looking down at my computer as I was thinking, but then gravity pulled all the good ideas to the front side of my brain, instead of the middle where my thinker is located." I nod my head downwards and motion to my forehead semi-dramatically before letting my head bob backwards to reclaim it's original position. I continue in a slow, airy voice, "I'm looking up so that my ideas will float back to a place where I can use them."
I hold my poker face as long as possible, which isn't long. I let my head lull to one side and make eye contact with her. She's grinning from ear-to-ear but her eyelids are all squinty-squinty like she's on to me. Nothing more is said on the subject. She doesn't bother asking again, probably because she trusts my propensity towards ridiculous nonsense.
Why Is Tom Annoying?
While we're on the subject of ridiculous nonsense, have you met my friend Tom? He's busting at the seams with it. Last week, for example, he decided to issue a challenge, targeted directly at me. He wants me to blog once a week for the next 6 months.
Tom is the sort of guy who knows that friendship comes with responsibilities. A good friend knows you deeply, but a true friend holds you accountable with what he knows. This is the sort of friend that I have in Tom. I try not to let it annoy me.
At the End of My Days
One thing Tom knows about me, for example, is that I love to write. Not only that but he knows I deeply regret when I don't take the time to do it. He knows that when I reach the end of my days on this earth I will have considered my time a success if I have used the art of telling stories with the written word appropriately. I want to write and share the details of my quest to finally became the man I should have been all along.
Would I like to do this to inspire others? Sure, there's a pleasant thought. But I'm afraid I'm a little more selfish than that. I've discovered a truth about myself and I want to leverage it.
What I've learned is this: The more I write about the man I'd like to be, the easier it is to be him.