Abandon Text!

W. H. Auden once said: "Poems are not finished; they are abandoned." I have been abandoning writing projects for many years, since only the pressure of deadline and high expectations ever got me to finish, or even start, anything of merit. This blog is an attempt to create a more consistent, self-directed writing habit. Hopefully a direction and voice will emerge.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Decisions, decisions

My wife is still struggling with the decision over whether to have another child.
"Why am I having such a hard time with this? I wish I could just take some Cosmo Quiz to figure out whether I really want this or not."
"Well," says I, "I'm guessing you're having such a hard time with it because you know you will be unhappy either way. If you do have one, you know that you're signing on for another year or two of intense work, on top of everything else, and all your carefully constructed routines will be blown to smithereens. If you don't have one, you're going to have to answer all those questions about what you really want to do with your life, the ones that you never really resolved ten years ago.
"So, you need to make a decision, and you always hate to make decisions, because you're always worried you'll make the wrong decision. And since you know trouble is waiting on either side of the decision, you don't want to make it."

2 Comments:

Blogger Ed Sonny said...

Is this what people call Mid-Life crisis?

I can relate to the line " you're going to have to answer all those questions about what you really want to do with your life, the ones that you never really resolved ten years ago "
Does the question ever get solved?

4:35 AM  
Blogger The Thin Man said...

Well, yes, of course. I think you could define a mid-life crisis as any point in your life when you really seriously ask yourself, "Is this what I really want?" By "seriously", I mean you are really considering changing course in your life. By that definition, people are having mid-life crises all the time, and that's a good thing, if it happens soon enough for people to actually do something about it. I try to encourage college students to have at least one before they graduate.

Does the question ever get solved? Not always, but sometimes. This is the definition of "vocation" -- when somebody decides what their life's work is going to be, and they are satisfied with their decision and entertain no serious doubts about it. Not everybody gets to have a life-long vocation, but those who do have a lot of extra "oomph" to their lives, because they can let go of all "woulda-coulda-shoulda" thinking and give themselves completely to their work.

2:56 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home