A month of somedays
Eleven years ago, I started a blog by this title. I thought it might be fun to go back and revisit what started the journey of processing life through writing. This was my first ever written, a work that continues today in Epiloger.
My friend, singer-songwriter Jimmy Yessian, now gone too soon, had a song called “Someday” that examined all of the reasons we give ourselves to not do that “thing” that should be a priority, whatever that thing is. I was reminded of that yesterday when a visiting pastor spoke on embracing life’s difficulties. He stated that most of us live by what I call, “If/Then” rules. If I get skinnier/fatter/taller/ thinner/ younger/older (to use his examples) then I can do this “thing” that I should be doing.
Of course, his examples of what we should be doing were far more spiritual than mine, but I think the rule applies, nonetheless. For I believe that most of us are living in that “cause/effect” world, which is very logical, by the way. If I DO this thing, then I will get some reward, like the mice in a cage who learn to press a lever and get food. The problem is, most of us are reaching for a lever that is placed beyond our reach. Or we are reaching for a lever that doesn’t exist. Or we are reaching for a lever that everyone around us tells us is there and crucial to a joyful life except that we are wired to never see it.
What if, and here’s that cause/effect thing again, what if we simply reversed the variables? What if we simply put the goal first and the steps second ? It might look something like this: If I go to Hawaii, then I will get skinnier. If I start a program to help the food banks, then I will find a way to get the money to fund it. If I… then… you get the point.
I was reminded of this principle when my husband and I went to see a financial advisor, which, if you knew us, would cause you to explode into hysterical laughter. Our total interest earned on investments last year was about $2.21. That should give you some idea of what incredible savers we are. As we were looking at a pitiful list of assets, the advisor asked why, after 25 years, we owed so much money on our home.
Feeling a bit like a guilty school aged child, I explained as rationally as I could that we refinanced the house throughout the years to fund important business in our family. “Like what?” he asked suspiciously. So again I explained, in as rational a voice as I could, that our daughters needed college educations, and there were two weddings, and then we had to take the whole family to Hawaii.
I cannot begin to describe the look of distain on his face or the tone in his voice when he addressed us. It was, in his opinion, a terrible mistake to have wasted our money that way. In his world, if you refinanced your house for frivolous reasons, then you would have no money on which to retire (and we are, by the way, not spring chickens).
But here’s what it looked like in the reverse: Because we refinanced our house and took my in-laws and my mother to Hawaii, we now have memories of a trip that we will take to our grave. We have stamped into our minds my dear mother-in-law rising exhausted each morning for just one more snorkeling trip. We have her picture in our minds as she flopped around on a hard seat on the back of a speeding raft over what seemed to be mountainous waves announcing, “I have always wanted to do this!” We have memories of her husband, not up to activity, sitting on the porch drinking coffee and doing crosswords as he waved us off each morning to our adventures. And we have the knowledge that had we not refinanced the house, none of those memories would be there, for his father died a few months later.
So today was another someday for me. Someday when I have time, I will start a blog. Inspired by a fellow writer, Ty, I went to set one up and found out I had done so over a year ago, but never written the first word. Today, I switched the formula. If I start the blog, then I will have time to write.
Someday is today.