Kenny Chesney does a great version of the song, Don’t Blink. If you’ve never heard it, at least check out the lyrics. It is a poignant commentary about the way life seems to fly by, in the blink of an eye. For instance, as a young man, I remember thinking I would never live to see the year 2000. Today, I was reminded of the day I woke up and thought, “What happened?” In the blink of an eye, I was celebrating the end of the 20th century.
This morning was a bit of déjà vu. My last essay, article, post, or whatever you want to call it was May 30, 2012. It was published at an “An Old Cop’s Place.” My last “An Old Sinner” post was May 15. When I sat down to write this morning, I did not realize it had been three months since I’d last published!
I started this piece to explain my absence to those who follow my writing. In fact, the original title was “Back in the Saddle,” and the opening paragraph started, “I have not written in several weeks.” Several weeks! I lost a whole summer somewhere along the way.
Actually, I did not lose anything. What I did was honor a commitment, and though my writing time suffered, I maintained my integrity and honored my commitment. Commitment and integrity are both critical to me. I will likely write about them in the future.
Today I am writing about something just as important, not blinking. Okay, I am not really writing about blinking. I am, however, writing about the way many of us live our lives. As the lyrics say at one point, “Just like that you’re six years old and you take a nap and you Wake up and you’re twenty-five and your high school sweetheart becomes your wife. Don’t blink.”
Earlier this year, I realized I was not following my own advice, the advice I had given others many times. I was not following my heart. I was not doing what I loved. I was not doing what I felt called to do. I was letting practicality and fear hold me back. I decided to listen to myself and make a change. Then I blinked.
I blinked. I decided I could not change things overnight. I worried about the commitments I made to others. I worried about the money I would lose and the adjustments I would need to make if I dived full-time into what I wanted to do. I decided I could work my way out of the situation quickly and then focus on the things I really enjoy writing, teaching, and coaching. I blinked.
Today. Three months later, I had not finished one piece for An Old Cops Place or An Old Sinner. Three months later, I was not one step closer to teaching or coaching. I blinked.
So! What is the point here? The point is this. If you have a dream, don’t blink. Don’t take your eye off of the dream. Keeping commitments is important. Providing for your family or contributing to your family’s income is essential. It is also crucial to find a way to achieve those goals without compromising your dreams. Don’t blink!
Oh, yes! I am back in the saddle. Let’s see if I can keep the commitment to myself!
© S. E. Jackson 2012