My grandfather died last winter at 98 so I’m not even half his age yet. Maybe I’m only approaching the midpoint of my life, or maybe I’ll have massive heart attack and keel over at my desk this afternoon. There’s no telling.
Regardless, I know each day and hour are precious. But it’s hard to keep the relentless tsunami of stuff, or responsibilities, of things I want to do, from swiftly wiping each day off the board before I can even wipe the sleep out of my eyes. Life moves quickly and the further along the road I get, the faster the pages fly off the calendar.
Knowing this, trying to hold it on my mind, can help me to prioritize. But it’s still tough to keep the world at bay and to decided how to spend my time well. Often I lie in bed and think, damn, when am I going to get to read all those books I want to read or spend more time drawing with Jack or more time cooking dinner with Patti. When am I going to get to live in Micronesia or the South of France or in that little house in the meadow? When will I get to spend two hours a day at the gym or four hours a day doing oil paintings or six hours a day reading Proust? When will I learn Italian? Learn to drive a motorcycle? Defend my heavyweight boxing title?
I’m not filled with regret because I somehow feel I will get to do these things. I’m just not sure how or when. Perhaps my appetite is just larger than my calendar. Fortunately I am often insomniac so I get to spend 3 to 4 a.m. thinking about stuff I didn’t fit in during the day (most of it actually just anxious nonsense).
Anyway, this consideration of my gallon of ambition and my pint glass of life set me on the way to a new project. It’s something I’ve mulled over for a while and finally out into action. It’s an effort to really think about the things I wished I could have fit into a day and then an attempt to fit one of them into the next day.
I have just completed a project called ‘Me Time’, which is an attempt to find an opportunity to pursue the many things, small and large, that my normal waking hours just don’t allow for.
I created a record of this process, in words and watercolors, had it printed up in a cute, square format, and I must say I like it a lot.
This summer, I published “Bad to the Bone“, my first book with blurb.com, and I was pretty pleased with the results. The printing quality was great and by squeezing my markup I could offer it to for a pretty reasonable price. The book itself was a collection of drawings and paintings of dogs I’d done earlier in the year, combined with some slight doggerel, a noble but ultimately experimental effort.
‘Me Time’ is pretty different. It’s also a small and affordable book,but it was conceived as much more of a book than its predecessor. It’s tightly designed, carefully written and profusely illustrated. I also think that, as a lifestyle experiment, it was illuminating. I think that it might give readers a few ideas about how to make more of their own time, and add depth and richness to their lives. If not, well, it has a few good jokes and a couple of nice paintings.
If you’d like to check out the book and maybe order yourself a copy or two (I think it might make a nice, modest year-end gift for friends, at least that’s how I plan to use it), click the preview link on the box below.
If you order a copy, I’d love to know what you think and, whether I should continue with this sort of experiment.