Before Coffee: Fugit Inreparabile Tempus
June 2, 2016 § Leave a comment
I’ve been juggling too many metaphorical objects for the past few weeks, and had to set the softest bean bag aside—the novel in progress.
I realized that the house is, while not quite falling down around our ears, nevertheless in dire need of attention. The only way we were ever going to get to all of the chores on the lengthy to-do list was to spend my writing time doing the pulling and hauling.
So I quit writing for a bit, and it seems to be working. (I’d be lying if I said that was the only reason, or even the main reason. In reality, Tracy got tired of listening to me bitch and decided to Get Shit Done.)
We’ve knocked off the largest of the chores, and we’ve got plans in the works to finish a few others. The rest are smallish, and I’ll try to finish most of them this weekend. The ultimate goal is to get as much done as possible before our annual week of vacation, so we can do nothing but relax.
This temporary suspension of work on the novel makes me itchy, though. I was doing the math this morning, and I didn’t like the results. I’m 50. My dad is 90. Assuming I’m lucky enough to live that long, I figure I’ve got 40 years left to make a writing career. That’s 40 years max; realistically, I doubt I’ll get much done after I’m 80, and there’s long odds that I’ll even live that long.
That’s the road ahead. To truly depress myself, I looked at the road behind. Granting the first 20 years of my life to Growing Up means I’ve had 30 good Getting Shit Done years that I’ve pissed away. Where did they go?
(Someday soon, I’m going to catch myself lecturing the youths about Getting Shit Done while they’re young and healthy and don’t need six cups of coffee just to stay awake until 5:00. And that’s P.M., youngsters, not A.M.)
Fugit inreparabile tempus, to quote Virgil. “It escapes, irretrievable time.” Or, as it’s more commonly referred to, tempus fugit—”time flies.”
It’s taken me 50 years to realize how true that is.
I’m trying to be optimistic and tell myself I’ve got as much Getting Shit Done time ahead of me as I have behind me. I can do a lot in 30 years; I just need to focus.
The good news is, I got some writing done last night. Not only did I finish a chapter I’ve been struggling with, but I discovered why my bad guy thinks he’s the hero of his own story. Which is huge, because now I have a handle on him. (This, of course, means rewriting some earlier chapters, but it’s worth it.)
Anyway, time’s flying. Time to Get Shit Done.