Rockin’ The Apocolypse

Hammock Heaven

Hammock Heaven

If you are a writer who actually makes your living with your words, and that was exactly what you wanted to do with your life, I am very happy for you. I’m also thankful that you’re around, because you inspire me, show me proof that it can be done, and possibly give me some damn fine reading material.

But let’s be honest. I’m also jealous of you, in the same way the teenage girl in the hand-me-down clothes hates her best friend for just the briefest moment when she shows up to school in her new Hollister hoodie (or whatever the trendy expensive teenage girl thing is THIS month).

The news this week has been all apocolypse, all the time. It seems no one, including me, really believes it, but this old dude and his followers going on and on about the rapture does make for good TV. And believe it or not, it also makes me think.

On Thursday, I sat in my office all day auditing computer stuff.  There are many things I never wanted to be in life. A proctologist. Anyone whose job involves touching other people’s feet. An auditor. Thankfully, auditing isn’t a constant part of my job. This is just a special project, and while I whine about it I’d still rather audit records than examine someone else’s toe fungus, so things could be worse.

Even so, I couldn’t help but think, as I sat there on the verge of a boredom coma in my office on a pretty spring day, about the Doomsday that was supposed to be today. I realized with a startling intensity that if I really thought the world would end in two days, I would so NOT be doing what I was doing at that moment.

If truth be told, I can say that about my work most of the time. So of course, that led me down that whole “shouldn’t you live EVERY day like it is your last” road. That’s a nice thought, but realistically, it just isn’t something we can all do all the time. The bills have to be paid, and we don’t all get to be rock stars or famous writers or astronauts or whatever it was we wanted to be.

I’ve been in a bit of a questioning phase about what I’m doing lately. Working all day and cramming as much writing or writing-related activity as possible into my free time. I love the writing part, and wouldn’t change it for anything. Yet, sometimes I get incredibly sick of sitting at a computer with bleary eyes and cramped muscles. That’s what I do at work, too, when I’m not in meetings. I can’t help but wonder sometimes if all this pressure I”m putting on myself is making me miss a lot of good living, when the workweek already makes me miss so much.

So I’m glad I had those what-if-it-was-really-the-end thoughts, in that not-believing-it kind of way. They reminded me why I do what I do. I’m doing this to inch closer to having that life, to maybe actually being one of those writers who earns their keep with their words. To inspire myself the way those writers inspire me, without having the kid in the hand-me-down-clothes flashes of jealousy.

It is worth it, and I’m going to keep on keeping on. But I’m also going to try to strike a little more balance in my life, to spend more time really being in precious moments, rather than just existing in them while I think about my next story or what I have to get done at work by the end of the day. To exercise more, to stretch, to laugh, to see new things. To rest and just be now and then.

This Saturday morning dawned bright and clear, a perfect day here in Baltimore. The world didn’t end, just as I knew it wouldn’t. A normal Saturday morning will find me pecking away at the computer, getting in a good long stretch of writing time. The original plan for this Saturday, though, was to head out shopping in search of some much-needed summer workwear. Because yeah, in spite of what that old rapture man says, Monday is coming back.

But then I stepped out into my yard, and saw the blue skies and the fluffy clouds and the leaves on my trees dancing and dipping in a gentle breeze. I wanted nothing more than to be just like them.

So that’s what I did. Just for today, I said shit on the work clothes, shit on the cleaning, and yes, even shit on the writing. I have spent almost the entire day in my hammock instead. Sometimes, I am immersed in “House Rules,” a Jodi Picoult novel I’ve been meaning to get to forever. Sometimes, I am napping. Sometimes, I am staring up at the treetops and those fluffy clouds.

But I am always swaying just a little, suspended in midair, rocking gently.

Rockin’ the Apocolypse.

I’m glad Rapture Man is just a little off his rocker, and that I’ll have plenty of time to do this again. But I’m also glad he’s been making such a fuss, and getting me to think a little.

Hope you’re rocking your Doomsday too, whatever that means for you.

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About hawleywood40

Writer, Steelers Fan in Baltimore, Frequent Visitor to the Shot Fairy
This entry was posted in Personal Development Mumbo-Jumbo Stuff, Reading, Slices O' Life, Work, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Rockin’ The Apocolypse

  1. l'empress says:

    Of course it’s not gonna end today; you seem to have perfect weather for the Preakness.

  2. tsonoda148 says:

    Although no one would ever want me anywhere near numbers, I have to completely agree with your statement “I’d still rather audit records than examine someone else’s toe fungus, so things could be worse.” LOL. That cracked me up.
    Enjoyed my doomsday, for the most part. And I totally enjoy your blog!

    • hawleywood40 says:

      My doomsday was awesome too – we should have more of them (okay, not really) : ). And sometimes it helps to remind yourself that even when things suck, they could get worse. Hope you’re having a great Monday!

  3. It’s Sunday and we’re still here. I put off cleaning my house, just in case. Great post. Sometimes it’s good to do nothing. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself.

  4. akamonsoon says:

    Love the pic of you in the hammock! Great post, too. I also went about my daily business of grocery shopping and napping on Saturday. Luckily I enjoy both. Not a bad way to spend the supposed ‘end of days’.

    • hawleywood40 says:

      Wow – finally something to prove we don’t totally share the same brain, Monsoon : ). I hate to shop for anything – dislike stores of all kinds so much they should take my chick card away. I have to psych myself up to go buy flip-flops, and I LOVE flip flops!

  5. The Hook says:

    Great “End of Days” post! I’m sure there are people out there who are jealous of you for one reason or another; “the grass is always greener on the other side” and all that.

  6. Amy Isaman says:

    Its so nice to know there’s a kindred spirit out there! I actually got online today and browsed jobs – I was faced with a stack of essays on To Kill a Mockingbird that needed grading (still do). I didn’t make much progress. If I never grade another essay, it won’t be too soon, but you’re right that I’d rather do that than examine toe fungus! I’m so glad you enjoyed your day. How’s the Jodi Piccoult novel? I haven’t read that one yet.

    • hawleywood40 says:

      I am loving “House Rules,” and I’m about 2/3rds of the way through it. It is very touching, the storyline is captivating, the characters are wonderful and flawed, and I’m learning tons about Aspberger’s.

  7. Lisa says:

    Terrific writing and a thought-provoking post! I am also going through a questioning phase.

    Don’t give up. You’d got what it takes.
    ~ Lisa

    • hawleywood40 says:

      Thank you Lisa! So many of your posts have given me food for thought and inspiration, so knowing that you go through these questioning periods too makes me feel much better : )!

  8. Pingback: Links for Writers | Writing Life

  9. I’m finally catching up on reading posts from my favorite blogs and found yours by way of somewhere else. Anyway, great post, great writing, and I also remember the Day of the Apocolypse. It got me thinking as well about what I would be doing if it really was the last day. At the top of my list would be going to Baltimore to visit my son–I love visiting Baltimore and envy the life he has down there. I imagine we would eat, drink, and make merry at all his (and my!) favorite spots and then pick a place to spend the end. Actually, his FB post for that day talked about seeing the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie that day–just in case there was no tomorrow. LOL So, yes, the grass always looks greener on the other side, but I think I would much rather be wiggling my toes on your side than mine. And, I will. This weekend.

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