Friday, July 6, 2007
Backing Over Pots and Pans
When I was a teenager, I used my finely honed driving skills to back over some camping equipment that had been left on the side of our family's driveway. The car was not damaged, but some pots and pans were crunched, and it was my responsibility to replace them. Looking back on it, I don't understand why it was so hard to get new ones. Maybe they were a model that was no longer available...but they were just cooking pots for camping, so what did it matter? Maybe I didn't really want to pay for them because who'd left them there on the driveway to get run over, anyway? But it was on me to replace them, and bottom line -- I put it off. I kept those smashed pots in my closet, and every time I opened the door, there they were, reminding me that I hadn't done what I was supposed to do. Many years later I was talking to Mark about something that I needed to take care of and I said, "I've just got to do it. It's making me old." Thinking back through the events in my life, the first time I ever experienced that "making me old" feeling was those pots and pans. I also see them as the edge of the wedge. Oh, to go back to the day where the only thing that was "making me old" was replacing a few pots and pans! But defining and analyzing helps to address the situation; helps you take steps to deal with the things that are weighing on you most. So after re-re-rewriting the "grueling rewrite" book of previous postings, after getting a really great start on the new Sammy Keyes, after sending out letters to people about ETRTR and looking into getting a professional publicist to help out with the campaign, I finally sat down and took care of something that was making me VERY old--fan mail. Oh, my goodness. The accumulated box of letters was daunting and I just didn't know how I was ever going to get through them. I actually toyed with they idea of just chucking them. Who could blame me? Who would ever know? The kids would probably figure I never got their letter. Shoot, they'd probably become someone else's "#1 Fan!!!" during the time their letter had languished in my box. But some of these kids pour so much into their letters. They're so sweet. And the fact is I would know. Talk about making yourself old! Ay-yay-yay! So I had my son help me sort it into piles, then worked from pile to pile. And two weeks of steady work later, da-da-da-DA! I'm done!! What a relief! And it feels good to think that those kids who wrote me will open up their letters and be happy! And I can finally get this box out of my office! Oh, what a glorious day. I feel so young!