I had a disturbing conversation with a friend yesterday. We were talking about careers, family and even blogging. And he pointed out, as he’s done many times in the past, that I’m perpetually restless. I’m always looking for some new challenge to occupy my time. Whether it’s blogging or 1,000 other things (e.g., training for a marathon, remodeling the house, starting a new hobby), I’m always in search of the next thing. I mentioned my desire to write and publish a novel, to which he responded (and this is the disturbing part), “You’re too freakin’ old.” I’m 41.
Now his point was not that I was literally too old to write a book. His point, although he didn’t express it this way, was as follows: “You have a good job, you’re raising two teenagers, you have a nice home, and everything seems to be going fine. Why not just enjoy what you’ve got, rather than trying to climb the next mountain. As to writing a book, you’ll spend a huge amount of time on it and the odds of it actually amounting to anything are slim.” In other words, your doing OK, and shouldn’t that be good enough.
Maybe it should, but for me it’s not. To be clear, my restlessness is not motivated by money or the desire for material possessions. Rather, it is born out of a desire for purpose and clarity in my life. For all my restlessness, though, I often feel as if I lack both. I’m perpetually wondering what I’m going to do when I grow up. Some would call me a dreamer. You’ve heard the expression, “your eyes are too big for your stomach.” For me, it’s more like my imagination is to big for my reality. I can dream big, which keeps me restless, by then the realities of life hit home.
Now, after my disturbing discussion with my friend, what did I do? Well I went home and am blogging about it of course. Isn’t that what anybody would do after have a conversation like that? Hmm, I guess I’m restless. So I ask you–When is OK good enough?
Published or updated May 23, 2011.