Exercising the writing muscle

Okay, here we go. I’ll write as many mostly unedited words as I can before I give up and turn on Better Call Saul.

These days I have a rule. I can watch my Netflix show if I’ve read a book for an hour during the day. This rule has led to a wonderful habit: laying in my bed in the afternoon with the fan circling above me as I indulge myself with some prose or nonfiction. I’m reading a lot more and it’s lovely. I’ve been averaging almost a book a week. I read Catalyst in a weekend, having picked it up at the airport after forgetting to pack a book for our trip to La Jolla. The weekend after that I read The Happiness Project on the plane to Colorado. I knocked the whole thing out, cover to cover, on each leg at 30,000 feet.

Tonight, for whatever reason, I’ve decided I also have to write before Netflix-ing. So here I am.

I’ve been playing piano too. Moonlight Sonata is my new jam and I already know that I’m going to miss learning it once I have the piece memorized. It’s such a beautiful work of art. Each measure is ripe with emotion and pretty easy to play. I’m adding only a few bars each week. It’s slow progress, but like I said, I’m enjoying it. I don’t want it to end.

For a while I was writing more too. Sitting down like this, usually between 8 and 9pm, to compose something thoughtful. This routine has been harder to keep up… for no good reason at all. I just haven’t prioritized it.

So tonight I’m doing what the books tell me to do. I’m writing nonsense for the sake of writing. Just get the words down, edit later or throw this away. Who cares? Not me. I’m just doing this so I can enjoy my Netflix in a few minutes.

There are three windows above the stairway. Through them I can see what looks like a pine tree but it must be an oak. We don’t have any pine trees in our cul de sac (aside: did you know the plural of cul de sac is culs de sac?)

Tonight my girls were in fine form. They ran around like lunatics, yelping and screeching, chasing each other on the big couch I’m sitting on now. They get along very well these days. As Norah gets older she plays better and longer. There are far fewer tears than there were even just a few months ago. I can see her shed off her younger tendencies and approach her growth with something close to grace. I am grateful for this. Lily never gave me any concerns; Norah was not always so easy to read. But for now this ship is sailing on course. I like where it’s headed. I’m excited for the journey.

I have two girls who love me very much. It’s good to be a dad.

In fact, the closer I get to 40, the more I see myself looking like 40, the easier life becomes. There are fewer expectations of what’s coming, more enjoyment of what’s here and now. I still look forward to the future, still believe in the promise of more achievement, but I no longer dwell on it. It doesn’t eat me inside. I can do both. I can deeply, sincerely appreciate what’s before me and await anxiously what comes next.

I’m not afraid of time anymore. I’m grateful for every day.

Whatever, that’s enough.

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