We’re supposed to be “ON” all the time. Right? On at work. On at home. On in bed. Where the hell did that expectation come from anyway? Even a freaking light bulb burns out and needs to be changed occasionally.
Maybe this is pure projection on my part, but it seems like it’s not acceptable to be tired anymore … or at least it’s not acceptable to admit it. It’s not acceptable to be bummed out about your life. It’s not acceptable to not give a shit about something you really do give a shit about but have finally gotten to the point where the load of it has become so heavy you can’t get it up anymore and you drop the baton you’ve been carrying over hill and dale for miles and miles and miles without stop …
You stumble and fall and don’t want to get up. Or maybe you don’t stumble at all. GASP! You … just … simply … lie … down.
Yeah. See how bad that sounds? Like you’re Frodo and you gave up half a mile outside the gates to Mordor or something and the whole Shire just got flushed down the toilet and everybody dies because YOU took a nap for an hour – or a day – or a month.
Whatever. It’s not the length of time. It’s the fact that you stopped at all.
A lot of this is driven by our idea of success. Okay –confession! MY idea of success.
I’ve realized just how much I’ve been driven by my own need for success. And by success I mean not just writing books (which is a huge feat in itself), and not just getting them published (another huge feat) … but having them be Best Sellers … and not just best sellers on Amazon.com for a day because you managed to ramp up enough joint venture social media promotions with your friends to make enough sales in a 24 hour period to qualify. Nah – that doesn’t count.
I’m talking good, old-fashioned, Elizabeth Gilbert I’ve–been-on-the-New York Times-best-seller-list for 101 weeks-straight-with-so-signs-of-stopping success.
Ahhhh, money. Money and success are like love and marriage. They go together. And I don’t mean a little bit of money. I mean enough money to not have to worry about it anymore no matter how expensive your rent or mortgage is.
So here I am, on a road trip. Which, while not exactly lying down, certainly seems like lying down compared to the work mode I’ve been in for the past 2.5 years. Yes, yes, I know. 2.5 years? You’re tired after 2.5 years? Try talking being tired after 25 years you bum. Am I projecting again? Or are there people reading this thinking that?
Anyway – I’m sitting on the back porch of my friend Betsy Chasse (filmmaker of What the Bleep Do We Know!?) down in LA, and she’s talking to some author she’s inviting onto her podcast Life Unscripted. (Check it out!) And I heard her say, “I’ve had to redefine success. I’ve decided that if I make one person smile today I’ve been a success.”
So I asked her after she hung up, “You really mean that shtick about success being making one person smile a day?”
And she replied, “Damn straight.” And went back to work.
Which is exactly why I’m on a road trip. Taking time to listen to what life has to tell me as I soak up a new attitude.