Saturday, March 19, 2022

Do Not Waste Time

Scott D. Parker

Four simple words. That’s all they are, but they carry so much.

If you’ve been following my post over the past few weeks, you’ll know that I’ve been struggling a bit. Most of us creatives struggle from time to time, and this was my latest. The good news is that, as of last week, I was out of the funk, with a new plan to write, publish, and, most of all, have fun. What I didn’t do is dwell on on the lost years in which I could have been publishing my stories. That’s water under the bridge, and dwelling on that only leads to more depression, something no one needs.

Then the other news struck. Twice. And the perspective grew sharper.

A week ago today, a friend of mine sent a text to a group chat. He was blunt: he has cancer. Shocked, I was five words into a text response when I figuratively slapped myself and picked up the phone. We had a nice conversation. His type of cancer is treatable, but he’d never be free from it. A Christian, my friend is actually calm about the entire situation. I admire his fortitude and his faith. Needless to say, for me, the news was a shocker.

Then, not three days later, my mom called. My dad’s longest friend passed away. The friend was in his car, about to go to work, and just died. My dad’s friend had moved away from Texas nearly fifty years ago so it wasn’t like there would be a number of events and gatherings that would suddenly have an empty chair, but my dad and his friend talked frequently and kept up with each other.

Those two things are much more significant that my creative output and happiness, but it got me to thinking. Sure, I had piddled away numerous opportunities to write and publish my stories, but for whatever reason, I haven’t.

While I had already determined a nice, reasonable publication schedule, the twin doses of bad news sharpened my focus. No one person knows how many days he or she has in this life, and it’s best to make the most of each day. I make that a habit, thanking God every day for the gift of life.

But on the creative side of things, it got me thinking about the stories I’ve already written and the ones yet to come. I want to share them, preferably on this side of life. And, to date, the only thing holding me back…is me.

I have, undeniably, wasted months and years of my creative life when I could have be sharing my stories these past number of years. I missed those opportunities, but I will strive not to miss the future ones. I will not waste time.

So, today, like Marietta wrote earlier this month, hug every member of your family, tell them you love them, and pick up the phone and make a call to that person you haven’t spoken to in a while. You will be so glad you did.

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