We were visiting an art museum. I don’t remember which one. Our family trips almost always included a museum of some sort. There were a series of pictures by Josef Albers. Homage to a Square.
“What’s the big deal? A bunch of squares,” I said to my dad, “I can do that.”
“But you didn’t,” he replied.
“I know. But look. A square within a square within a square. I could totally do that.”
“But you didn’t,” he said again.
There have been many times when I’ve read a book and thought, “This isn’t even very good. I could do better than that.” But I didn’t. And I still haven’t. Written a book, that is.
And just tonight, while reading some blogs I had bookmarked for “further research” I stumbled upon a blog and she was a published author. (Don’t start guessing. It’s no one we know and no, it isn’t any of you.) And the blog wasn’t even that great. Topics of posts were a bit boring. The look of it was pretty professional but I spotted a grammatical error. It was just so-so.
And I thought, “Hey, I could do that.”
And yes, I have. Started a blog. And it’s ok. I feel like I could do better but I also feel like I’m still learning the ropes. But it’s not what I want it to be. Not yet.
I can do that.
I’ve said it a million times. But I haven’t done it. Haven’t written a book. Haven’t pushed a singing career. Haven’t gone to that audition. Haven’t gone to law school. Haven’t finished my Masters. Haven’t taken that cooking class.
When I’m feeling as if I haven’t accomplished anything in the course of my day my sister will ask, “OK. Well, what HAVE you done?” And I’ll list them: I loaded the dishwasher. I did 3 loads of laundry. I took the dog for a walk. I went to the grocery store. I fixed the boys xBox control. I unloaded the dishwasher. I started dinner. And she’ll say, “See? You got something done today, after all.”
So. What HAVE I done?
I got married. (Way too young) I tried out for a movie and got a small role. I sang in a major Symphony Chorus. I finished college. I adopted a beautiful baby girl. I got divorced. I taught for 12 years. I started my Masters. I volunteered. I presented seminars on laptop programs in schools. I got married again. I helped my husband grow his business. I became a stay-at-home-mom. I adopted a sweet baby boy. I got pregnant. I had another sweet baby boy. I’m raising three amazing children. I started a blog.
So, yes. I have accomplished something. But why doesn’t it feel like enough? What will it take to push me into overdrive so that I can write that book or go back to school? Or is it enough? Being an available, present mother is very important to me. And I am accomplishing that.
But I still have a nagging little ache of desire. A tiny voice, deep inside that still says, “I can do that.”
(“I Can Do That” from A Chorus Line is the song I want to share. This was the best version I could find. Please ignore the House references.)