"Every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around." - Penelope Cruz as Sofia, Vanilla Sky

Mar 05 2018

I've never been a huge fan of Cameron Crowe's epic retelling of someone else's story, mostly because I never understood why everyone was freaking out about Tom Cruise's disfigured face. It seemed highly unlikely that people would actually react so overtly to one side of his face being creased, especially the ones who knew he'd been in a serious car accident. To go so far as to show women screaming in revulsion? Heavy sigh.


I think my issue is that I've gotten used to people staring at my son over the years. My son's face is perfect, but he's Disabled with a capital D. The older he gets, the more obvious his issues are and the more comfortable people seem to get with staring at us when we're in public. Sometimes, people go so far as to ask questions like, "What's wrong with your kid?" Heavy sigh.


The part of this film I enjoy the most is the concept that we are completely in control of everything that happens to us and, if we're not happy with the way things are going, we can just change it on a dime. In the film, it's because the Cruise character is participating in a very expensive Lucid Dream. 


I would argue the same thing is possible in life, everyday life, no expensive dreams needed. It's all a qestion of what you're willing to sacrifice in order to achieve the changes you think will make you happy. Which is another quote from the same film: "What is happiness to you?"


What makes me happy? Being at home with my kid and writing. I want us to have a place of our own, instead of being trapped in this horrible little rental house, so I've been making some financial sacrifices in order to try to make that happen. I find I enjoy my job less and less with every passing year, but I'm toughing it out to get us into a place of our own. If I can do whatever side hustle it takes to make that happen faster - ie, writing what I call "trash for cash" (let's call it 'fiction for adults', shall we?) - then I'll do it. 


So, instead of waiting for the minutes to pass to get me to the end of another school year, I try to see each passing minute as a chance to write something new to earn a little more money for our house fund. I try to see a weekend at home as an opportunity to get rid of something else we don't need in order to get us better positioned for our eventual move into our own place. Even spending time in the waiting room of a doctor's office is a chance to clear my head and figure out how I can use the passing moments to get us closer to our goal: at home together with me writing instead of bolting out the door to help raise other people's kids.


Try it. Try changing your focus from, "Oh, this is such a waste of my time" to "How can I use this time to get what I want?" If you need to look busy at work, open a new document and type a stream-of-consciousness plan for what you'd rather be doing and what you could do right that minute, that very day, to get just a little closer to it. Then close the doc without saving it and get busy. If you're stuck in traffic, turn off the radio and figure out what you're going to do next to get closer to your goal. I'm not saying your brain doesn't need down time, but if you find yourself realizing that time is passing you by, stop and figure out how to put that time to use.


Open your eyes.

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