Only Do or Not Do

I want stuff and I want to accomplish stuff and I want less clutter and next year, next year by golly I want to file our taxes in April instead of October. Then it occurs to me, “Why?” Why do I want all that stuff? What do I think a new Tesla X will give me that my old Prius V doesn’t? Better buttfeel in those fancy seats, perhaps, better acceleration, for sure, but after the first bit it’ll still just be a car and I’ll still just be me swimming in this same sea of human existence getting to choose being thrilled or not thrilled. Getting to choose whether to do things because I should or want to be someone who does that stuff or to do things because I want to, because I must, because I get to.

And what about the other work or other outfits or other hair or other house or other receipt-keeping organizational system I crave from time to time? What about those ten extra pounds?

I don’t know I guess it really is what Yoda said, “There is no try, only do.” Either I can work towards those things or not and let myself off the hook. One option would be to enjoy the incredible life that I have now, the way it is, with the clutter and the extra ten, maybe twenty, pounds, and the time to be that mom who stays for morning assembly every morning and volunteers for pumpkin patch field trip driver and blogs – yes blogs – about it.

Twelve years ago today I was sitting at a computer, much like I am now, except that it was my wedding day, our wedding day. Mike and I had spent way longer than any normal couple might debating and discussing what we could both commit to vow-wise. It was a long and intense conversation spanning most of our first year together. We had a pretty firm grip on the concepts but we hadn’t quite settled on the final wording a few hours before guests would arrive.

And I was being traditional so we couldn’t talk. But I guess we could email. Mike sent me a draft, and I revised it. I called him, said, “We’re not talking but I want to read these vows to you.” He approved it, I printed it, and gave the paper to my father to give to Mike before the ceremony.

Here are the vows we’re still living:

I promise to take care of myself so I can take good care of you, our relationship, and our family.

I promise to stay in conversations with you until we both feel complete, no    matter how long that takes.

I promise to work with you as my partner to make the world a better place.

I love you.


Happy anniversary, baby. Let’s keep going.