March 17th, 2010 – The Struggle for Something Better

Have you ever noticed how many times you, or someone around, you will say “we’ll do that when . . .” or “when we accomplish this, then we can . .  .”?

They are the phrases that seek out a reward for pursuing a goal that is something you assume will come. “We’ll buy that when we have more money,” “We’ll take that trip when we have better jobs.” Do you ever wonder what if this is as good as it gets? Maybe we are destined to struggle uphill all our lives. As time has gone forward, I am beginning to realize that living this life and being a part of an amazing family is all this life requires.

When I am with my wife, there is always a reason to smile. This past weekend we had such an amazing adventure in the most subtle way. I was cleaning our backyard when I discovered we have magically appearing empty liquor bottles. I first found one when we moved in. That was it. Then, on Friday, I discovered four new bottles which meant that people were using our backyard for their personal drinking grounds. I’m saying it’s just a group of foolish kids because that makes it a lot less creepy than thinking it’s some sort of raging alcoholic who likes getting drunk while Amber & I sleep peacefully.

So I quickly researched on the web how to build a fence gate since we had an 11’6″ gap in our fence in the front. That day, Amber & I worked for about 9 hours solid from buying the lumber to putting the fence in. My next project, by the way, is to build a work bench. Try to cut 2×4’s with a circular saw using paint buckets as your anchor points for the wood. It is not fun.

As she helped me to place the fence upright and place extra pieces of wood to stabilize it and get it even, I began to think of the movie Up. More specifically, I thought of the absolutely gut wrenching opening scene that was possibly one of the most poetic set of sequences constructed in recent times.

Our adventure is our family, whatever that family may be. As we get closer to thinking about having kids, my perspectives on life are growing much clearer. In several weeks, I can’t think of a time I have let anything get to me truly like I used to. It’s because being with her has made me realize what is truly important.

Be with the people you love, do what you love, and the rest is there to enjoy or forget. As her dreams change and mine continue to struggle for success as a writer, it is comforting knowing that we have each other.

This novel is becoming easier to plan. In fact, at 275 pages, this manual on how the Thales works is becoming a bit more difficult to finish. The first reason is probably because I am one who finds it hard to reach that finish line in a lot of things in life. Second reason being that the logistics and details are becoming very minute. As a result, I am feeling ready to tackle the characters and story fully now.

I am beginning to feel a bit at ease about the novel as well. It is no longer something that HAS to be finished or else life as I know it will have been a waste. The more important things have come forward. I would love to see this novel get published, I would love to see it become a big budget movie, and I believe that it will. However, if for some reason my work is not deemed a classic by agents and publishers, so be it. I will continue to write. I will continue to do what I love.

Because the struggle for something better doesn’t come from a successful career. It can help, sure. However, the struggle for something better should always be to do what you love, and be around the people you love.


One comment

  1. Hey Tom, I agree with you completely. Family is so very important. It is the solid ground on which to build your life and relationships. As you recognize, family can be a blood line and it can also be the people that you love dearly. Continue to pursue what you love. Chaplain School for me has no guarantee of an income, but I chase the challenge anyway. Perhaps through my diligence and persistence God will lead me to a Chaplaincy opportunity but perhaps not. Regardless Chaplaincy is in my heart , my passion and what I love.
    I love you Tom,

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