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I’ve just had an Apostrophe!

January 29, 2016

Not a post about punctuation, don’t worry. The title is a tip of the hat to Alan Rickman, but not really. It’s actually a quote from Hook, when Smee tells Hook, “I’ve just ‘ad an apostrophe!”  In that

Bob Hoskins.  Looks great, doesn’t he?

movie, Dustin Hoffman was Captain Hook, growling, “You mean an epiphany,” (maybe, I don’t remember for sure, but in my mind’s eye, Hook is Alan Rickman. What a movie that would have been!  Alan Rickman in anything would be great. Star ship Captain? Jedi master? Yeah… what a loss to the arts…)

Oooo! He DID. If only as a show within a retched show.



But this isn’t an ode to Alan, either, it’s about an epiphany I had last night.

I am not an ambitious man. I like to think I have a lot of talent in a lot of things, but, as God told Elijah, “What are you doing here?” As in, why aren’t you more successful? Further along the path? Rich? (Me, not Elijah). It’s because I lack ambition.  When I was a peach-fuzz kid, I had drive fueled by anger, which God evaporated when I embraced Him.

Ambition. There’s nothing wrong with it, as long as it isn’t selfish ambition. Ambition in a visionary is great, I wish I had some. It’s always bothered me that I don’t. I have scripts moldering that I should be pushing, for example.

Then last night, in conversation with my wife (I learn more from her than anyone else), it clicked. I’m not ambitious because my time orientation is now-centric. Follow me here; I live in the now.

There are three time orientations:

  1. Living in the past: Regrets, memories, might-have-beens. Sadness. Losers.
  2. Living in the now: Content, observational, good workers, often good players, tend to buy things they shouldn’t and live outside their means. Not losers, but not really winners. Will probably never retire because they can’t save enough money to.
  3. Living in the future: Driven, visionary, ambitious to change the now to the soon. These guys tend to be winners.

Of course, we’re all a mix of these. I have little birds of regret cheeping in my ear, with a much bigger dove on the other shoulder saying, “I forgave you, dingleberry, get on with it!” And I look to the future (with a bit of fear if I look too far), but the images are vague and fuzzy, while the images of today are sharp and clear. But I live in the now. It’s my root orientation. Looking to the past saps me of energy and looking to the future consumes energy. Now is just all right with me, baby, it’s just all right with me…

If I were an extrovert, I’d probably do better. As an introvert, time rolls by.

When I envision the retirement I’ll never get, I see two things. Writing happily away, and sitting on a porch watching the sea, mountains, or horses (all someone else’s). Because that’s me. I’m an observer of what is there and often what is not, but it’s all still now.


I think I’ll take a nap.

One Comment leave one →
  1. February 4, 2016 9:23 am

    Were you talking about you or me here? Either way, I’ll take it as encouragement.

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