For those of us averse to a sedentary, monotonous lifestyle, there often comes a point when we have to make executive decisions regarding our time, our resources, our needs, and our wants. I’m both extremely sociable and intellectually inquisitive, so living in the capital city of a large South American country known for its highly-sociable population and culture, executive decisions have been the order of the day, almost every day.
Had I not committed myself to an every-third-day blogging schedule, posts at Fly Brother would be haphazard and sporadic, reflecting the random socializing that inevitably presents itself whenever more than two Brazilians get together. As I’m inclined to accept any welcome diversion to the mental and sometimes emotional strain of penning new text, it takes major focus on my part to decline the enticing offer of movie night or an embassy cocktail or karaoke or sushi with the crew, especially on school nights (booty calls, however, always get answered; y’all know how it is).
Now, if my professional objective were only to stack then spend bills, rolling out every night would gravy. But to appropriate a recent tweet I ran across, “a real writer’s job isn’t to be popular.” That particular tweet referenced an article on the responsibility of journalists, or any event chronicler, to report the truth, no matter how unpopular or even dangerous doing so might be. I take that quote, however, on a much less profound level to mean you can’t be a real writer and be hanging out all gotdamned night; not unless all you do from noon to four, once you wake up, is write. Sometimes, you just gotta say, “nah…I’ll pass. Thanks, though” (you do, however, still want to be invited to stuff).
And it’s not just about writing; it’s about balancing your life in such a way that all of your projects become manageable and still get done, whether or not that’s raising well-read, well-rounded kids or starting a business or planning your first round-the-world trip. After all, life’s too short to just be focused on work, but ain’t none of us heir to a hotel dynasty. Like they say in Spanish, unos por otros (basically, one thing for another). Yes, you may have a twinge of regret about missing one thing or another, but when you’ve finally reached your objective, you won’t regret not doing what it took to get there. And there will always be another movie night or embassy cocktail or booty call (though maybe not with the same person, since you flaked out the last time).
So yesterday, instead of meeting up with a large group of friends for the closing day of the Robert Polidori retrospective I’d been wanting to see, I decided to stick around the house, stock up the fridge, finish preparing two tests, call the important women in my life and thank them for their interminable maternal love, deflect the few regrets that did arise about waiting too late to get to the Polidori showing, and continue conceptualization of upcoming Fly Brother expansion.
I’ve also decided to cut my planned two weeks on the road this summer to only nine days, starting with the TBEX ’10 travel blogging conference in New York, followed by a week of fellowship with two very good friends in Toronto (holla TDK and La Femme Nikita). Ottawa, Montreal, and Quebec City were originally on the itinerary, but it felt wiser to shorten the trip and deepen the finances available to me in NYC and YYZ than to spread myself too thin across eastern Canada. Executive decision.
And now, I can buy a nice video camera and take you good people with me on some of my fly-falutin’ adventures. See…it’s all about you, baby (wink).