Whenever I pick up a book, I always wonder where I’ll be when I finish it. Today, during my lunch break, sitting on the floor of the Time Warner Building in Columbus Circle, I finished The Yiddish Policeman’s Union. I have to say my very favorite part of the book wasn’t a part of the book at all, it was an interview with the author, Michael Chabon, that came afterward.
At one point, when discussing his success as a writer he says:
“Success traces to three requirements: talent, luck, and discipline. Discipline is the one element of those three things that you can control, and so that is the one that you have to focus on controlling, and you just have to hope and trust in the other two.”
For some reason, that struck a chord with me, especially where I’m at in my life right now. I’ve had periods of extremely good luck, and extremely bad luck. I’m talented at some things, but not others. But, the one thing I’ve always prided myself on has been my work ethic. In fact, one might say, I’m a bit of a workaholic. Discipline, at least in the sense I think he’s indicating, has never been my shortcoming.
The other night, I sat down to right in my journal (you’d think with all this blogging I wouldn’t need a journal, right?) and wrote that I was really disappointed in myself because I just haven’t been capable of working as hard as I want to work. But, maybe, just maybe, it’s not my discipline or work ethic that’s out of whack. Maybe it’s my ability to limit myself to things that I can handle.
I’ve never been one for saying no to responsibility. I think I need to learn a new type of discipline, a type that has nothing to do with work ethic, or luck, or talent, the discipline I need is the discipline to be realistic about what I can accomplish.
I think over the weekend I’m going to spend a little time streamlining my responsibilities. Finding what’s most important to me, and mustering up the courage to say “I’m sorry, I can’t help you” to all the others. “No” has never been a word that’s come easy to me, but I think that if I’m ever going to see the inside of my skinny jeans again, and get more than 4 hours of sleep a night, it’s something I need to get a crash course in.
There. That felt good.
Poached egg on whole wheat toast
Brown rice tuna and avocado roll
Thank you Whole Foods Sushi Counter!
Peanut Butter Pretzel granola bar. Not bad.
Dinner was catered tonight, it was pizza or air. I chose pizza. It wasn’t very good. I should have said NO.