There’s no such thing


I have no idea at all why I began this essay.


Usually, if I don’t have time to write a draft of a piece, I grab a sheet of paper or write some lines in a notebook that outline the topic and some thoughts. If I’m sitting at the computer when it hits, I’ll open a document, jot a few ideas and save it. End result, I try really hard to have something in place that reconnects me with the idea so I know what I was thinking and if I had any designs on where I wanted to head with it.

But for this one, nope. Nothing.

Just a saved file with the title. Opened it up and discovered that there is no such thing as an idea for the essay.

I know. Not funny. But the darndest thing has been happening since I opened the file a few days ago. It won’t stop bugging me. I want to know what the hell I was thinking.

Is there no such thing as a really good chocolate cake recipe you can make at home? No such thing as a useful purpose for all the stuff I shove in the kitchen’s junk drawer figuring I’ll absolutely need any and all of it later? No such thing as a perfect evening? No such thing as a person that really prefers ranch dressing over blue cheese with their Buffalo wings? (I’m hoping that one is true. But it’s hardly an essay starter right now.) No such thing as a way to clean my basement?

I’m still making some jokes, but truth be told it has been providing some amusing moments. I was cleaning the garage today, had some stuff I needed a pair of scissors for, and couldn’t find them. So, sure, I discovered there’s no such thing as a pair of scissors handy when you need them.

Ever been walking around the kitchen with a specific craving? Something salty. Something peanut butter. Something for a sandwich… for an easy dinner… to drink. But no matter what’s in the fridge or the cupboards, it’s never what you want.

That fact of the matter is, we all have those things that drive us batty. Moments where we happen to be looking for something… hoping for something… expecting something… and whoops, no, not a chance.

We also have those moments of disbelief where something we’ve discovered shocks us. Or, where someone makes a claim we don’t believe. There’s no such thing as Bigfoot. No such thing as the Loch Ness Monster.

I deliberately avoided the disbelief concept at the start of this because, if I’m being fair, I have a strange feeling that is where this essay was originally supposed to begin. I have no clue why it was going there (it was not about Bigfoot), but the “no way” or “there’s no such thing” responses to a claim seem more likely than me doing the research for an easy chocolate cake recipe. (Though if you have one, send it along. Thanks.)

And as I kicked around the possibilities of what I could possibly have meant by this title, where my normal routines seem to indicate I was thinking those words would be enough of a reminder, it has led me to a bit of a revelation. Perhaps, actually, more of a universal theme. And that is…

There is no such thing as a perfect time.

I wish I could say otherwise, but as each moment and day and year passes, I’m beginning to understand that life is the great disruptor of plans. And perfection is unattainable.

Look, I’ll admit the values in arguing a right time or wrong time for this or that do have some merit. You don’t mow the lawn in the middle of a category 4 hurricane… it’s the wrong time. You might propose to the love of your life in some spontaneous outburst of emotion, even though you don’t have a ring and aren’t really prepared and wanted to wait another month or two… it really felt like the right time.

So, for these examples and many more reasons, sure.

But if you’re waiting for the perfect time for anything, beware.

Life affords you no promises involving your length of stay around these parts. Life guarantees you no approvals for your proposals… no admiration for your accomplishments… no rewards for your activities.

I may not know why anything in the junk drawer will be useful. I do know perfection isn’t worth waiting on.


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