so often, I make sweeping generalizations about why I haven’t
part artistic license, part figurative narration.)
I started the In My Backpack web site, I designed a section
that I called 42.
And yes… a bit of a story goes with that…
Douglas Adams fans know, 42 is the answer. More precisely, 42
is THE answer. The answer to
everything. And from that, for me, it became a title for the area
that let visitors know what this web site was all about.
the earliest of days, I included a story in that section about
the lottery. More a telling of a joke, if I’m being accurate.
A very old and worn and told all over joke, if I’m honest. In
brief, it mentioned a man, frustrated when he repeatedly prays
for divine assistance to bring home a jackpot and nothing happens,
and a God that finally responds it might help if the man bought
ago, I saw one of the greatest political bumper stickers ever:
“Don’t blame me, I voted for fill-in-the-blank.” The idea I loved
about it was the “…I voted…” portion. There’s something—maybe
a buy-in describes it, maybe even more simply the idea of making
an effort—to be said about people that are involved in a process.
then there’s the idea so wonderfully covered by Mike
Rowe in this article. Rowe discusses how people
limit themselves by pre-judging scenarios. In essence, they talk
themselves out of doing something without ever having actually
tried it. And, they use that as a qualifier… official substance…
through which they’ve justified not taking actions, while passing
off the responsibility of their inactions and failures to another
you’ve been looking around the In My Backpack web site
since the beginning, you have been able to look at, literally,
more than 1,500 different essays and projects. (Essays… interviews…
travel diaries… movie reviews… photo galleries… weekly football
picks… 1,500+ different efforts.) Right now, at this very moment,
there are more than 500 different essays and posts available.
the past five years, I’ve assembled, proofread, ripped apart and
reassembled, and ultimately released ten books. Print editions.
haven’t been standing in one place. I have been working. And yet…
broke my ankle. Had to rearrange some appearances because of that.
Juggled my schedule and a variety of plans because of that. Still
feel pain, discomfort, and limitations in my mobility because
moved. That took up some time. That divided my attention and focus.
looking back, regardless of how I might be able to justify things,
I see opportunities I missed. And… I think… that’s something worth
exploring, trying to sort out and understand.
often you hear people talk about how acknowledging that there
is something that needs to be fixed is a first step. Can’t correct
a problem if you don’t see a problem. Can’t improve a situation
if you don’t agree with it could be improved.
I want to win Powerball, I need to get moving and buy my Powerball
supposed to be a sweeping, powerful realization there, albeit
building on the figurative narration. Filled with possibility,
plus the lighting flashes and thunder claps of a sizable aha
moment. But… the actual jackpot is up, so… *** NOTE TO
SELF *** pick up a Powerball ticket.)
an old cliché about pointing a finger toward someone. You
probably know it… one finger at someone else includes three pointing
back at you. I do think this journey of self-discovery is one
primarily of self-discovery. I am looking toward my own situation.
Three-quarters of it, at least. I do think there is some value
though in considering how it applies to all of us.
our best efforts truly been our best efforts?
the odds, giving everything to a project of yours probably offers
a better payout than Powerball. But it’s going to involve making
an effort… involve moving beyond self-constructed hurdles and
methods of justification without action… and, making the move
to buy a ticket.