Once upon a time, in a completely differntly life, I attended one of those company sponsored business seminars. The takeaway lesson was ‘If it isn’t written, it isn’t real.” That message took hold in my brain and stuck. Perhaps it resonated with the burgeoning writer in me. Think about it, it doesn’t matter who says what. Memories are imperfect. The edges get blurred, the fish gets bigger, the fight longer, details get left out altother. But if you write it down in the moment, there’s no getting away from it. It is what it is, there in bold black and white. The goal of the speaker that day who was speaking as an extension of my employer, was in order to communicate effectively with employees, you have to move beyond just talking. Write it down in as much detail as necessary to make sure the person two shifts removed from the original conversation still understands the goal.
When it hit my head, the idea splattered a bit, stretching to include an expanded version of that concept. Once you write it down, there’s no denying it. You are committed. And therein lies the problem with making a list like my Five in Five. There’s not amending it to say “Well, I really wanted to do this thing, but then life happened.” I put it out there for public consumption and now I have no choice but to do it.
Last week I tried to make progress on two of the items on my list: get a new tattoo and go kayaking. I met some stumbling blocks on both counts.
First the tattoo: I had the vision of a perfect tattoo in my head. I visited two different tattoo artists who both independent of the other gave me the same bad news. The location I selected just won’t work. I wanted to have something very personal put in the palm of my hand. The symbolism is important and I am in love with the idea. Alas, it is not to be.
Not to be put off, I moved on to the next idea. Have y’all seen the wheel of law? It’s a Buddhist symbol that encourages people to live life the right way, kind of like the ten commandments. The hub, or inside, is about moral discipline, the spokes represent the eightfold path (the rules), and the outside symbolizes the training, or the practice of the religion. I wanted to get it tattooed on the inside of my left wrist. Tara and I have matching Om’s tattooed on our wrists–mine’s on the right, her’s is on her left. I thought this would be a nice complement to the Om. Sounds pretty simple, right? Wrong.
Apparently there is a symbol from Star Wars that looks disturbingly like the wheel of law. According to the tattoo artist, a really cool guy named Chris who has a bushy red beard and would look awesome wearing a kilt, this is a very common tattoo request. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not getting my tatto for anyone than me, but the inside of my wrist is a VERY visible location. I get a lot of comments about my Om. People either a) ask what it is because they’ve never seen one before, or b) comment on how cool it is because they know exactly what it is. I don’t ever want to have to say any of the following: “No, I’m not an imperialist.” “Yes, I’ve seen Star Wars. Have you ever heard of Buddha?” or “For the love of god, I don’t care what George Lucas says it is.”
So, no despite my best intentions and efforts, I remain a three tattoo girl.
Second thwarted item, the kayak. There is a nice little lake in the town where Tara was born and raised that rents kayaks by the hour. Perfect. I make daycare arrangements and drive Tara over there, ready to conquer some water, only to be met by a locked gate, a dearth of kayaks, and a printed flyer. The flyer explained that they were closed for the season and to please contact them via email to make a reservation. Bummer. I sent an email several days ago. No response as yet. Double bummer.
I will continue to work on (or is it attempt to work on) my Five in Five list. I have to. It’s written, therefore it’s real.
Tell me folks, what’s on your list?