Just jumping on with a quick Saturday morning post—a lot going on in life—a lot going on in ALL our lives. Seriously, no one ever said this life transition stuff was quick and easy.
It’s not a difficult task to catch me asserting that My life is chaos. And often times “chaos” is modified by a colorful expletive that starts with the letter f. The details begin to unfold with my full-time “side job” at the restaurant along with a new business venture that is also approaching full-time—something I may share with you one of these days. Then I’ve got my work at The Clergy Project and the smattering of writing projects and various other endeavors that garner my attention. And don’t forget my amazing daughters and, I dunno, things like trying to wash the dishes before my apartment is overrun by fruit flies—again. My head may be prone to a good spin every few hours as I scramble to bring it back into focus and facing the right direction.
Thus, beer with friends and the occasional attempt to live a life of balance.
But I know I’m not alone.
Your head is spinning too. Chances are, you also have to scramble to keep your shit together and on track. I’m guessing your life might also tend to be a life of fucking chaos.
And yet we push forward. One foot in front of the other and step by step.
Somehow in the midst of it all, I also like to read on occasion. And this week I just finished Bryan Cranston’s A Life in Parts. You know Bryan Cranston. Yes, the Bryan Cranston, the actor who played Walter White, the Mr.-Chips-turned-Scarface meth boss on the number one television series of all time, that one called Breaking Bad.
Anyway, in A Life in Parts, Cranston talks quite a bit about his father Joe Cranston. And two passages in particular really stuck out to me.
The man did not lack for ideas. He approached each venture with vigor, but seldom found success. He had more ambitions and brainchildren than business acumen. His failures mounted and ate at him. And yet he never gave up. That was instructive. He kept at it. (p.12)
My dad never gave up. He was always writing another screenplay, another novel, dreaming up another business venture. His dreams kept him alive. To achieve a dream would be great, but what was important was to have a dream. That’s where hope came from. It’s more important to have a dream than to achieve one. (pp.167-168)
It’s more important to have a dream than to achieve one. I must confess I sorta prefer achieving dreams. But Cranston’s right. The act of dreaming precedes that of actualizing. Dreams provide the foundation upon which everything else is built. And dreams provide the hope that pushes us forward and gives us endurance through trial.
Did Bryan Cranston’s dad become a success? Maybe not in the eyes of many. He actually made tons of poor decisions and had a tendency to act kinda shitty on the regular. But this one thing he got right. He was an inspiration to his son. He passed on a relentless work ethic. He taught his son to strive for his dreams and to never give up. And then his son went on to surpass even the loftiest of both his own dreams and his father’s. And now through his son’s book, Joe Cranston continues to inspire and instruct each of us even as his faults also serve as a model for things to avoid.
Dreams and hard work and hope.
And the act of conveying those things to others.
Whatever your burden or challenge this Saturday morning, whatever your chaos, keep your dreams in the forefront. Keep those dreams churning to produce the fuel it takes for another day. Breath deeply, keep connected in community, and keep pushing forward.
Make sure you have a plan for your transition and work your plan one step at a time as you put one foot in front of the other. Feed off the inspiration of others and be an inspiration to them in return. And you’ll get there. We’ll all get there.
Now put down your coffee and run that bacon cheeseburger to table 16 before it goes cold! Time to move that ass—one step at a time, yes, but with gusto!!