This is my last day of full, balls-to-the-wall committed living. For now anyway. As from tomorrow, July 1st 2010, I’m quitting regular life for a whole two months. Nine weeks. Sixty-two days. During which time, I’ll be letting go of the tiller, lifting my nose from the grindstone, shutting down the computer, ignoring my cellphone, and generally freeing my mind and hands to do more interesting things.
And by “more interesting things”, I mean “nothing at all.”
My brain is mush, kids. It’s just a fact. This realization came to me a few days ago after I completed another book – about travel and health – which I wrote after completing a novel, which I wrote after completing the previous travel book, Naked in Dangerous Places. This on top of doing the weekly BBC thing and occasional pieces for NPR. At some point recently there came a moment when it dawned on me – I wasn’t living, I was just working. Working, eating, sleeping, and working again. That’s not a life, it’s a prison. Admittedly, a prison in which you get to eat a lot of cake and drink coffee and chat with friends and watch movies when you’re really supposed to be writing, but a prison nonetheless.
The need for this was driven home even more forcefully when I saw a very tired and deflated-looking Larry King announce last night that he’s leaving CNN after 25 years and 50,000 interviews “to attend more of his son’s baseball games.” But that’s not the real reason. The poor guy’s been a host on CNN since 1873. Recently, his ratings have slipped horribly, there are pretenders waiting in the wings to grab his chair – he has to go. It’s just time.
And that’s how I feel. It’s time. Time to stop, rest, reevaluate.
So I’m giving it up for a while. Not to attend more of my son’s baseball games – I’ve not attended a single one yet, why should I start now? – but simply to relax. To loosen the reins and stand back from Twitter, Facebook, my website, and my cellphone. I’ll check my email now and then, I suppose, when curiosity overcomes me, but certainly not daily. And I don’t even plan to watch a lot of TV, although, since I’m a TV reviewer on the BBC, quitting it completely would be setting a dangerous precedent. Eventually listeners might notice. It’s not guaranteed, but they might. I can’t take that chance.
What will I do instead?
I told you – nothing. I’m starting a tiny little film project tomorrow that should be heaps of fun. I’d also like to try being a movie extra – they’re always advertising on craigslist for “background artists” – and I’d be so very good at just standing there in the background doing nothing – it’s actually a gift I have. That would be great.
Haven’t done that in ages. I authored three books on the subject years ago, and for a time was on TV a whole lot with it – Entertainment Tonight, The View, Montel Williams. I was really good too. But I got sidetracked, dammit, and let it go. Now it’s time to revisit it. I’ll post something on FB or here in the next few days explaining how you can get your handwriting analyzed, if you want it done – because, quite honestly, who’s more fascinating than you?
[UPDATE: I have now made this so. Go to my website and take a look. Prepare to be amazed)
The rest of the time I shall meditate, do yoga, and attend raw food classes. There are beaches to visit, cafes to lunch in, movies to see, and I may even go on the new 3D King Kong ride that Universal Studios has added as part of its tram tour. Ooooh.
Summed up, then, I’m taking off.
I have big plans for the fall, including starting a small company making health and nutrition videos. Also, my one and only novel, Force of Habit, will be published, and the raw food documentary I started making last year will be available finally. So that’s all to come.
In the meantime, have a wonderful summer, everyone. See you back here in September. Be good.
TV Swami – he gone.