Be careful what you wish for

You know that adage, “Be careful what you wish for?” I should have heeded it. For months I was complaining about how bored I was and how I had nothing to do…there are few things in the world that I hate more than being idle…and, while I wasn’t looking, I got busy.
Really, really busy.
I crammed months and months of work into about 8 or 9 weeks: Writing for Arena, two different sketch shows, preparing for the show we did on the cruise, trying to keep this website interesting and relevant…oh, and being a husband and step-father, too.
Actually, it was pretty cool, and I’m really grateful that I was so busy, but I’m glad it’s over.
I have never been so creatively exhausted in my life as I am right now.
And get this: to end it all, in the last 36 hours I’ve been in 4 different states, and seen two major oceans with my own eyes. (More about that later, when I actually have the time to tell a long and interesting story)
So this morning, as I sit here, drinking my coffee, listening to Exodus, getting ready to go to the beach with my wife and kids for the first time this summer, I take a deep breath, look at my dog, and enjoy this moment.
I don’t believe that we’re ever given more than we can really handle, even if we don’t think we can handle it.
Life is good.

62 thoughts on “Be careful what you wish for”

  1. I saw “Reign of Fire” this weekend with my buddy, Jeff. On a scale of 1-10 it’s a 4.5-5, at best. It’s much better than “Battlefield Earth”, but what isn’t?!!? Okay, maybe that gawd-awwfull “Ator” movie from ’83 (can you hear me vomitting from the memory?).
    N-E-way, the best thing about that whole movie was the preview for ST Nemesis! I loved it! Though we seem to be in that low lighting / dark phase with the set again. Some stuff looks swesome though! Can’t wait for another preview!
    Hope you enjoyed the beach!

  2. (Be gentle: first time poster, (as opposed to a first poster). Love the site, Wil).
    On the whole “I don’t believe that we’re ever given more than we can really handle” thing and selfishness and suicide…
    A few years ago I attended the funeral service of a friend, who after a long illness, hanged herself (I’ll call her J and for any grammer nazis, that’s the correct tense. Meat is hung. People are hanged. Be glad if you’ve never had to learn that for reals). This was while we were both still at university, and I’d previously gotten to know one or two of the College chaplins following student deaths earlier in the year in my capacity as the student government representative at those funerals.
    In the funeral mass, the priest used almost the exact phrase Wil did: “God never gives us a burden more than we can handle.” How this was supposed to help a church full of mourning family members and students I have no idea. It certainly seemed to pass the blame on to J. But to some extent I simply ignored it as, after all, I was an atheist, so maybe this was just what the doctor ordered for everyone else.
    Uh-uh. I vividly remember one of the chaplins (of the same religious denomination as the funeral priest) giving me a lift back to campus. He was livid. “What the hell was that ‘God never sends a burden’ crap? Obviously J *couldn’t* handle it!” was almost the first thing out of his mouth. He was fantasically unimpressed, for much the same reasons I was.
    Suicide is not about selfishness or weakness. In many cases, it deserves to be considered as the final phase of a terminal mental or physical illness. We don’t rail against people who die of, say, cancer, as being selfish or otherwise unwilling to bear a bearable burden.
    Believing we’re somehow cosmically shielded from impossible situtations may be comforting but I gotta put it up there with Santa Claus and the tooth fairy, alas.
    Stephen
    – ObCheeryNote: CD’s make a really pretty sparkly pattern when you nuke them in the microwave.

  3. Stephen,
    Thanks for the story. I think that the priest made a mistake with that statement as well. As mentioned above, I agree that people with incurable conditions are often left with no choice. It’s people with stressful situations that I was mainly referring to, anyways (since Wil’s post was about situations and tasks anyways!). Perhaps I was to generic in saying suicide is an selfish act. Suicide as a last resort in response to stress and/or overburdening is not the answer. People that are ill, I have no judgement on what their choices may be on taking their lives, if it ends their suffering.

  4. “I don’t believe that we’re ever given more than we can really handle, even if we don’t think we can handle it.”
    Well spoken Wil. I’d have to agree with that. (But I’d have to say “WE never give ourselves more then we can handle.”)
    Beau

  5. “I don’t believe that we’re ever given more than we can really handle, even if we don’t think we can handle it.”
    Interesting, Will. Why do you believe this? And who does the giving?

  6. I think that even more important than the “Careful what you wish for,” is the “What you want is not always what you THINK you want.”
    I never used to believe that “Everything happens for a reason” schtick. I just couldn’t bring myself to accept that all the horrible things that were happening to me were part of some greater plan to make things better.
    It’s kind of like those cartoon characters who are trying to get through a brick wall, and they try to run through it, bounce off… and keep doing the same thing over and over, because all they think they want is to get THROUGH the wall. But it never dawns on them that they can go AROUND the wall instead.
    I think that when we are presented with many, many challenges at once, that we become so overwhelmed with what’s in front of us that it really is impossible to see further ahead. It’s not our fault, it’s just like rafting a river or climbing a mountain.
    When you hit those rapids, or when you’re hanging off that cliff, you really don’t have the time, energy, or capacity to think about how nice it’ll be once you reach the flat water, or once you reach the summit and have a grand vista surrounding you. All you can think about is how much you’re hurting.
    But then, everything levels out, and you CAN take a breath… and the rest falls into place. You can sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor – the beautiful scenery… or a successful project. And you can take that respite to restore your energy and to prepare yourself for whatever else life tosses your way.

  7. Nice to see things have slowed up a bit enough for you to go running off the beach, All the times I was driving for trucking companys and I never got to see the ocean, I envy you…
    Things don’t slow for me, every since I got to Germany I had people knocking on my door for one thing or another, ‘can I bum a pepsi? can I have a bandaid?’ ‘what till you hear this crap..’ I didn’t relize that I was the neighborhood 711, Computer repair man, stress relief person, hell you name it and I bet I’ve done it. Talk about stress…I can’t even watch a freckin movie all the way threw! Took me 6 hours and I counted…6 hours just to watch Harry Potter. That’s how many times I was interupted,(and I still can’t watch it all the way threw without some one knocking on the door, and yes I have put a do not disturb sign out before, doesn’t work!!! they still knock) I don’t know how you do it, maybe you can give me some pointers so I can finished the 12th re-write on my book…LOL Anyway, basically in a nut shell, You go have a blast at the Beach with the wife and kids and remember to jump in for me! Take it easy Wil!
    Sorry for venting…my bad!

  8. Hello! Just have to jump in here! Re: the whole “don’t believe we’re given more than we can handle” thought. I’m guessing there are many humans from the Holocaust, Rwanda, South Africa, Somalia, etc. who would disagree with this idea. Women and girls around the world might disagree with this.
    You maybe could apply this to grown men and women of industrialized nations.
    I guess I’m just cynical. Though I think I’m simply being realistic. And from a religeous point of view it would be nice to think that God doesn’t “give us” more than we can handle, but I don’t think God gives us anything other than life and precious free will.
    Maybe I don’t know how that term is supposed to be applied. I just find so many exceptions to it even in the police log of the daily news paper.

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