Monday, August 20, 2012

Waiting for Someday ~ my column from Sunday's paper

I sat down with Jilda this week to eat dinner, and she called up an action comedy she’d recorded earlier. “Knight and Day” starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz probably won’t further the cause of world peace or true happiness, but one of the lines in the movie was profound and resonated with me.

Cameron Diaz’ character said that she would like to visit the southern tip of South America someday. Tom Cruise’s character got a far away look in his eye and said, “Someday is code for never.”

Jilda could have flipped the movie off at that point as far as I was concerned because I heard little else. The words rang in my ears like an ancient gong.

In reflecting back through the years, I’ve said, “I’m going to do that someday,” more times than I care to remember. I’m sure there were “good” reasons I didn’t go places I wanted to go or do things I wanted to do, but I can’t recall what those reasons were.

One factor is that like most younger folks, I thought I’d live forever. So I guess I fooled myself into believing that there was plenty of calendar left. 

But what I didn’t realize then is that life can be like a runaway train. I’m fairly sure I’m not onboard alone.

A classic excuse that people often use is “I’ll do that when I get out of school.” 

But after school you have to scramble to find a decent job and then focus a great deal of energy on keeping it. And if you want to move up the ladder, there won’t be many slots available on your calendar. So the things you want to do someday take a back seat.

Marriage adds another dynamic and layer of complication to your life. For those with children life can get even crazier, and you find yourself with barely enough time to grab a burger at the drive-through at the local fast food restaurant. 

We don’t have children, but the rest of this scenario easily fits like a puzzle that’s been put together too many times. The other night as I sat on the loveseat, I began to think about the calendar of my life. 

I realized that I’ve torn off more pages than I have remaining, and I can no longer afford to put off the things I want to do. 

I’ve wanted to visit Paris for as long as I can remember. Ever since we first married, Jilda and I have dreamed of riding to New Orleans on a train. Each month while reading my magazines, I use my fountain pen to circle fly fishing excursions to Montana. 

The refrain that drifts through my mind is “I’m going to do this someday.”

I think it was Mark Twain who said something like “In the end, you’ll be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did.” 

Old Mark must have spoken the truth, because there are very few things I’ve done in my life that I truly regret, but I know I will kick myself if I never get to hear the hypnotic sound of steel wheels clacking on rails as we rock our way to New Orleans.


  1. I have that Paris craving, too. You rock your way to New Orleans, just rock on til you get there!!!

  2. I'm a firm believer in doing the things you can NOW - while you've got your health and your partner beside you. The future is too uncertain to put it off until the time is "perfect."

  3. Nothing is ever too late!!!!

    Go for it!! Take care

  4. Chance of me seeing that movie is nil, but thanks for sharing the line. That is sooo true. "Someday we'll get together"; "let's have lunch one of these days," and it just doesn't happen.


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