“There are so many things I want to do, but I end up doing not much.”


This is a quote from arguably my favorite movie, and one that has always resonated with me. Why?

Because it’s so relatable.

I am a dreamer. I dream of the places I’ll travel to, the houses I’ll make homes, the people I’ll talk to, the books I’ll write, the things I’ll do.

Like relearn how to play the piano. Start another book club. Host weekly dinner parties. Frame artwork and hang it on the walls. Go to museums every weekend. Make strawberry rhubarb pie. Travel to Asia.

Someday, I tell myself. Someday, when you have time.

Because today, I have a lot on my plate. I have day job and novel-writing and exercise and errands and cooking dinner and cleaning my apartment and developing anxiety from reading the news.

Dreams and reality are two vastly different beasts.

In Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic, she talks about the richness of leading “a creative life.” By that she doesn’t just mean writers and artists and musicians; she means anyone that does anything impractical just for the sheer joy of doing it. One story in that book that stood out to me was a middle-aged woman, who was just as busy as everyone else with work and kids and whatnot. But she really missed the ice skating she used to do. And so she bought some skates, found a local ice skating rink, and a couple of times a week, went ice skating.

Not because she was training for the Olympics. She wasn’t working towards any goal at all. She just like ice skating. So she ice skated. Impractically.

I love that story. And it makes me wonder: what impractical things do I do for the sheer joy of doing them?

I haven’t touched a piano in years. (I’d like to think I’ll get one once I have a house and room for it–someday.) I haven’t been to an art museum in at least a year, despite my proximity to them. I don’t know enough local book-lovers to start another book club and my apartment is too small for weekly dinner parties. Someday.

I’m not saying I’m completely hopeless. I do make the time to write novels–a thing I do mainly for the sheer joy of it, though I do have the goal of wanting to get published someday. I just adopted two cats, an impractical endeavor if ever there was one. I make it a point to travel somewhere new every year. I’m flying to California tonight just for the weekend to visit my friend and her baby. While there, we are visiting a vineyard.

But I could be doing more.

I just added to my weekly to do list: do something impractical. Go to the Met. Go to the movies (another thing I never do anymore.) Take a salsa class (something I would LOVE  to do!)

Be the impracticality you want to see in the world.

Image from Before Sunset (if you haven’t seen that trilogy, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?)

2 thoughts on ““There are so many things I want to do, but I end up doing not much.”

  1. That is my favorite movie (trilogy), too. Your post reminds me that it’s been way too long since I watched it.

    As someone who is in a book club, hosts dinner parties, and goes to art museums, I think the grass is always greener. I’m an avid consumer of culture and media and books, but I don’t produce much writing beyond my journal entries. Sometimes it feels like you have to choose whether you want to create/produce writing or consume writing. Without really intending to, I have prioritized the latter. I admire how you have focused on the former — not only keeping up a regular writing practice, but also writing about the practice on your blog.

    Sounds like you have plenty of fun, impractical plans ahead, so I think you’ll strike a great balance!


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