What do you want to do?

“What do you want to do, Steffie?”

“Read. Let’s read.”

“What else do you want to do?”

“I don’t know, what do YOU want to do?”

“No, Steffie. I asked you and you have to tell me.”

“I told you already … You can’t want to do more than one thing – “

Apparently a conversation with a six year old can lead to enlightenment. And that’s exactly my problem – I want to do so many things that it’s overwhelming. Where do you start when one decision rules out a bunch of others, or another decision opens pathways to so much more? Isn’t that the point of decisions? I thought I’d made my decisions, but it turns out that the more decisions you make the more choices you end up having.

Yeah, yeah … we get it, Stef. You have all these la-di-da decisions to make and *sob sob* poor you.

I want to write. I’m pretty sure we’ve clarified that.

I want to live somewhere in my own space with my books on shelves and my magnets on the walls and my cuckoo clock popping out to say hello.

I want … I want to make the choice that will make me happy.

Want, want, want … so demanding.

I want it all. Why do I have to do one thing?

We ended up drawing pictures – or rather, she drew pictures while I mumbled incoherently in a state of fatigue. Then, after dinner with my sister and her friends, I came home and reflected on this conversation with a six year old (and my day in general). I don’t have to do it all, or just one thing. I can do something, then do something else, and … Make a go of it.

And if conversations with a six year old don’t inspire you, this should (thanks to my mum for sharing it):

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6 comments on “What do you want to do?

  1. I am not sure how to tell you that this is a genetic affliction… you may still not know what to do when you are 47 and have to ask your own child to assist you with your masters application. I really do think though that the best advice is to “make a decision”… and then you can sort out the consequences of that decision afterwards. Trust your capacity to handle that. I wish I could take my own advice sometimes. James’ concert last night inspired me. He is an example of being able to share his gifts and talents ALONGSIDE his brokenness and imperfection. he isn’t waiting for circumstances to be “perfect”, for the right space, the planets to align, the grammar to be correct… he just shares his passion for classical music. he doesn’t claim to be the best… he just shares his gift from where he is at RIGHT NOW. What are you waiting for????

  2. I think you are getting very close to enlightenment…you just need a few more conversations with my six year old. In fact, what you need is a few more of those same fatiguing days with all four of my kids…well, that’s what I need and for all we know you might need that too! Please come back soon while I go out and do something else. xx

    • It was a pleasure to spend the day with your gorgeous kids (and MY gorgeous cousins)! I’ll be over Wednesday night! And next Friday! And I’m sure there’ll be a few more times in between. xx

  3. I think we’re on the same page, you and I. I’m just trying to work out what I really want to do to, how I’m going to do it, when I’m going to find time to do it – and worrying what I’ll do instead if it turns out I’m no good at it.

    Gosh, writing is scary.

    I loved that video – what an inspirational, talented guy!

    • My mum went and saw him perform last night and shared that video with me. He sounds fascinating and talented! It could be an afternoon of champagne drinking influencing my advice, but here it is: Do it. What have you got to lose? (If the answer is “everything I love and my overall wellbeing” maybe consider the champagne factor of that advice before acting on it.) On the bright side, you’ll probably make more sense than James Joyce ever did!

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