Her Majesty’s a pretty nice girl

I cast no aspersions on the achievement of 60 years in the same job, but has Queen Elizabeth completed 100 blog posts? I think not. And on the momentous occasion of cranking out 50,000 words, give or take, rain or shine, better or worse, etc…. I reflect on the lessons learned over the past two years of the life and times of www.marlinee.com.

1. Once you decide to do something it is remarkably easy. As Yoda once said: “Do or not do – there is no try”. If you pay attention you will notice that whenever someone says they ‘should’ do something or will ‘try’ to do something it is highly unlikely that it will happen. Yoda also said “named must your fear be before banish it you can”. Remind me to write a blog post about everything I learned from Yoda.

2. As Thomas Edison said, “genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration”. Not that I am placing myself in the genus of geniuses, but truer words were never spoken. However, if you don’t have the inspiration you can sweat all you want and get nowhere. The good news is that inspiration is found in the most mundane things and experiences, simply by paying attention and letting the mind do its thing. Edison also said “we don’t know a millionth of one-percent of anything”, and in my own small way, I hope I am proving him right.

3. George Bernard Shaw quipped that “youth is wasted on the young” and I think most of us would not beg to differ. However, at least we are afforded some hubris in middle age if we remember our youthful incarnations and how ridiculously ‘mature’ we were. Mr. Shaw also said “my way of joking is to tell the truth. It’s the funniest joke in the world”. And indeed the truth is almost always more unbelievable and entertaining than fiction.

4. Winston Churchill believed that “the farther backward you can look, the further forward you can see”, which is kind of like being doomed to repeat that which we have not adequately learned. I always marvelled at how some people can remember enough to write cogent memoirs (Keith Richards, I’m talking to you). But in reality, given enough stillness of the mind, the past will tell its tale. Churchill also said “Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement; then it becomes a mistress, and then it becomes a master, and then a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster, and fling him out to the public.” I hope one day soon to have a monster of my own.

5. In the song “Is that all there is?” Peggy Lee lamented the lack of meaning in her life. The song was apparently inspired by a story by Thomas Mann (the opposite of an optimist if there ever was one) called “Disillusionment”. My point, and I do have one, is that it is easy to waste our time thinking we don’t have interesting lives and waiting for our real life to start. I am pretty sure I will never be Queen of England or Mrs. Brad Pitt but I know I am the most qualified person to be me.