Some lessons we never learn.
For me, the familiar face of failure hangs like a Royal Portrait above the grand staircase of my social behavior.
Lest my meaning be obscured by that flowery metaphor, I am simply stating for the record – before God, the world and you – that my greatest recurring mistake is that I often disappoint my friends.
Not my casual friends. No, never those. I disappoint the friends I care about the most.
This happens because I allow the merely urgent to displace the truly important.
In fact, I’m doing it right now. I should be answering emails sent to me by Garrett and Dan and a friend I’ve called “Other Roy” for more than 25 happy years. But this is the day the trash service comes, so I’ve got to wheel our trash and recycling carts to the curb right now so Princess Pennie won’t worry that we’ll miss the truck. After I do that, I’ll write thoughtful and well-crafted responses to Garrett and Dan and Other Roy… as soon as I write the four ads I promised to have to my client by 8AM. But just before I do that – just to get them out of the way – I’ll pop off a few 5-word and 12-word answers to 26 other emails that really don’t matter at all.
You can see where this is headed, right?
I’ve had “Email Garrett” near the top of my to-do list for exactly 21 days. “Email Dan” has been just above it for 63 days. And I’ve put off responding to so many of “Other Roy’s” emails that I’m surprised he’s still speaking to me. And those are just 3 of the names on a list that stretches the full length of our grand staircase.
I don’t want to give half-baked “quickie” answers to these good friends, so they wind up getting no answers from me at all.
I speak recklessly but I write carefully. Much too recklessly and a little too carefully, if we’re being altogether honest. So people who know me through my writing have met me at my highest and best, and people who know me through my speaking have met me at my lowest and worst. I judge myself by my writing. I suppose this is why I am reluctant to write quickly to the people I care about the most. I don’t want them to read a poor representation of me, so I delay responding and trust they will forgive.
I’m hoping someday to outgrow these bad habits. (Indy is laughing as he reads this over my shoulder because he knows we’ll soon be celebrating the 29th anniversary of my 30th birthday.)
Oh, well. That’s me.
What about you? Do you have a recurrent shortcoming, a familiar face of failure?
Send it to email@example.com.
I would tell you to send it to me
but we already know how that would turn out. 🙂
Roy H. Williams
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