ChicagoNow’s challenge to its bloggers for this month’s communal writing activity is “Write about your tomorrow. Not figuratively, literally write about anything that you hope, fear, believe, expect -- anything -- that you may experience tomorrow.”
Are you kidding me? How am I supposed to find something interesting to say about what I’m going to do tomorrow? It’s hard enough to make this blog worth reading when I’m talking about something cool. How the hell am I supposed to make people want to read this blog when I’m talking about my tomorrow?
I could make some stuff up.
I’m going deep sea fishing in the Arctic. I’ve got lunch with Barry and Shelly Obama. I’m riding an elephant through the jungles of Asia. And to finish the evening, I’m headlining at Alpine Valley.
It’s going to be a busy day. Or…I’m a liar. Guess which it is.
Before I tell you about tomorrow, I guess I should decide when tomorrow is. I’m writing these exact words at 1:04 am, which is technically Friday, but still feels like late Thursday night to me. So even though tomorrow is actually Saturday, I could make an argument that I should write about Friday.
Or if I wanted to be even more annoying, I could say that I should write about Thursday, the day that just ended, since this challenge was actually given on Wednesday night, but I’m just getting around to it now.
But who really cares? Let’s just get on with it. I’ll conform to your rules, Mr. Twenty-four Hour Clock Man, and write about Saturday.
There are some great unknowns in my Saturday.
I manage a Little League baseball team. What’s more unknown than how eleven seven-and-eight-year-old kids will perform on the field? Actually, before I even get to that point, it’s going to be a guessing game as to how many will show up. Three of them have already told me they’re not coming. That leaves me with eight.
I don’t know if you know the rules of baseball or not, but that’s not even enough to field a team.
Then we’re going to my nephew’s birthday party. He’s turning eight. There’s going to be a gaggle of kids at a local amusement park. I’m sure it’ll be a blast, but really all it takes is for one of those kids to act like a jerk and the party’s ruined for everyone.
If one of those little PGA golfers loses his cool on the mini-golf course and starts swinging his blue-handled putter around and smashes third graders’ heads like piñatas, I’ll be sure to write about it next week.
Oh, I almost forgot, my daughter’s last ballet class is tomorrow morning. Since it’s the day after the end-of-year showcase/recital (which begins in seventeen hours, but who’s counting?) it’ll be a Free Dance Day, which means the girls will just jump around and be crazy.
Four-year-olds know crazy, so that should be no problem.
I’m sure I’ll find other things to do as well. Much to my chagrin, my grass isn’t cutting itself. The DVR is just about full. I wouldn’t mind finding a new recipe to try. And I just looked at the weather forecast. If it’s accurate I’ll be sure to invent some new cuss words.
But here’s the thing about tomorrow: it can change.
If the proverbial bus finally creams me, then I suspect my Saturday will be different from what I’ve described above. But it doesn’t even take anything even that drastic to change our plans.
People change. Plans change. Goals change. Dreams change. Happiness becomes sadness. Badness becomes goodness. Impossible becomes possible. Things happen, whether we expect them to happen, or plan for them to happen, or want them to happen. They happen.
And then tomorrow can look wildly different.
So maybe the interesting thing in all of this isn’t that we hope, fear, believe or expect something to happen, but that we know things can happen which we can’t even think about happening.
The unthought known.
I’ll think about my tomorrow. I’ve planned it. I’m expecting it. But until it gets here, I don’t really know anything about it.
And that's why living it will always be more interesting than writing about it.
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