Sunday, January 02, 2005

“If you’re just operating by habit, then you’re not really living.”

The Movie: My Dinner with Andre, 1981 (Andre Gregory and Wallace Shawn, screenwriters; Louis Malle, dir.)
Who says it: Andre Gregory, as himself
The context: Gregory is extolling the virtues of living without a net.
How to use it: To defend your decision to break with tradition.

The thing about not operating by habit, though, is that it's exhausting. Most freelancers I know compensate for their lives' lack of external structure by creating fairly rigid routines for themselves. That's something I haven't done yet in Maine, and I need to. It's much easier for myself and my clients if we all know that I am walking my dog between 7:00 and 8:00, at the library from 10:00 to 2:00, available by phone from 3:00 to 5:00.

So that's one of my new year's resolutions. I also said, a couple of days ago, that I'd like to hop around a little less in 2005 -- not keep jumping to Washington or Tidewater or Los Angeles or New York, but take some time to settle down in Maine... but I am already making tentative plans to go to New York in February, Los Angeles in April, and Europe sometime this fall, before my 40th birthday.

My favorite theory is of an infinite number of parallel universes, in which an infinite number of parallel selves live the lives we didn't choose in this one. In one of those universes, surely, my parallel self lives an orderly life.

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