There are in excess of 70,000 images in my iPhoto library. I've taken so many pictures over the years for two reasons. I enjoy photography, and the thought of Kelly and I looking at those pictures later in life makes me smile. Here in present day, I don't look at them all that often because we are too busy making new memories. I love that they are waiting for us and part of me is excited to grow old so that we can spend our days watching the images that made up our life as they glide by on a screen. I hope that we all get that chance, a victory lap of sorts. Raising children is difficult and I imagine that getting to look back and remember the journey so vividly after we have the benefit of knowing how everything worked out, is going to be the icing on our life's cake.
But that's a long way off... opportunities like that, they come at the end.
That's why getting to write my book was such a blessing. Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal is a difficult book to explain, when you read it you'll be left with a feeling, one that I think you'll be very happy that you experienced. However I worry some times that you might not be able to quantify the book after you've put it down, at least not in standard terms. Some days I can't decide if that possibility is a concern or a triumph. Is it a memoir, yes but no. Is it a parenting book, yes but no. Is it an uplifting read, definitely, but it doesn't belong on the inspiration shelf. Is the book about diabetes? In some ways it is completely, but then not really. Did I write a book that's nothing more than stories from my life as a stay-at-home dad? No, they are so much more than that.
Far and away the most intense feeling that Lynne's phone call left me with was one of privilege. Perhaps my book will sell five copies, and maybe it will sell fifty-thousand, who knows. The one thing I do know is that it will be published, bear my name and forever be associated with me. If I were to step off of a cliff tomorrow, my book will stand as the culmination of what the last forty-one years has taught me. I took that responsibility very seriously. Is the book just a bunch of stories, no. Could it have been, certainly it could have. I've had some intensely funny and interesting experiences in my life and I could have easily told them in a way that you would have enjoyed, but then they would have just been stories. I wanted to put my name on a book that was more then just entertainment. I wanted to leave a record that my children could proudly read as adults. A book that you would enjoy, respond to and perhaps retain.
I wanted my book to be more then just a a way to pass a few hours.
So I did something that I wish for all of you. I spent time thinking about my life. Not just a moment of reflection, not a day, but months of days. I was able to look back through my mental photographs and locate the moments that impacted me, the process allowed me to retrace my steps and see, from a new perspective, where the knowledge that I've accumulated originated. I got to relive my life through my now more mature eyes. That time was a gift. This opportunity was a treasure, one that I worked hard to share with you. I hope that I did that, I guess we'll all know shortly if I succeeded.
Is the book funny, yes! Will it make you cry, oh yea. Will you think, feel, love? Will my moments cause you to look back at yours thoughtfully, I think so. I'm most proud that Life Is Short brings it's readers to these emotions without preaching, I desperately didn't want to be that person and I'm confident that I succeeded.
I don't want you to think Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal is some bore fest from an overly earnest guy. Because oh no it is not, these are entertaining stories full of truth and real life. It looks at parenting, marriage, sex, love, loss, renewal and the moments when all of those things begin to make sense.
Life Is Short is a love letter to the women that so thoughtfully do what I do everyday, a reality check for those who don't see that job for what it really is and my addition to the world of books that I'm getting very excited for you to be able to read it.
The next entry in this series is tentatively titled Life Is Short: Intent Meets Doubt.
Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal has its own FaceBook page, you can visit it at this link.