We were enjoying a splendid little evening idle of office cigars, beers and the new Stones album when one of my friends dive bombed my buzz.
“You know,” he said, “some of our friends think you’re just lazy.”
It was incredibly rude, almost as if I’d blurted out I think some of our friends are just stupid.
They’re not, of course. They’re all super smart. You have to be highly intelligent to be friends with me.
How else could you convince a suspicious spouse you were going to spend the night out drinking with a guy whose deadbeat blog brags he hasn’t had a real job since 1992?
On second thought, maybe ALL my friends are stupid.
Am I lazy?
I’ve spent the last 22 years whimsically chasing activities I’ve mistakenly believed would lead to tangible profit.
We live in a world where it’s easy to mistake a man digging a hole is working much harder than any man or woman who's simply staring out a window while engaged in soulful thought.
We confuse motion with productivity.
I contend I’m doing exactly what I should be doing and that, yes, it’ll one day lead to an obvious kind of success.
A lazy person doesn’t write and sell books. Heck, a lazy person doesn’t read books.
I’ve written two books that have earned exactly the kinds of reactions far more successful authors than I would cherish.
I’m particularly proud of the book I wrote that urges all who struggle to cheerfully persevere in spite of life’s relentless ass kicking.
Even better, I took that message and from a dead stop became a credible public speaking. I in two years went from speaking for free to church groups to being offered several thousand dollars to keynote state-wide conventions.
Sure, those lucrative gigs are for now rare, but I just last month agreed to be represented by a prestigious talent agent who’s convinced he can make them a staple of my schedule.
This blog is rebuttal testimony to anyone who contends I’m lazy.
What’s it earn? Absolutely nothing.
Or does it?
It’s the fertile grassroots base for everything I do. Blog readership — and I’ve had more than 25,000 hits in the last three months — has led to speaking engagements, free vacations and more book sales than I can count.
Plus, the “Crayons!” book couldn’t have been written had the blog never existed.
And think for a moment about that: During a time of both personal and national hardship, I didn’t succumb to addiction, tawdry infidelity or the temptations of Pokemon Go. I instead wrote a cheerleader book saying, c’mon, times are tough, but we’re going to be fine.
I’m doing all this in the midst of publishing industry tumult when the very best minds in the business are daily failing at figuring how they can make an on-line dime.
Then there’s this: Lots and lots of people really love this blog. Reading it makes them happy.
That’s exactly what one emcee told the audience when he introduced me last fall. “If I’m having a bad day, I know I can go to Chris’s blog and I’ll feel better,” he said. “It makes me happy.”
It doesn’t pay, but no one can tell me there’s no value in creating something that earns that kind of reaction from strangers.
I guess I’m audacious to think like that.
I’ve had some advise me I should take a job waiting tables, tending bar or brewing coffee.
I decline this well-intended advice because I’m altruistic. I know me taking a job like that or some low-paying news reporting jobs would rob someone who may need it more.
Plus, I’m realistic. I’m far too much of a smart ass to ever work in customer service ever again. Too many people are armed these days for sass like mine to proliferate in public.
I used to be what I considered unconventional, but now have to admit I’m eccentric.
Next stop: Nut job!
But I’m not lazy.
I guess one of my problems is I’ve always wrestled with earning a living is because I’ve always believed being born entitled me to living. And, by God, I intend to live my ass off.
I intend to laugh, love, think and revel in this world and one day puzzle out a way to make it somehow pay.
So go ahead and call me a cheerfully unproductive, optimistic, persevering, audacious, altruistic, realistic, unconventionally eccentric nut job.
And because I’ve got a darling wife who for the time being still puts up with it all, call me blessed.
Just don’t call me lazy.
I’m just a guy standing on the shore believing his ship is about to come in and hoping when it does it’s not some leaky one-seat rowboat with a busted oar.
If it does happen like that then please just call me a cab.