Each day, I start with grand dreams of what I’d like to accomplish, and each day I’m lucky to get even one thing completed. So, when met with a prompt of “I wish I had…” my mind immediately leapt to “more time.” Thankfully, my little daily sketch and post are one thing that I always manage to make happen. The more I thought about the predicament of not having enough time, the more I realized it was really more a lack of focus. I have trouble staying on any single task for any length of time without bouncing on to something else. Each little project manages to creep forward a bit, but certainly not at the rapid pace that would occur if I just picked one thing and focused on it. When a deadline is involved, that’s certainly helpful, but I’ll still wait until the very last minute to complete things. I’m less like a studious collegiate and more like a little circus monkey who’s just eaten too much cotton candy. But, oddly, I don’t really wish I had more focus because I love the way my mind works as it zooms about coming up with way too many ideas. It’s a crazy and kinetic journey to be sure, but one that I wouldn’t have any other way. I’ve always thought the ability to pause time, like in those science fiction books and movies would be an awesome power to have. But, the only way I currently know how to do it is, as ever, via my little sketchbook.
I chose this particular pocket watch because it’s exactly like the one I had when I was younger. Though mine may still be in a box somewhere in the garage, I’ve not found it yet, so it’s also something I wish I had. I was happy to be able to conjure it back up virtually at least. It’s been so fun to collect memories here of my current life and things I miss from what now feels like a previous life. Part of my bouncing around all of the time means I’ve become one of those jack of all trades and master of none. I’m always so impressed when somebody seems to know exactly what they want to do as they attack it with all of their energy and focus for years and years. They are my heroes and I look up to them now, just as I did as a child. And as I approach 50, I’m still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. Some days, I feel like a bit of failure for not having decided yet, but most days, I’m just excited to find out. I’ve no idea where I’ll be in 5-10 years or even next year. Maybe I’ll manage to publish that next book, or maybe something else will happen instead. The goals I set for myself always begin with “I wish I had…” Whether it’s the ability to sketch and color my own art or the next idea for a work of fiction. Everything I do starts with just a wish, like I’ve suddenly spotted a shooting star.
The things I wish for, however, are never the usual fare that one might choose if they’d just stumbled onto a genie’s lamp. I don’t wish for fame or fortune as those aren’t the most interesting things I can imagine. My mind leaps to other things where something cool gets made that didn’t exist in the moment before that wish was granted. That’s pretty much how I start every day as I race against time. I imagine all of the things I dream I could make happen and then I do what I can to move those dreams forward. The mysterious beauty of life is that it doesn’t last forever. What I do in this moment and all of the moments that I’m gifted is the most important thing of all. And though I do hope I’ll be able to accomplish some of those things from my wild dreams, I’m equally happy in the pursuit of them. Some talk of the legacy they want to leave behind, but I know that everyone leaves a legacy the moment they touch a single person’s heart. For me, I just want to create and make whatever I can during the time I have left on earth. And years from now, hopefully, when I’m at those last moments of my life, just before I take that final breath, I’ll knowingly smile and giggle to myself as I once again think, “I wish I had more time.”
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Vermilion, and Indigo (my “Vintage” Trio! Click Here To Purchase It!). Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!