The life of beautiful fools – No time like the present


I had no intention of starting off today’s writing talking about Bill Paxton. But the dude went and died at only 61 after complications from surgery. (My history working in a surgical field, of course, makes me morbidly curious about the complications, but that is totally beside the point.) Bill Paxton appeared in more films and shows than I can count. For me, he is first ‘Chet’, the horrible older brother in the silly-stupid 80s flick, Weird Science – who would have imagined the career he ended up with based on that role? And later, although he appeared in many major blockbusters, his strength as an actor shone through in roles like TV’s Big Love and films like A Simple Plan and the disturbing Frailty (which he also directed), where his quiet conviction and ‘everyman intensity’ were on full display.

Apart from losing the actor, I think we’re once more reminded that our tendency to defer, to postpone, to wait… until everything is settled, figured out, the docket is cleared … is a waste of time. How does it do us any good? If you wanted desperately to do something, go somewhere – or whatever propels your dreams – why are you not doing it? Surely there are reasons why something is not realistic or why you think you need to wait.

But how many of those reasons are just excuses and fear? It’s easy to obscure what is important because sometimes following your heart is the much harder road to take. Should you not at least evaluate and question whether you are living how and doing what you want? What’s the worst that can happen? It’s a shame that it takes an untimely or unexpected death – of a family member or a friend, of a person in the public eye – to make us see that the present is all we have. Can you afford to wait?

After all, what happens to a dream deferred (Hughes)?

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