Instead of sitting at my computer, writing, I could have been outside, playing with my kids. I could have been walking my dogs. I could have been baking a cake. I could have been talking to my dad. I could have been swimming at the pool. I could have been riding my bike.
Instead, I wrote my books. And I love them. But was it worth it?
I don’t know. Time goes so fast – I think I would have loved to do all that – playing, riding, walking, baking – but I loved writing my books more, I think. I loved living in a world I created. I was always a day dreamer. My teachers used to tell me all the time “Jennifer, stop daydreaming! Come back down off your clouds!”
I loved playing with my kids and walking my dogs. I wonder if they would have liked me to pay more attention to them? I’m afraid to ask.
Was it worth it? Financially, no, of course not. I didn’t write a best seller (well, it was a best seller for a short while, but nothing to write home about – to tell the truth, I didn’t even realize it was a best seller until my publisher told me – I know – hopeless.) I made pocket money, as they say. A little “butter on the spinach”, as the French say.
Is anything worth it? If I didn’t write my books, I would never have met some amazing people. Amazing writers and wonderful friends. I would have done something else, perhaps. I would have painted, and the house would be full of unsold paintings (it is already, actually, full of unsold paintings. Luckily they look nice on my walls).
And then I read an article about how the insects are dying, and how in fifty years, there will be half the number of insects there are today, and in a hundred years, they will be gone – but so will everything else. The article was as good as saying that we have fifty years and then it will all start to vanish. The insects, the frogs, the birds, the fish, the animals, and the humans. All gone. Unless we start doing something now. So I ask myself, will the human race be able to actually do something? What can we do?
Not eat so much meat, or dairy. Plant trees. Stop spraying insect spray over everything. Deal with the wormy apple. Celebrate bees. Court the ants. Encourage the dragonfly. In the end, if we do all that, perhaps it will be worth it.
In the end, I won’t be remembered for being the author of the Alexander series, or the painter, or the walker, the baker, the day dreamer. In the end, it won’t matter. In the end, no one will be remembered for anything, because the insects are all dying and so the world ends – like in The Hollow Men, the first poem I loved, and read over and over – not with a bang, but a whimper. And then, no one will be around to wonder, “Was it worth it?”