Hey, do you know my friend Inspiration? She’s great fun. When she comes to visit we have an amazing time.
Were a good team, she and I. We are amazingly productive together when she shows up, always creating new work like crazy, generating wonderful ideas, and moving in new directions. I love the feeling of having her around. She makes me bold and confident, not caring what’s going on in the world around me. Could there be a better friend?
There’s one problem with Inspiration though, and it’s a big one. She’s flighty and unpredictable. She doesn’t show up when it’s convenient and she’ll leave suddenly without warning. No matter how much you beg or plead, when she’s ready to go, she’s gone.
If she wasn’t so much fun to have around when she came to visit, I’d probably end my friendship with her. I mean, who really wants a friend so fickle? But I know what she does is not intentional. It’s as much me as it is her.
You see, if I don’t give her my attention, she’ll move on. If I think I can delay her departure by saying, “I can’t right now, hang on until tomorrow,” I’m deluding myself. She doesn’t have time for that, she’s got other people to inspire. If I don’t drop everything and take what she has to give, I can’t expect her to hang around indefinitely.
But I often do just that. Inspiration comes to visit and I say, “No thanks, not right now. I’ve got other things on my plate.” I forget what a great team we are, how much fun we have. I forget that I may not see her for a while, if I say no.
I forget that it’s my choice, in the end, whether Inspiration comes to visit. I might not have any control in when she shows up, how long she stays, or what we do while she’s here. But being open and willing and inviting her through the door… That’s all me.
She’s gone from here for the moment. Hopefully she’s having a grand time with you right now, since she’s not with me. I miss her, but her absence helps me realize that next time, I can’t put her off. I’ll rearrange my schedule and invite Inspiration in.