by Will Schreiber

It’s too late to collect sand

When I was 13, my family went to California. We walked along a beach near Mendocino. I’d never seen black sand before. I wanted to bring some home.

So I got a ziplock bag from my mom, scooped some sand into it, and put it in my backpack.

When I got back to Birmingham, I put it in a jar and placed it on my bookshelf. “Cool,” I thought.

But I only had one jar. It wasn’t going to be “Really Cool” until I had a bunch of jars.

I was missing the jar of sand from the Gulf of Mexico. I was missing the jar of sand from the Caribbean. I was missing the jar of sand from the Eastern Shore in Virginia.

“I’ve been to so many beaches already! And I never collected sand before now.”

So I scrapped the whole idea. What was the point in collecting jars of sand when I hadn’t started from the beginning? I’d never recover from missing the jars I could’ve already had.

What a ridiculous thought.

I fall for this trap repeatedly.

  • “I haven’t been keeping a journal since childhood, I’m missing so much.”
  • “I didn’t blog the first half of my trip, so what’s the point in the second half?”
  • “I haven’t been keeping track of contacts in a CRM, I’m missing so many people!”
  • “I haven’t been running, I’m so far behind.”