I’m a big fan of the programme House and of course a big fan of Hugh Laurie, who plays the role of “House”. At a recent party I attended, blues were flowing from the speakers. “It’s Hugh Laurie’s new album”, a friend tells me. A couple of months later I’m at another friend’s house and noticed a book “The Gun Seller” by…Hugh Laurie. I also paid attention to the credits whilst watching an episode of House and saw Hugh Laurie listed as the “executive producer”. Now, I knew he was musical. Every now and then he would position himself in front of a piano or grab a guitar for a blues session in an episode of House and it does seem like a natural progression that he would become involved in the production of his own television programme, but author?
Finally I had the opportunity to read a bit of “The Gun Seller”. Brilliant, by the way. Funny, intriguing, original. So, Laurie is probably this weird loner that works all day and goes on vacation in some remote spot, writing his next suspense thriller in the dark. Apparently not.
In the beginning of the book it also states that Laurie is a happily married husband and father of three. While reading the critical acclaim and CV on the cover, I immediately realised that I was not functioning at my full potential and that it is time to take a serious look at applying my talents more efficiently. Halfway through this ambitious thought, I started wondering where the hell he gets the time?
Okay, so let’s quickly tally the score. Award-winning actor, Executive Producer (of an award-winning television programme), highly rated blues singer, writer, musician, author, husband, father and not that it has much to do with his talent, but also a ardent motorbike enthusiast. Did I leave something out?
We tend to look at these superstars to compare ourselves with. If it isn’t Laurie’s many talents, it’s whether my leg can look as hot as Angelina Jolie’s peaking from the layers of a flowing velvet dress. And let’s not even talk about her ability to keep Brad Pitt, the UN, her acting career, her directing career and her (how many again?) 6 children happy. I don’t care HOW rich she is to afford help.
I suddenly realised I have always had an example like this. An example of someone who believed “there is always enough time”. My father. In his younger years whilst studying for his honours, masters and later doctorate, he was also married, with newborn twins at home, sport (almost every day) and working on the railways at night to support his family. (My mother raising 5 kids is a WHOLE other story).
Maybe they are part of that select group of people that can successfully function on 4 or 5 hours sleep a night, or never doubt themselves. Maybe they struck the genetic jackpot but it once again sets a standard of productivity to reach for. What you feel is lacking in your life might not be a big career opportunity like giving up your work to become a professional chef but maybe just a stimulating sense of release by taking an interesting cooking class after a stressful day or week at work.
A friend and I had a discussion about how difficult it must be to find space for a dog, not to mention a child with our lifestyles. Just keeping the plants alive and flourishing can be a monumental task. Maybe you already have the child, spouse, dog, gold fish, enviable garden and work on top of that, but still feel there are talents you never fully developed? Something of your own that you find extremely stimulating, but tend to push aside year after year? Who knows, you could be the new J.K. Rowling or take part in the Argus next year.
My guitar is a constant reminder of something I want to spend more time on.
Okay, so now I’m just waiting for my television to break. Another excuse to waste LESS time.