The Little Train

There is a famous children's book titled "The Little Engine That Could". It's a wonderful story about a little train whom no one thought could get over the hill. It was carrying all sort of fun paraphernalia (though my memory is not so great as to remember what sorts. I do remember a giraffe. I don't remember where I left my garage clicker.) and all of the bigger engines were laughing and making awfully rude remarks about it's supposed lack of strength. But despite all odds (and quite possibly because of the odds) the little train made it over the hill. All aboard rejoiced and faith was restored in trainkind, the publishing house made millions and the author a few hundred bucks.

The author's previous book however did not reach such critical acclaim. It was titled:

The Little Engine That Theoretically Could Have But Didn't Because He Was Too Lazy.

It was never published. It theoretically could have been, but the author was too lazy.

Sometimes I feel like the lazy train. School was always pretty easy, I never really needed to study and trying hard at was a foreign concept. Semicha was a bit tougher, but only a bit.

Nothing changed until I got married. Then BAM (yes in upper case letters. Named so for them being in the top drawer of the typesetters desk.). All of a sudden (all of a sudden? What the tuber is that supposed to mean) work is required. Hard work. No more Mr. Lazy Train.

It's more than work. In fact I shouldn't be really calling it work. It's discipline. It's going to bed at a certain time. It's structuring your day. Making a schedule. Keeping the schedule (crazy stuff). It's starting work and ending work. With a hard stop. Its not checking emails, not reading books (even self-help books, or some techno babble photography book). Its making time for your wife and kids. Real time, not shared time. Not with books, food an iPad or cellphone. It's waking up early and learning a it. It's getting to shul on time and starting with the minyan. It's following through with your promises.

I see some of my friends who aren't the brainiest, yet are happy and doing well financially. They had to work at school. Study. Take time off from playing around to hang out with a tutor. They learnt discipline.

I'm still trying.

Then the author made a third book. Although it wasn't as popular as the first, it was his favorite. It was titled:

The Little Engine That Theoretically Could Have But Didn't Because He Was Too Lazy But Then Worked His Tush Off And Finally Figured It Out