Wednesday, July 7, 2010

On Not Waiting

Not Waiting, 2010

I won't recommend Tom Cruise's latest movie (it was fine...), but his character did mention the word someday in a way that I haven't been able to shake.

Someday. That's a dangerous word. It's really just a code word for 'never'.
Tom Cruise in Knight and Day


I am obviously not the first individual to contemplate the meaning of this adverb.
Merriam-Webster defines someday as at some future time. Painfully vague, don't you think?

When I typed someday into Google I found Someday - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The page lists 36 songs and 5 albums titled Someday. This list doesn't even include John Fogerty's Someday Never Comes. His are the lyrics that really sting and inspire me to never use the word again.

"Someday Never Comes" is simply a song about my parents undergoing a divorce when I was a child and me not knowing many things. When my dad left me, he told me to be a man and someday I would understand everything. Now, I'm here basically repeating the same thing really. I had a son in 1966 and I went away when he was five years old or so and again told him "someday" he would understand everything. Really, all kids ask questions like "Daddy, when are we going fishing?" and parents always answer with "someday", but in reality someday never comes and kids never learn what they're supposed to learn. -John Fogerty 1973

I may move at a turtle's pace, but I don't stall. I do make things happen. Unfortunately, there are some things in my life that I've allowed myself to believe will happen someday. This isn't good. I'm thinking about these things today. Some of my somedays are deeply personal and some are as simple as almond cake.

I'm beginning with almond cake. Thanks Vanessa.


  1. I think I am more of a "carpe diem"
    Yet I do have a few dreams that are for "someday".
    Enjoy your cake.

  2. I'm very flattered you decided to start with that cake. I should get cracking on my "someday" projects too. Getting my stuff into boxes ready for the big move for example.

  3. "ouch" is right. wow.

  4. oooh, very interesting. i love this post.


    xo Alison

  5. It's like 'I'll try to do it', which often means 'I won't do it but I don't want to say so straight out.'

  6. It's a good word - it's always had a feeling of looking forward for me although it can easily fall into the "never" territory in some cases.

    When my daughter was three, I realized the mistake of not being specific when she thought her cousins were coming to visit on "Sunday" (someday). When that day came and went without a visit, she cried bitter tears and I think lost a little faith in me.

  7. great advice about someday...because that is pretty much what happens with in it never happens.

  8. Camilla, Yes, you sure do seem to be a carpe diem girl. The cake is superb.

    Vanessa, The cake is delicious. Thank you for sharing the recipe. I understand delaying box packing. It's surely not as fun as baking a cake.

    countingdandelions, I know.

    and flowers pick themselves, Thanks.

    mise, Or 'I'll call you' or 'Let's get together soon.'

    mosey, Oh no, someday and Sunday are very different. Poor little thing. Visiting cousins are not something a three year old takes lightly.

    Char, I guess never is fine if it isn't really that important, but if it is important... I hope all of your important somedays take place soon.

  9. Interesting... it is used like that isn't it? My list of somedays are all things that involve a lot of effort, like running a marathon. I have accomplished some of my someday things though...

  10. crikey - that does sting! sure has made me think.... Pleased to see you made the almond cake sounds delicious.

  11. Thinking about this - I want to go and turn one of my somedays (I have many) into a now. Right now.

  12. Sometimes "someday" can be very motivating.

  13. There is great power to be found in making someday dreams happen today. It's empowering and energizing. Now I'm thinking about what I can make happen now...

  14. I just recently found your blog and have come to look forward to each and every post. Your writing draws me in.

    As for this particular post, I'd echo countingdandelions and say 'ouch'. This post was a slap in the face but one that I desperately needed. I've thought constantly about it the past 24 hours and probably will continue to do so...thank you for that.

  15. ...but someday is a very romantic concept too... it is "vague", but frankly I would not want it any other day. certainty is not something I want to associate with my future. The discovery is all, slowly, tentatively, serendipitously, vaguely...

  16. Denise, I'm deeply appreciating your words today. I've got a few "somedays" in my pocket. Your post reminds me that it's time to lay them out on the table and take a closer look.

  17. There is a children's picture book called Someday is not a day of the week. My mom gave it to my son for his birthday, although I think it was really meant for me and my husband. The message hit home and I reread it whenever I need a kick in the butt.

  18. I, too, can be rather turtle-like, but we'll get there eventually! Here's to making it happen, whatever it is that we're striving for.

  19. Hello All, I like the way this post has elicited such a variety of responses. You've prompted me to continue to think about 'someday'. When I discover something new and say 'Wow, this is so interesting. I'll have to try this someday', this is fine. When I've been putting off something for a long time, good or bad, something I know I'd like to see done, but find myself saying 'I'd love to do ___ someday', this is not fine. My point? In my world, some somedays are okay and some somedays are not okay. I'm sure you'll decide what's best for you.

  20. I liked what you said over coffee the other day. I'll paraphrase:

    "Perhaps there should be a time limit on a someday. It's fine in the moment. Saying 'someday we'll go to Argentina,' while we are currently resting on the beach in Italy makes sense. And perhaps for a few months or even a year to two. But if you find yourself three, four, or five years out talking about the 'someday trip to Argentina' you are in trouble."

    That seems to make sense to me. The major changes we've made in our life (you going to graduate school, us trying out living in the country/small town, me starting a business, you writing) all started as a someday. Probably on a walk. Or over coffee.

    For example, I said that someday I'd start posting/commenting on your blog again.

    I'm just sayin'.


  21. knowledgeman, That was a good conversation. Perhaps somedays need expiration dates.

  22. I agree. A someday without an expiration date is essentially saying never. But nicer.

    I used to say "maybe someday I'll run a restaurant." But after really looking into what being a chef actually means I know that it is not the life for me and why. So I don't say someday I'll have a restaurant anymore.

    But I do say "someday we'll have a garden again."

    And I mean it.

    (I swear people are cutting in front of us on the list at the community garden.)

  23. I felt a knot in my stomach when reading your words today. Then reading everyones comments added to that. Even if I am a carpe diem girl at heart I think I have turned into a grown up and responsable woman who too often says some day...

    I will start with setting a date for some of those somedays.

    Thank you Chez!

    Hope you are having a great summer!

  24. Almond cake is the perfect way to start any day. Or end one, for that matter. I say, here's to cake -- morning, noon and night. ;)

  25. Lovely. I'm working hard at making my somedays happen soon-ish, and trying to have fewer of them as I appreciate each day more. Thought-provoking, as usual :)

  26. life in yonder, I hope you've set some dates, loosened those knots, and are feeling good about your decisions.

    Carolyn, Yes. I started today with a slice of Tartine's almond lemon poppy tea cake and it was a perfect way to start the day.

    Megan, You've got it right. The appreciating part is key.

  27. Oh, what a post.

    And Knowledge Man is commenting - what a treat!

    I think you're right - "someday" changes meaning depending on its context, no? Like the way words in Latin change their purpose according to their ending... but my memory is foggy. That was a long time ago, High School. In Argentina. ;)

    How have you been, dear Denise? I've missed you! I've been mostly hiding from the horrible heat..! I think I've been having the summer blues.


  28. Hi Maria, It is fun when Knowledge Man pops in and visits Chez Danisse. I'm always happy. I've been okay. Some days more challenging than others, as I'm sure is the case for most. I need to find out what you've been up to lately. Maybe there's a post. I'll check. I hope you are in front of a fan with a large slice of watermelon or an ice cream cone. I've missed you. Thanks for perusing the blog this afternoon.