Sometimes a moment happens that changes all the other moments in your life. I’ve had a few of those of moments. They were literally moments. For example, on a whim, I asked my Art History teacher at Grossmont Community College where I should continue my education. I mentioned one school and he said, “You’re too smart for that school.” He recommended another, more challenging school and without a moment’s hesitation, I went to the counselors’ office and signed up. Six months later I was there.
There was the moment when a friend said I should teach adults. I did and that changed my life and gave me an exit strategy years later from a job I hated.
There was the moment I gave my life to God.
There was the moment I knew when someone was a true friend.
There was the moment I understood and cemented my political beliefs.
There was the moment I started my first journal, when I was 17 years old.
There was the moment I knew I wanted to be with my Muse.
It happened two years ago today. I knew, I just knew, I wanted to spend my life with her. In fact, I knew it before then. But two years ago today I realized that life with my Muse was my only choice. The joy and certainty I felt confirmed it. There were no other choices, no Plan B. I had absolutely no idea how it was going to happen. It was more than a vague desire, but there was no plan. In fact, at the time it looked impossible. I still don’t know how it’s going to happen. But it no longer looks impossible.
There were other moments, when a plan started forming. One time it was in a coffee shop. Another time at a park. Another time at a beach. Most moments, however, happened in the very chair I’m sitting in, taking action, working, writing. In each of these moments, I began clarifying my desire. I still didn’t have a complete plan, but I knew what I wanted. I wanted to write. I wanted my house on the beach. I wanted to spend my life with my Muse.
The sculptor Michelangelo said, “Every block of stone has a statue inside it, and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.”
Every time I write, I chisel a little more of my own block of stone. Something emerges. A plan begins to form. But I have to keep chiseling. I have to keep working. Michelangelo also said, “There is no greater harm than that of time wasted.”
I need to use my time well. I think I still don’t always use it wisely. There’s a lot I can get done today and within a year from now. There’s a lot I can do. A lot. In fact, in my Morning Write, I’ve written a list of things I can accomplish today. Each item, when accomplished, has the potential to move me forward financially, spiritually, professionally, intellectually, organizationally, or in my relationships. Does this mean I have to work non-stop until I drop? No, but it does mean that in each thing I’m doing I can ask myself, “Will this thing I’m doing now move me forward in my goals? Will it make me a healthier, kinder, more loving, and more prosperous person? Will it make my environment more peaceful? Will it make me more peaceful?”
If the answer is yes, then I will keep doing it.
If the answer is no, then I have a decision to make.
For now I’m doing the right thing. I’m writing. When I’m done, I will work on the tasks on my list. All of this gives me great joy, like the joy I felt two years ago today. What’s even more exciting is realizing that that moment, an unexpected gift from God, can be created again and again and again. I just need to do my work. I need to keep writing.
With regard to specifics, one of my goals is to reach 1,000 blogs. I’m not even close, but it doesn’t matter. I’m still chiseling that stone. I’m still doing my work. It takes time and effort and sacrifice, none of which compare to the reward of being with my Muse. To paraphrase Zig Ziglar, there is no price to pay in doing my work. I pay a price if I don’t do my work.
Sitting here and writing every day is no sacrifice. It’s the best choice. It’s the choice with the most rewards. The good we should be doing is really the key to a happy, peaceful, and successful life.
Two years ago I understood that a little better.
By this time next year, I plan to have that block of stone transformed into my statue. It will look like a house on the beach. Or it will look like a flower. Or it will look like my Muse. The inscription will read, “Get Started and Keep Going.”