Tuesday, July 22, 2014

New Beginnings

Good seasons start with good beginnings.

Sparky Anderson

Tomorrow my two youngest daughters start school again.  I like the beginning of the school year or most beginnings in general.  Births, New Year’s Day, birthdays, new jobs, new homes, new school years or semesters, or any major change often gives me a sense of hope and of excitement.  I can feel the energy and the promise of new and better habits.   Sometimes the promise was realized; other times it was not.  When things didn’t change or get better, or if they got worse, it was often because necessary internal changes didn’t occur as well.
For example, through much of my academic life, I didn’t study consistently.  Though I had many new starts, one every year, every semester, or every quarter, they didn’t effect any great change in my life, because I hadn’t changed my bad habits. 
I often had the same problem in many jobs.  I did what I needed to do to keep the job (and not even that sometimes), but I couldn’t understand why I was so unhappy in so many of my jobs.  It took me a long time to realize that it was effort, not the avoidance of it, that made me happy at work and in my studies. 
Over the last few weeks I have put a lot of effort into my writing.  This will be my 75th blog in seven weeks.  I’m not saying this to brag, but to express my happiness not only in the accomplishment, but also in the effort.  I feel stronger.  At the same time, I feel nothing. This is what I’m supposed to be doing.  This is my job.  I’m expected to do my job (whether it’s a paying job or not) until it’s time to rest or quit.  But writing is my job.  There are advantages and disadvantages to this job.  First, the advantages:
·      I choose the hours.
·      I can write about whatever I want.
·      I can read whatever I want.
·      I can write as much or as little as I want.
·      I’m accountable only to my Muse and myself.

Here are the disadvantages:
·      I don’t get paid.
·      The hours are unending.
·      I don’t have enough time to read or write all I want.
·      My writing needs to have substance and style, quantity and quality.  Otherwise, I’m not going to publish it.
·      I’m accountable to the world because I said I’d do this.
·      I almost never, ever stop thinking about this.

Doing this is like having my own small business, except that I’m not making any money (which is also true of a lot of small businesses).  It’s a lot of work with absolutely no pay so far.  Not only is there no pay, there’s not even much of an audience yet?
So why am I doing this?  I’m doing this for the following reasons:
·      I believe that as I keep working, I am preparing myself for opportunities.
·      I can’t think of anything else I’d rather do.
·      I’d like to do this for the rest of my life.
·      I’m good at it and I believe most of us should spend most of our time doing the things we’re good at and let others do the things we’re not good at doing.

The most important reason is that writing changed me.  My Muse helped to become the man I always wanted to be all those years ago at work and school.  That’s why I work so hard when I could be doing other things.  I finally got my new beginning.