Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Happy Birthday To Me!

I don't ordinarily draw attention to my birthday.  Today, though, I've given myself such an extraordinary present that I just have to tell you about it.

Most of you know that I've been unemployed for quite some time.  I've sent out dozens of applications, had a few interviews and still haven't found a job.  The past couple of weeks I've really beat myself up over it.  I had decided that I had to find something if it was no more than cleaning motel rooms.  Hey, I'm not proud, I cleaned and delivered portable toilets for a while.  You don't go much lower on the desirable jobs list than that.

Yesterday, depressed and out of sorts with myself, I had resolved to get out there and take the first job I could find, no matter what it was.  I just couldn't make myself do it.  Somehow, deep inside I felt that if I did I would be letting myself down by settling for less than what God had in mind for me.  Even so, I had no idea what He intends for me.  I spent the entire day wrestling with it.  At dusk I went for a walk.  I do some of my best thinking while walking.  It didn't take long.  I came up with the same conclusion I have on other walks, but this time I had the details.

I remember coming home from such a walk a few months ago.  Sweetie asked what I'd found out.  I told her that I felt that I was focusing too much on the problem and not enough on the solution.  Quite frankly, I had no idea what that meant.  This time I came home understanding quite certainly.

Most of you know I have a flood-gutted basement that has been so for three years.  I've had that troublesome problem hanging over my head all that time.  I had set out the fix it myself.  I even added to the problem by moving the stairwell and rearranging the rooms down there.  Much of the stuff we had down there is still stacked in the carport, rendering it useless for its intended purpose.  We've been slowly going though all that intending to have a yard sale.  Every free moment I've had has been overshadowed by the monster down stairs.  Every decision seems based on recovering from that disaster.  Too often I've had to choose between good and best as I've tried to move on with my life.  Too often, rather than choose, I've caved in to the overwhelming volume of the task and done nothing.

As I pondered these situations and my less than stellar response to them, it occurred to me that I might be barking up the wrong tree.  I remember Stephen R. Covey suggesting that we sometimes climb the ladder of success only to find it leaning against the wrong wall.  I began to wonder if that was it.  Covey also says that energy comes from oxygen and interest.  I had to admit that I had neither.  I'd quit working out and worse, I had no passion for anything I was doing.  That is except my service at the Detention Center.  I dared to begin to ask myself if there was anything out there that I was passionate about.  I dared imagine doing something I could hardly avoid doing because it inspired and motivated me so much.  I began to think about writing.

I've dabbled in writing most of my life.  But, most of my life I've been busy with work and other demands and seldom found the time to really develop my craft and thoroughtly discover my voice.  That is where my passion lies, that is what will get me out of bed in the morning.  That it is something that could make me want a prolonged and productive life.  Money, even enough to pay the bills just doesn't motivate me any more.  Life has got to have more meaning than to just plod through mundane tasks for a paycheck.

I began to understand what I must do.  I talked it over with Sweetie and received the best Birthday gift she could have given me - Whole-Hearted Support.

So today, on my 60th Birthday I am no longer unemployed.  I am a writer!  That is my job!  This new job has some pretty stiff requirements and it won't be easy, but I am on fire!  I am absolutely going in the right direction!  I can feel it in the depths of my soul.  I have finally given myself permission to pursue my dream.  The basement can wait or be worked on after work and on the weekends.

 I have an investment I can liquidate which will sustain us for a couple of months.  After that we'll just have to see.  I wrote a couple of days ago about seeing with the eye of faith and then going forth and making that vision come to pass.  I am willing to do that.  It will require a lot of discipline, at lot of courage and a lot of faith.  I hardly slept last night for excitement.  Yet I knew that my new job requires me to show up on time and to labor with integrity.  So I got up at six and did my morning routine so I could be showered, shaved and dressed for work on time.  I've been self employed before and I'm pretty scared of my boss.  He's quite the evil task master.  It'll take some getting used to.  I'll need to recalibrate my daily patterns to fit my new obligation.  But hey, no more shift work.  No more working on the Sabbath.  I should work out just fine.

Now, I have a few of favors to ask.  First, I'm fully aware that pulling this off with require a miracle.  I also know that the miracle is not likely to come until after the trial of my faith.  If you believe in what I'm doing, encourage me, please!  If you don't, please try to keep quiet.  I know how foolish this may sound to some of you.  There will be days when it will sound foolish to me.

Second, when I succeed, please help me to stay humble.  I don't want to ever be found taking credit for a miracle only God can perform.

Third, eventually, and hopefully soon, I'm going to have make some money with my writing.  You can be of great help with that.  Please visit my blog and its peripherals often and when you find something that genuinely pleases or inspires you, would you just forward it to friends and family who might like it.  That little gift alone will likely make all the difference.  I'm not yet prepared to send anything to a publisher, but developing a reputation will most certainly enhance my possibilities and broaden my prospects.

Now, skeptic or fan, I've laid it out there.  You are free to judge me as a fool or a visionary.  All I know is that for the first time in a long time, I feel like I'm working on the solution instead of the problem.


Alyson said...

I think this sounds perfect for you!! I know you can do it and hope that the difficulties you foresee are bearable and less harsh than you imagine. I hope this endeavor turns out to be fruitful as well as fulfilling. Happy birthday and happy writing.

Love you,
Aly (daughter of an author) :)

Anonymous said...

All I can say is: It is about time! I am eagerly looking forward to the fabulous words that make me forget my own troubles and find joy in life. Proceed forward with faith because my faith in you is unstoppable.

Happy writing...and again Happy birthday.

Booklogged said...

I think you're going to do great! You are a talented writer and always have insightful things to say.

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