I’m still cabin-bound working on my book, so here’s another post from my old Tumblr archives. I think this one is pretty fitting considering what I’m doing right now. It was originally written back on August 9, 2010. Enjoy.
I’ve been holidays for the past two weeks. Sort of.
While I’ve been away from my day job, I haven’t exactly been on a complete vacation. When my newborn child arrived on July 24th, my holidays began shortly thereafter. Again, sort of.
A typical holiday for me would be one of two things, usually:
- Flying somewhere relaxing and definitely warm away from extended family.
- Flying somewhere busy and often not warm towards extended family.
This was not a typical holiday.
All that aside, I had a lot of time to get a bunch of stuff done — backburner sort of stuff — that had been not terribly pressing but needed doing. It felt good to get them done. But there’s a lot I wanted to get done that just didn’t happen. With all of this time away from my day job, I had a lot of time to think. One of the things I ended up thinking about was:
“Why can’t I get it all done?”
You’d think that the answer would be simple for me at this point. I’d pared down my projects to a manageable level (a process I’d done many times before and yet occasionally build back up to overflow) and yet something was still missing on my “to done” list.
Time wasn’t the issue, per se. I’d had plenty of time over past couple of weeks to work through things. Didn’t happen to 100 percent levels.
Discipline was part of it. My mindset was still stuck on the fact I was on holidays, which meant I should take time for myself. But that wasn’t entirely what I set out to do with this time off. As a result, with time ticking away, I am laser-focused on every task at hand as today progresses. The last day of my “vacation.”
I go back to the day job tomorrow.
I like my day job. A lot. In fact, I like a lot of the things I do regularly a lot.
(Here comes the questions with the thinking again…)
“What do I love to do that lets me provide for those I love?”
Which leads to this question:
“Is ‘provide’ always about money?”
As I sat down to write this, the answers flowed through me. Not effortlessly; that would mean they were questions that weren’t too tough for me to answer. These were tough questions, because it’s relative to the person, places and things involved. I love to write. I love to make people laugh. I’m damn good at both. I’d be even better at it with more time spent on it. I know this.
What wasn’t known to me before this past year is whether or not I could make a living doing it. That answer is much clearer now. Through a lot of effort (and family support), I’d hold it to be true. I have proven that I can and will work to make a living at it. But do I want to do all that work?
Otherwise I’m not a writer. I’m not a creative artist. I’m not…me.
Then I get to that word “provide” again. It means far more than money to me. It means a positive atmosphere. It means “role modelling”. It means showing your kids that you can do anything you want to do with enough hard work and perseverance. Sure, it also means money. But I wasn’t earning money before and yet my daughter saw how much I loved writing comedy. I was providing for her something that money just couldn’t buy — or measure up to.
Well, as my holidays wrap up I know that I’ve still got a lot of work to do. Not only for my daughter. Not only for my son. Not only for my wife, who’s been behind me every step of the way.1
I have to do it for me — then everyone benefits. That’s the perspective I have to work with — where I’m coming from.
It’s not getting easier, it’s getting tougher. It’s my belief that means I’m getting closer. Just like a runner who hits “the wall” as she draws closer to the end of a race, I’ve got to push through this.
Vacation time is over. Thinking time is over. It’s time for action.
And that’s no joke.
Photo credit: gerlos (CC BY-SA 2.0)
1 Today marks the 9th anniversary of my first date with my wife. I can’t possibly express how much she means to me. So I won’t even try, other than to tell her how much I love her.