Thursday, November 07, 2013

Our Days are Long

Part Two.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
- Steve Jobs 

There is that peculiar phenomenon that when you are doing something that is not stimulating, the hours seem to drag. And then, conversely, when you are having a good time, the time flies by.

When I am at work these days, the days drag. But then I get to the end of a week, and the end of another week, and then I realize, “Holy shiz—we are nearly at the end of the year 2013 and where has the time gone?”

If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am doing today? Actually, no. I am proud of the work I help to accomplish, and I know that I contribute to making some people’s lives better through the work that I do. But the work itself brings me no joy, and that is no way to live, is it?

This is a recurring theme here, which tells you something, but in my defense, I have been doing things to try and change my work life. I have been reading a lot to help map out what I might do next, and I have been teaching myself some helpful skills – I am learning HTML, for example, which is a long time coming. I am looking at the jobs I want and working backwards into them – i.e. determining what skills I need that I don’t have – and also trying to keep abreast of trends in the online world, so that I am not learning things which will soon be outmoded.

I am trying to be more purposeful with my loved ones as well – to have more fun with my kids, to be more present with my husband. And in my larger circle, to operate from a place of love rather than fear, which is the culture in my family of origin. (Risk! BAD. Status quo! GOOD. Change! SCARY. Ugh. Grunt.)

But in all honesty, what I really want is just to write. To write essays and to write fiction and that is all I would do all day. And maybe draw illustrations to go with the fiction, or just to amuse myself. I want to be – not exactly a lady of leisure – but I want my days to be a little less frantic, and a little more hanging about the house poking away at my laptop and sketchbooks.

That is my vision. I am going to do my damnedest to get to it. For the days, they just go. And I don’t want to waste them.

NOTE that I am learning HTML and I haven't been able to fix the damn line breaks at the top of this post. I will figure it out, but not this moment.

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