The Journey

GOOD MORNING

Today is Thursday. Today is my Friday. There have been only a handful of times in my career that I’ve worked 40 hours a week. I recently left a job that I worked 55 days straight twelve hours a day, so forty hours now is a blessing.

I had about a month off voluntarily and that was a blessing. It was the longest I have voluntarily had off in my career. It causes me to evaluate my work ethic. I have been working since I took that paper route at eleven years old and I’ve been working to get ahead ever since. I’m still not ahead, by the way. The hamster wheel continues to turn.

The early mornings spent in reading, contemplation or writing are good for me. This, also, is a blessing. The next three days I will wake a little later, but my morning routine will be the same. It keeps me focused on what matters and what matters is my own inner peace. I can’t be anything for anyone else until I can be me for myself and this ritual helps keep me centered.

Work and career is a thing I do to provide the lifestyle my family deserves. It’s easy to lose sight of my passion, which is creativity. Whether it is writing, music, drawing, contemplating, or any other creative pursuit. It’s what I want to do all the time.

I do have to work for the income but I am blessed to be able to work in a trade that allows me to create. It also allows me to be my authentic self. So until my passion is able to provide, I will get busy working.

WHAT IS THE GREATEST GIFT YOU’VE BEEN GIVEN?

The easy answer is life. Everything that we have and are is based on the fact that we have been given the gift of life. Without life nothing else exists.

Look around and life exists everywhere on this planet. From the world’s lushest forests to her most desolate deserts, the planet is teeming with life. The desert? How could the grim, hot wasteland we call desert be teeming with life? There’s nothing to see in the sand and rocks littered upon the earth. Lift one of the rocks and see an insect skitter away. Life. Pull a dead and decaying tree from the baked soil, look at the roots. What do you see? Dry, decaying plant matter, being eaten away by bugs and microscopic organisms. Life.

We see what we want to see. Sure there is death all around us. We see it every day throughout the world. Natural disasters, flood, fire, pestilence and famine. The End Times has been with us since the beginning of time. Why focus on it? Death exists as much as life. In our three dimensional reality there is an equal balance of all things, life and death included.

So, maybe the greatest gift is the perception of life and that it is a balance of all things and that it exists everywhere. If it exists everywhere that means it exists within me and that I am connected to all life and that all life is connected to me.

DAILY WRITING HABIT

I have a daily writing habit. It consists of me telling myself each morning when I wake up that I must write. Often, it ends with me avoiding the first step, which is opening the journal which is sitting on my lap.

Avoidance. Procrastination. I don’t know what it is, but I do know that too often writing does not get done, which is why I’m writing this now; At least the ten minutes of writing that I have committed to will get done. It’s about not breaking the cycle. To see how many uninterrupted days I can go.

I’m not sure how many days I have now, I haven’t kept track lately, but it’s less than a week. The question I must ask myself is, how am I supposed to get good at writing if I don’t write? I don’t know. I guess it magically happens. It drops in my lap like everything else in life that I didn’t work for. Wait! What? I don’t have anything I didn’t work for. Well, except bad results.

Yes, I have been writing for years, but as a hobby, not as a craft, and like any good craftsman, my skills must be honed. In my career as a steam fitter I’ve designed and installed numerous piping systems and on each one, I took a little something with me. I didn’t become this skilled and confident in a vacuum. The same goes for the craft of writing.

My first book was published in 2018 and my dreams and goals have not magically appeared. Will they ever come to fruition? I don’t know but, if the pen doesn’t touch the paper it will never happen. What needs to happen is that the right people must read the words that I write, but I have no way of knowing who those people are unless I connect with them, and there is no way of connecting with them unless I write.

It seems that by writing two things will be accomplished; First, my writing chops will be improved. I will find my voice. Second, with enough of the written word in existence, I will find my audience.

This is why I think that, since I’m not making the progress on the next book like I should, putting these words down is a great value. Maybe the message will reach one who needs it. Maybe it’s the message that I need. Maybe everything I write is for me and with each letter I type I grow a tiny bit. Maybe in order to have my ideal life I need to be a different person and with each sentence I become that person more.

I guess there is a third benefit to this; it transforms me into the person I will become. This exercise has opened my eyes and given me the confidence I need to do the work that I must in order to continue on with a successful writing career. Thank you for allowing me to share with you and may this writing find those who need the message.

DO YOU WELCOME FAILURE?

I often say that the tower of my success is built on the sands of my failures. This means that I understand that any success I enjoy is temporary and can only be judged by what I had to do to accomplish it. Depending on the lens that it is viewed through, success and failure can mean different things.

Whatever it means for you, you worked for it, and through some challenges and maybe some failures, you accomplished your worthy endeavor. You could say that it is not a failure until you quit trying. You could say that there is no failure, only different ways to prove something doesn’t work. You could say that no one likes failure.

Failure, like anything else in life, is a perception. We often see people who are doing well, achieving their goals and living their epic life. Maybe we think it’s easy for them because we see the end result. Unless we are with them every step of the way we don’t see their struggles. We don’t see the failures that their tower of success has been built on. If we do see, maybe we don’t hear the internal dialogue. Yes, we all have it and the default setting is toward the negative and like anything else, what we feed grows and thrives.

Negative self-talk can be considered a form of failure, so why not welcome it, acknowledge it and realize that there is another way to perceive situations, then let it go. It takes practice. A negative mindset is not overcome overnight. Sometimes we see challenges as failures and the negative self-talk begins. Before you know it you feel like a failure and you want to give up. Remember that the default setting is negative and the cycle can be broken.

Keep in mind that whatever you perceive to be true is true. If you believe you’ve failed, you have. If you believe that failure is only a perception, a stepping stone on the path to success, then you are already successful. Please help me keep this in mind when I become doubtful of my own success.

WHAT ARE YOU GRATEFUL FOR TODAY?

There are things that I’m grateful for everyday. Things like having a good career, a family who supports me and loves me, having the things that I need. Abundance. All things to be grateful for. Those never change.

Sometimes life can be challenging and things to be grateful for slip to the back of our minds and we focus on the challenge, which brings more challenges. Today I’m grateful that this question came up and I’m able to write about it.

I’m grateful that I was able to jump out of bed, even if I’m not able to jump as high as I did before. I’m grateful that the pain I feel is not as severe as it was a few weeks ago. I’m grateful that I could move well enough that I could make coffee and sit on the couch and enjoy it before getting dressed.

It seems that as I get older the things that I am grateful for change and become simpler. Today I’m grateful for the little things that make my life as fulfilling as it is.