Sunday, October 18, 2015

October 19--Evaluate Your Life Day

I wonder sometimes if we shouldn’t evaluate and re-evaluate at least one life circumstance or goal every day.  We rush through life at such a frantic pace these days. It’s as if we’re afraid tomorrow will never come. Someday it might not, but I don’t think that’s a reason for trying to cram a lifetime into a single day.

The life I need to evaluate
I’ve been retired for eight years now. For a while, it was difficult to learn to slow down, even though I promised myself I’d finished hurrying the day I walked out of my classroom for the last time. Hurrying is addictive, you see. But eventually my quick pace kicked into cruise, and it’s been a lovely ride.
My life, of course, is in its final chapters. As the beloved gospel singer George Younce said in his final appearance, “I’ve got a whole lot more days behind me than I have ahead.” And that’s okay. It makes me appreciate each day I open my eyes and get out of bed. He went on to say he has his bag packed and ready, and I’m organized, too.

Today’s big question
So what specifically do I have to evaluate today?
·        Why am I doing it?
·        Do I want to keep doing it?
·        How do I want to continue on the writerly path?

A chance question
Someone on Facebook asked the question today, “What is your worst fear as a writer?” I started to answer but decided my words might offend those younger, more ambitious and/or dedicated authors out there in cyperspace. However, I’ll answer the question here:

My worst fear is not writing for the sheer love of it and instead
being sucked into the mindset of a self-involved, sales-driven WRITER.

It can happen. Yes, one has to do some publicity and marketing, but sometimes those pursuits take time spent more profitably bringing the next story to life. And, it costs money which I’m certain could be better spent elsewhere for the net return.

Why do I write?
Which brings me to my own questions.
·        Why am I doing it? Because I’ve always love to spin a story, and now I have time to do it.
·        Do I want to keep doing it? Yes, but there are other things I enjoy, too, and I can’t do everything. So eventually I’ll slow down and go back to my genealogical research, another much-loved life pursuit, which also incorporates my third love--travel.
·        And finally, how do I want to continue on the writerly path? With joy, not consumed by self-imposed deadlines and second-guessing every word.

In retrospect. . .
So, I’ve evaluated my life in one day. I’d already done it, of course. I knew what I wanted.
I stay so busy that sometimes I wonder how I ever got it all done when I was holding down a full-time job! I believe that when one stops learning, one stops living, so I never pass up an opportunity to hear someone speak about a topic in which I’m interested--or take a day trip or even a longer one--or stop and scour the internet for more information about something which has come to mind.
I wear the writing hat happily--but underneath that hat is a person whose soul needs to be nourished. Remember when horses wore “blinders” to keep them from being distracted by things in their peripheral vision? I want to see it all, know it all, and do as much as I can. I’ll always be involved in writing, but it won’t consume my life.
Life will consume my life. Living every day God gives without second-guessing why or how.

Do you need to re-evaluate today?

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