In thinking about my other two entries this week, it occurred to me that though both are relatuvely positive, upbeat messages--that may seem a bit, well, dishonest. It may seem as though there are no hinderances; that I speak from a platform of perfect diligence. Of course, this is not true--is never true. Welcome to my humanity. A further welcome is to tell you that I'm still dealing with the deep grief of my grandmother's passing. I'm still dealing with a host of health issues that interrupt my sleep, hinder my mobility, and diminish my quality of life in general. 2009 was not kind to me though I had publishing success; a littany of deaths in a nine-month period punctuated professional and personal difficulties over the same stretch of time. My point in telling you this, whoever you are, is to let you know that despite whatever else was going on--those things that were well beyond my control--I maintained my personal integrity by staying my course.
No matter what happens in life, all we really have is our integrity. If part of your integrity involves a committment to yourself to write and publish, stick to it--no matter what. We never regret those things we do with good intentions; what we do regret, for the most part, are the things we do not do--the opportunities we let slip by.
When you have a bad boss, are afflicted with misbehaving teens, have lost an important person in your life, are having health difficulties, have financial woes, or, are dealing with any number of other family crises, the only thing you CAN do is keep your integrity. That's why Shakespeare's words about knowing yourself are so significant, even four hundred or so years later. No matter what I faced in 2009, I stayed my course. Yes, I grieved for my losses; yes, I had to deal with the emotional fall out of change. But I know who I am--human. Difficulty beyond control is part of the journey. Amidst all the suffering, I created opportunities for growth. And now, this spring, when those early-planted seeds begin to sprout, all the more beautiful they will seem to my eyes. The average person is powerless in many ways--including those who believe themselves otherwise. Even the most popular Hollywood star, the most powerful political figures in the world, the richest businessman--all are human and so ALL have to deal with things beyond the scope of their abilities, however great, to control. Control is an illusion in this human life. We have limited free will in that we can make choices only after the uncontrollable occurs in our lives--like losing a job, dealing with personal loss, receiving a cancer diagnosis--these are not prompted by our own actions; these occurrences are part of living life and are therefore unavoidable.
Pragmatism is not something easily acheived, I know. I've had twenty years of severe disadvantages to learn it. And even still, when bad things happen, I'm hurt. I'm sad. I'm depressed. I lose sleep. I get sick. There's that humanity again. BUT, I also immediately begin to think about who I am, what I want, and make a plan of action from the moment negativity occurs. Why? Because if I don't, no one else will. Think about what you would do if something went wrong in the course of your job: A project got dropped, a miscommunication occurred, or there was a problem with a client. Would you let it stand? Of course not. You would make forward steps to take care of whatever the problem was because it is part of your employment and your employment is very important. Very true. But you are very important, too. We sometimes forget ourselves in the course of life, but that is a sometimes irreparable mistake.
Remember who you are. Then, act accordingly. Always move forward, thereby, maintaining your integrity. In this way, no matter what difficulties befall you in the course of life, you can and will persevere.
The context of our lives is often overshadowed by public success or failures in this postmodern world. So when I report success in my blog posts for this website, it's important to me to also let you know, the anonymous reader, that whatever happens in my publishing life is only a reflection of my direct efforts--not a reflection of good luck, family money, or an easy, stress-free life. I have none of those things. But I don't excuse myself from moving forward--regardless of what pops up. I'm not saying the unavoidable negatives in life don't slow me down--of course they do. My point is, that even if my pace is slowed, I keep moving forward. It is easier said then done--I know this well, too. My hope is that by my sharing this context with you, the information may help support you as you deal with your own difficulties, and still find the courage to maintain yourself, maintain your integrity, and ultimately, maintain those life goals that can never be affected by the unavoidable, uncontrollable occurrences in this life.
Wishing you all the best as you move forward, no matter what....