Tuesday, February 08, 2005

C'est Tres D'omage

If I recall my junior high French (basically this comment came from the teacher after I flubbed yet another quiz) this comment roughly translates to "It's too bad." But I could be wrong.

I have two possible blogs running through my mind today. Totally incompatible. Weird. One is light and fluffy -- about why I dragged a handbasket on my tour of Grand Cayman. (I have a photo of me standing in front of the City Sign in Hell, Grand Cayman standing in my handbasket. I just had to "Go to Hell in a Handbasket." Had to. No choice. My sister fully believed me to be insane. She may even be right. But I have the picture on my buffet with all the family photos to prove I actually did it!

The second blog is a serious "On My Soapbox" authority kind of thing. Not nearly so much fun, but something I need to get off of my chest.

So, don't say I didn't warn you, as I'm unloading it below.

Really, you have time to turn back. Now is your best chance.

You don't want to read this and be grumpy all day do you. Turn around. Close your eyes and hit exit with your mouse!


Life is like a grocery store. (OK run with me on the metaphor here. It's a little weird, but I have a point, however dull, to make). You choose what you want, check out the price, and decide whether or not you can afford it. If you can, good. If it's too expensive, pick something else.

More and more I keep seeing people who want "instant" everything. Or who think they have "paid their dues" once, so that should cover everything forever. Sorry, renewal dues, every year. Sometimes even every day. I got really REALLY pissed when someone said to me "Well that's fine for YOU..." EEEEEWWWWW, blood pressure rushed up into stroke territory.

Now this isn't just one person, it's almost a cultural epidemic. It's as if prime time television has trained everybody to expect that any problem, no matter how complex, should be able to be solved to everybody's satisfaction within the length of time of a 2 hour movie. It doesn't work that way. Some things are irretrievable. Some things take years for folks to recover from. (And yes, there are some things that can be resolved in a couple of hours).

Anyway, Cathy and I have recently achieved a certain amount of success. More to the point, it's (YIPPEE) growing. So a few folks have been talking to us about our "overnight sensation." Guys, this "overnight" success has taken about 10 years for Cathy and longer than that for me. It's involved work, study, failing, picking ourselves up and starting again, sacrifice, etc.

So when I was talking to a friend of ours I talked about "the tough questions." These are the questions you have to ask yourself if your serious about "making it" at something... anything much. You have to answer yourself honestly, even if you don't ever tell anybody else. (I'm putting some of my answers here.)

1) What do I want? REALLY.
(I want to be a multi-published author of book-length fiction making a lot of money.)

2) What are you willing to do to get it?
(1) get in a partnership with a business whiz who I respect, (2) relocate to Texas, (3) get up at
4:30 or 5:30 in the morning to write when everybody's asleep... etc.

3) What AREN'T you willing to do?
Completely ruin my health, ruin my relationships with my family, God, and my friends, do
anything immoral or illegal.

4) What are you capable of?
Consistent hard work, creativity, determination, planning, study and compromise.

5) What AREN'T you capable of? What are your limitations?
OK, the body isn't going to be doing 20 hour days any more. Ever. Isn't going to happen.
I'm not capable of blowing off legitimate requests from my family, so sometimes family stuff
may get in the way of business stuff. When I'm stressed out of my gourd I don't write well at
all.... (There are lots more of these.)

6) Can you work around #5? How? What are your plans? Because if you don't plan, it aint-a-
gonna happen. Sorry.

That's the basics. If you can be completely honest with yourself on those you'll have a pretty good idea whether or not you're really willing to make the effort to make your dream a reality. If not, don't kick yourself about it. Most people aren't. I discovered that because of my nature I'm not good at maintaining an intimate relationship AND pursuing the life I want. That doesn't mean I don't WANT one. But I don't maintain one worth a damn when I'm working, and I haven't managed to find a man who's willing to do the maintenance when I'm preoccupied. There may be one out there. I just haven't found one. Then again, I've been happy alone and haven't been looking. Either it will happen or it won't. But I'm not making a plan, and so I don't expect it. A book I read said. "You can have ANYTHING you want, you just can't have EVERYTHING you want." I think that's more true than most of us want to believe.


1 comment:

Yolanda Sfetsos said...

Hi Cie!

How was your weekend? Did you get all the things you wanted to do done? I hope so... I especially hope you got a chance to relax a bit.

A very interesting read! I agree, you really gotta want things in order to get them. I mean, there are SO many people that want get-rich things to fall in their lap. That's not how life works. And making a plan certainly makes sense.

Hope you have a terrific day!

PS. I finished my first draft yesterday! Very exciting stuff...