I’m struggling with a bit of low grade depression these days. A combination of everything that’s going on in the world, a friendship that ended, some good old-fashioned family drama, a sense of feeling misunderstood…
A friend asked me a question the other day: “This writing thing of yours; is it a hobby or do you see it as a profession?”
Even after I’d given him my answer, I chewed on the question for a while. It didn’t really matter what my answer was – encore career or a hobby. For me, the more important truth was this:
I swear to you that I am not a bah, humbug kind of person. In fact, I love the holidays, and one of the things that I most look forward to is that business slows, relatives eventually go home and I have hit every bullet point on my Christmas “To-Do” list…
I love the changing of the seasons. Don’t you? This time of year I get to pull out my flannel shirts and thick socks, which after a summer of bare shoulders and toes feels cozy and warm.
The music of my youth was more than melody and words. It was a kind of guidance into adult life, a soundtrack for thoughts and feelings that I didn’t know how to reach on my own but were given to me by the likes of Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon, and James Taylor.
I know J.K. Rowling’s story by heart – the young, impoverished single mother who stayed true to her writing dream in the face of a failed marriage and what she saw as a failed career choice. The urgency of her situation turned her desire to write novels into a fierce fidelity, which birthed Harry Potter.
We’ve forgotten some of the gentler social niceties in our quick, digital world. Before there was Facebook, we actually told people Happy Birthday to their faces, or we sent them a card.
There is something about a random act of kindness that feeds us as much as it feeds the recipient.
Remember the movie, “Pay It Forward?” In it a young boy wonders how it would be if he did something nice for three people and asked those three people to do something nice for three more people? Pretty soon thousands of people were doing nice thing for other people by paying it forward.
A friend of mine is limping into his 60s with a sense of loss. Loss of youth, energy and significance. I understand all of that and believe that most of us go through a passage where we grieve the younger life we’ve left behind.