Thursday, October 20, 2011

Milestones in Tiny Steps

A few days ago, I did the marketing must of a good business and sent out a newsletter to my email list.  Although there is little income for my efforts at this point, it was remarkable to notice how busy I am, how many pies have been created for my fingers to nibble.

            Days slip through our grasp and race around the corners of each season.  Before we know to look in the mirror, grey hairs and wrinkled skin overshadow the youthful vigor still so rich in our thoughts.  Insidiously, we consider more often the big decisions in terms of how much time we have left instead of with the open-ended assumption of how much lies ahead.  As the sense that time runs out grows stronger, the urge to evaluate proportionally vies for control.

            Not yet supporting myself in this time and therefore accountable to my father and family for his help, the pressure is even more severe.  By the measuring stick of not paying bills from my own pocket, I fail to meet standards that have been in place for millennia.
            With time and money in short supply, it would be easy to dwell in depression. This two year anniversary of my fall from the scaffold celebrated last weekend could have been the milestone of an event that spiraled me onto a couch from which I might never have risen.
            Instead, the best parts of my family heritage kicked in and I have not only restructured my concept of myself, but taken bold steps to embrace the man who has emerged from his cave, creating opportunities from disaster.  The process of the newsletter provided a summation, in part, that declared to myself more than anyone else that I am already fully recovered.

            Regardless of time and money, my head is full, my heart is open and I move forward every day on the projects that bring joy to me and seem in some small ways to have values to others.  Rather than sitting around with the television droning on and on, with the amazingly fortunate support of my father (giving credit and appreciation where they are due), no matter how frustrated and bewildered he might be, I have the rare gift to transform the "y" in busy to an "i" in business.
            A more important measurement than dollars and days is value.  Here the increments have no relation to quantity, but flounder and thrive according to the perceptions of each indidual.  Nearly desperate to justify the price others have had to pay for me to change in these last years, I can easily be my own worst critic.
            The newsletter puts forth in a sudden blitz of apparent ego a list of activities that would make any mother proud.  Several manuscripts are fast approaching publication.  A CD of original songs nears completion, a project for which I even dare to request your financialsupport through kickstarter. 
            In addition, this flurry of self-promotion includes appearances on public access TV and online interviews.  Suddenly I am producing videos and a tele-seminar about staying spiritual during the holidays.  Creating connections to make this happen requires a full time job of networking without pay beyond laughter and benefits more solid than friendship.
            The most difficult piece in the puzzle is the very central notion that the product of my business is me.  Manufacturing myself as a commodity, I have to also produce the unmitigated gall to imagine my songs and words have value and my efforts are worth publicizing.  Asking for the donation of your dollars, and more importantly, your precious time, requires a leap of faith on my part, an inordinate trust in your good patience, kindness and understanding as well.
            Only the result makes the difference between a hero and a fool.  Attitude and motivation are not so easily quantifiable as the money and time we are so comfortable using to judge the actions of ourselves and others.  What we do with ourselves, how we spend our precious time, whether we help or hurt those around us, should bear far more weight on the tablet of our lives than the size of our bank accounts and the facade of our house.
            Time will prove if I have the ability to push these projects to completion and time will also tell if the general public approves the effort. Between the two, there is a huge difference and a life to lead.
            This essay began for me as a commentary on how we decide if we are good enough to strut our stuff, but as in life itself, has evolved from what I first imagined.
            Like the days when whole families depended on my payroll and houses stood or fell with my decisions, I awake this morning with rampant thoughts of all the things needing my attention, but at long last, am sleeping well through the night.  Dollarless and years beyond the life expectancy of the Middle Ages, for better or worse, I find myself in a renaissance of my own and have never been happier.
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