Monday, September 3, 2012

Define Yourself

This is something I’ve been cogitating on for a while.

Who am I? And I don’t mean that on some kind of existential plane; I’m not floating out there on some kind of ether looking for enlightenment. I am on more solid footing with my query. What I mean is, how would you define yourself?

What are you proud of?

What do you want written on your gravestone?

How do want to be remembered?

Give this some thought, and while you do, I am going to give you the list of things I am very proud of with hopes that perhaps it will spur you to think likewise about yourself:

I absolutely, completely love golf. This love affair started when I was ten years old, and it torridly continues 43 years later. And I’m pretty good at it, presently sporting a 5 handicap. I shot a 72 two weeks ago.

Okay, enough bragging. My point for this inclusion is I found my passion early in my life, which, I feel, puts me ahead of the majority of the planet. Having an avenue to pursue your passion is essential in life and many find it in their career. And for those people, great. They probably make a lot more money than I do. But for those people I ask this – what do you do for fun? If work is your passion, doesn’t anything else seem, well, passionless? My point is I am extremely grateful that I found my passion young, and it was in something that I will be able to do for the rest of my life.

I am a yogi! This one is recent; I just started doing yoga less than a year ago, and what an eye-opener it was. I went into it trying to find something to do that involved moving muscles. I needed some kind of exercise in my routine, and the ‘gentleness’ of yoga appealed to me. A Groupon coupon later, and I had ten yoga sessions for thirty bucks. Ten months later and I do it twice a week without fail.

Yoga has changed my life. For many it is a way of life. I’m not to that level, but I am definitely hooked. It is an experience that you always, without fail, come out of feeling better than when you went in. Namaste.

I am a writer. This has also been fairly recent, having started this blog about four years ago. I have one book published, which if I had a do-over, I would pull. I re-read parts of it the other day and it’s really kinda crappy. But I have evolved! I just finished a second book, this one a real book with a real story. And it’s real good. When this gets published you will agree.

I also don’t lack for confidence. But that doesn’t make my list here.

My point is that I found something I was good at and that I enjoy, somewhat late in life. Not that 53 is old, mind you, but it is a mirror-image to the golf thing – I found that young. This I found later, and it provides that same level of passion I feel when it hit a six iron on the screws.

Why am I proud to be a writer? Well, aside from the vicarious thrill of having people like what I write, it is this – it will outlive me. It will be my legacy. If I get hit by a truck tomorrow, this blog will still be here, as will my books.

And, finally, perhaps the most important thing I am proud of:

I am a good father. My son is now an adult, having turned 18 this past March, which is the ‘unofficial’ end of my main fatherhood duties. Yes I know it will be a lifetime job, and one that I regret not a single bit – I look forward to the coming years of helping him through college and to, hopefully, babysit grandkids. Helping to raise Nick has been the most satisfying thing I have ever done, and the results speak for themselves – he is a fine young man. Now the majority of the credit goes to his mother, and she deserves ten times more of it than I do. But I had a role, and I see it every time I am with Nick. He is me.

You will note nowhere on that list did I mention my job. I made a reference earlier to people who find passion in their work. Great. I truly am envious of those people, since they spend a large chunk of their time doing something they’re passionate about…and get paid for it. My job is not something I have a passion for. It’s something I’m good at.

But this is not supposed to be a list of things I’m good at. It’s a list of things that excite me.

What’s on your list?


Moxie Dawn said...

I love. Hard. I never get paid back for it, but I keep on dishing it out.

Mikey said...

I do love my job! It's amazing, and with 100% great people. And it's a learning experience.

It won't always be my love, I know that, but it's nice to enjoy what you do.

I like bowling and tennis - and I forgot about that, until I read the blog post. I think I'm going to go bowling tonight, and invite some friends. (note: at 118° outside, I'll wait a few months for tennis)

Laura Lei said...

I love the water - learned to swim when I was 2. It served me well - taught me how to set goals, to multi-task, deal with failure and enjoy success. It also helped pay for my education and realize a dream I had - to be an NCAA student athlete. I'm good at it and I'm passionate about it. But more than that I love being in the water. I'm free, weightless, it's almost spiritual.

I also love riding a bike. Discovered I was pretty good at it. I don't do it enough but it is something I can do for the rest of my life. Want to see the countryside? The bike is the perfect vehicle. You can cover a lot of ground in a day but not so much that it's just a blur on the way to the 12th city in a 10 day tour ;-).

I've never given birth but I helped to parent two children. I am proud of the people they've become in spite of the frenetic childhood they were subjected to.