Maybe Christmas, the Grinch thought, doesn’t come from a store.
Maybe identity, Joan thought, doesn’t come from a job. Maybe purpose, she mused, doesn’t come from a career. Maybe value, Joan reflected, doesn’t come from money.
Maybe the best gifts, she reasoned, don’t come with diamonds.
Don’t be ridiculous.
Of course they do.
Last week I had a couple of very nice retirement parties where I felt super appreciated. It also felt a little weird. If I’d switched jobs in the last couple of decades, it probably wouldn’t have been as strange. But I didn’t. I’ve spent 22 years calling the same building a home. So, for now, there’s a vacuum where accountability used to be. Until it dissipated, the undercurrent of constant responsibility hadn’t been conscious. It makes me feel more untethered than liberated.
No one is counting on me to know stuff. No one will think of me in the future when a question arises from my work.
It’s not mine any more.
How I'm Writing the Book
Getting My Head in the Game: By December 31, I’ve committed to two things to be prepared for 2018 writing: 1) Establishing good habits and 2) setting an attainable goal. The first idea on establishing a good habit is to write one hour/morning (It may be slim but this is just for December and its on top of journaling 30 minutes/day). Secondly, the “attainable goal" is to complete the book’s plot structure. To me, this means to develop the story arc (cause, reaction, consequence) from start to finish. In addition, I’ll complete a two-tier outline of the story arc (one tier is outer action; the other tier is the inner feeling about the action.)
These two commitments should set me up to begin writing pages in January. I'm sure there will be changes as I actually write the book but I'll have an idea of where I'm going.
As you read this Juan and I are in Kansas City celebrating Christmas with our daughter Cristina and her boyfriend Jay. It's snowy and blustery but we are cozily preparing for a true Kansas City Christmas (barbecue in the menu!)
Back to Dr. Seuss for a closing word:
Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.