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08/07/2007: "Reengagement"

Music: Yo La Tengo

Since I finished the book, I have been enjoying the summer, going on road trips that have taken me across the state of Washington and other sundry adventures in the Seattle area. I needed a break, or so I thought. For the six months or so I wrote the manuscript, I adhered to a pretty rigorous and disciplined schedule, writing each day and eschewing a lot of fun stuff. I had a goal and I was going to accomplish it.

Accomplishing the goal, printing out the manuscript and feeling its heft in my hands, was such a liberating feeling. I felt as if I had stepped from one part of my life to another. The euphoria lasted for a few weeks. As soon as it began to dissapate, I began to see how solitary my life had become and how little job satisfaction I was getting. Despair and hopelessness, which had largely disappeared from my corner of the world during the writing of the manuscript, reappeared once more.

I took an impromptu overnight camping trip last week after a really hard weekend at work. While I was there, I had the realization that I needed: I am selling myself short. I am criminally misusing my God-given talents. The need to develop a long-term plan for the rest of my life came into focus. In contrast to the last few years, where it seems like all I have been doing is reacting to events, I am going to remain calm and rational, examine all of my options, plan everything out, and execute the plan.

Over the next few days, weeks, and months, I will take steps to bring the plan that I am working on to fruition. It was great to have a break, but it was also great to realize how much I can accomplish with focus and discipline.

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