Thirteen days ago I began a new sabbatical, then promptly lost track of why I took sabbatical to begin with – a loved one in pain, a political choice akin to hiring a florist to do your plumbing and some self-pity that things in general weren’t working out exactly the way I wanted. Being distracted isn’t anything new for me, it’s the reason I put so much stock in personal goals, which is why these thirteen days won’t become thirteen months. I thought I’d share my slate of personal initiatives with you, dear reader, both as a way to think out loud, and to refine what I’m really hoping to accomplish.
When I first wrote the title to this blog, “because I can” – it was as a brag, a kind of “look at me you poor suckers toiling away in your grey existence”, but I’ve come to realize it’s just how I’ve come to look at life. Where some look outside themselves for meaning, I tend to look inward, and the reason I do pretty much anything is “because I can”. I think it was George Washington (though I’ve gone back to try and find this quote and failed) who said that morality driven by threat of damnation is meaningless, one should do good because they can do good, then choose to do it. I ain’t no George Washington, but I hope that in addition to the goals I’ll share below, I’ll do some good along the way.
Also, many moons ago I got into a lot of debt (along with all the other ridiculous things I did in my youth), one of the side-effects was a super unhealthy relationship to employment, a feeling similar to a co-dependent relationship with an unstable, abusive partner. Like all weird psychology, this was a way for me to interpret the hole I’d dug for myself in a way that painted me as the victim – the feeling of being trapped, the lack of choice, of agency. Then I had one of those Scarlett O’Hara “as God is my witness” epiphanies, and swore to never be in debt to man or corporation again. When I made good on that threat (took ten years) I found that I could save money, and the idea of purchasing my freedom from time to time took root.
And finally, I like to create things, and for whatever reason when I dislike the work I’m doing, I tend not to create. So, here I am again. In addition to the main goals of this sabbatical I’ll chat about below, I’ve got a list the length of my arm of banal life stuff (legal and other housekeeping) I’ve let slide that’ll soak up the extra time.
What I’m going to do!
Write Third Novel – “Ghost in the Blood”
I’m about halfway through the first draft of this prequel to “Black Nouveau”, started as a short story but I got to enjoying living with Kat, Jen and Max again and things spun out of control. As mentioned earlier, I let this (and pretty much everything) get away from me over the last month. But it’s a fun story, a bit dark at times, and I’m looking forward to sharing it with you soon!
Look, I’m over fifty and still act surprised when things don’t work the way they used to, that’s got to stop. I’ve said these words before, I hope to not say them again. Nothing crazy, just need to eliminate processed sugars and other high-calorie snack food (like any junkie I thought I had this under control but my pants say otherwise), increase water intake and for god’s sake, exercise. I’ve been okay with the aerobic stuff but haven’t done resistance training for over a year. Arnold would shake his head ruefully.
Write and draw comic book “Overbite”
Much like my first novel, which took way too long to complete, I’ve always talked about drawing comics the way kids talk about being astronauts – cute when you’re eight, not so much when your beards gone grey. I want to get it written before the end of the year, then I’ll figure out how fast I can crank out pages. I have no illusions about this project, I doubt it’ll be particularly good – but it will be the best I can do. I don’t know if this is a medium I can create effectively in, and it’s something I need to put to rest in my subconscious if I’m to die without regrets.
Yikes, I’d forgotten how hard this journal writing is, it’s one thing to write fiction – another thing altogether to write as yourself and keep it even vaguely interesting. I hope you’ll come along for the ride though, I can use all the support I can get! Please look for the “Subscribe to Blog via Email” in the right column and sign up, I’ve only got three subscribers and it’s super embarrassing…seriously, help a brother out!