Friday, July 3, 2009

Chafing at the status quo

The status quo is this: I've been absolutely slammed at work because I'm currently the only full-time attorney at my agency, which requires, at a minimum, two full-time attorneys. I hope and expect that we'll hire another attorney eventually, but it wouldn't surprise me if the process took six to twelve months. Meanwhile, our kids are still little but seem to grow up faster every day, and the younger continues not to need as much sleep as the rest of us. Combined, these factors have severely limited my potential writing time, of which I'm not making the best use, either, because it's so much easier to escape by reading or by seeking a sense of community on Facebook or Twitter.

The status quo is good. My wife and kids are truly wonderful, and these years are ones to enjoy. My job is difficult but important and provides adequate compensation and benefits. It also seems as secure as any right now. But my dream of becoming a successful writer--dream, hope, intention, calling--seems to be indefinitely deferred, and thus languishing. I've been at peace with this in the past; I am, after all, still young as writers go. But I may be allowing peace to slide into complacency, and that cannot stand.

When a situation fails to meet expectations, we have three choices: (1) change our expectations; (2) change the situation to the extent we can control it; or (3) be at peace. For now, I'll continue to be at peace, but I also need to change the little things I can control now, e.g. by refocusing on writing as a priority, if in fact it is my priority, as opposed to being a skilled user of Facebook and Twitter.

Who is Robert Rhodes? A writer or a pseudo-writer who's squandering his time and talents? That's the question I need to answer--not in my mind, but by my actions.

This weekend, I aspire to be thankful for my freedom, yes, but also to use it with wisdom, passion, and discipline.



CaroleMcDonnell said...

Write when you can. -C

von Darkmoor said...

An eloquent lament, my friend. Well said.

Yet as Carole said, write when you can. Even if you do not wish to.

Enjoy your 4th!

Charles Gramlich said...

"The Hero of Hawk's Field" is superb. Stylistically interesting with a nice twist to the story. Definitely seems like you've created a world of detail here that is only hinted at in this story.

Rob said...

Thank you!