Of which I have little today, energy that is, I am lazy with this brief space to breathe, redolent of leisure even. There was brief rain this morning and now it is cold grey skies outside and hot earl grey inside my kitchen, a lovely counterpoint.
2011 was a different sort of year for me with the unique losses of my canine companion of more than a decade, my baby sister, and two faire friends. I gained, among other things, a closer relationship with my son and his wife, an amazing book club and a continuing love for my work as a nurse. 2011 was significant for its firsts: first time riding a bike, first time to actually take a swimming lesson, first triathlon completed, first loss of a child my heart claimed as family.
2012 looks to be another year of opportunity to master discipline, compassion and integrity as it starts with another first. I have begun 2012 by getting fired from a writing job. I have never been fired from a writing job. Ever. I have been a professional writer, if one counts from the first poem I was paid to publish since the 1960’s, and if from the time I could pay bills with my efforts the late 1970’s. I have completed, resigned from and of course not been given a plethora of assignments, but never have I been fired. I left writing as a career behind almost completely just as computers were making pseudonyms and privacy a thing of the past to pursue my life long dream of being a nurse.
I started missing professional writing this year about the time an opportunity presented itself at one of the local find-it-in-your-driveway free papers. I sent a writing sample, they offered, I accepted, I attempted to make them happy while still maintaining my nursing calling as priority for 3 spectacularly horrible months in my life. This week I was fired. I was both relieved and rejected. I was not comfortable enough with the format to push for byline and the paper has no masthead so my association with it was shared purely anecdotal and ironically I had already written my resignation “this isn’t a good fit and the time versus money is not appropriate for me at this time” letter, but fired?!?
Mind you, I deserved to be fired. First, this job was not so much about writing, I was officially a copy editor. I received press releases and was expected to edit them into articles. Secondly, I had not written professionally, except piece meal portions, for a bit over a decade. A lot has changed in journalism in 10 years, much of my challenge was related to using a computer to write, it does not come naturally to me. Also, I came of age as a journalist when the goal was still to find the story and tell it in a way that people would read to the end; now the focus is more on marketing an idea or product in as few a words as possible. I am mature, I am familiar with mimeograph and typewriters, and unfortunately preferred and therefore mastered WordPerfect when writing programs were first appearing. By the time I had to switch to Word, I had a reputation and always an editor, so my style and my editing although acceptable to past endeavors were not a good fit for the San Tan Sun. Thirdly my ability to manage details and commitments has been severely hampered by a huge and appropriate to life circumstances curtain of sad that still periodically blurs my life windshield. In my short tenure I made some BIG mistakes.
I championed and participated in the internet in the days of the Bulletin Board system, unfortunately that has not translated into an ability to keep up with technology. I know I am a good writer, and I know that I need to once again use that skill professionally, just as I use my skills as a healer professionally. Gifts are meant to be shared. I just don’t know what that will look like as I move forward. I just know the next time I am paid for my words it will be words with which I want my legal name proudly displayed.
Its funny, I think one of the reasons I so genuinely enjoy watching “Toy Story” over and over again with my patient is that I DO identify with Buzz. I have always thought I was an Action Hero, leaping tall buildings and generally annoying people with my ego. This year I finally accepted I couldn’t really fly and have been having my Mrs. Nesbit moment and am moving forward into appreciating the value of being the universe’s plaything.
So tell me the hat looked good, I know the apron was a bit much, but tell me the hat looked good.