New hobbies or old dreams?

I’ve just published on both Elephant Journal and Medium.

Michael McKnight posted this to Linkedin. He’s a master teacher in education. These words inspire us to think about self and others in the pursuit of happiness.

Over 1K words in less than an hour. Every first and third Monday, I’m still writing for The Positive Psychology People.

I’ve been doing that since 2015. When they’ve had enough of my POV, they’ll let me know and I’ll step away. No harm. No foul.

When I was writing for my doctorate, I would take 2 courses per semester, meaning, there were usually 20-40 page papers ~ sometimes per week, and usually with an academic technical focus (some prof’s weren’t as concerned with APA style as others). I had 3/4 of my doctoral dissertation done ~ a qualitative research project that took too long. 200 pages were done before I ran out of money.

Traditional grad. school usually has a select # of students and many of them are given fellowships. I worked in mine (paid out of pocket w/student loans) with many military adults ~ the military paid for their education, meaning, they were debt free.

It’s something people just don’t talk about nearly enough.

I paid out of pocket for my master’s too ~ more financial aid debt that I will literally take with me into the next life. I imagine when I’m reborn, the first voice I’ll hear will be from a debt collector. Or an 800# representative, asking me to press #2 for total student loan forgiveness.


The point was ~ writing isn’t hard.

It’s practice.

Working out? Physically? That’s hard.

Well, for me, for now. In truth? It’s not hard if I got up and started doing it.

The same is true for everything.

Focus. Want it. Need it. Have to have it. Love it. Enjoy it.

I’m starting to apply the same discipline to walking myself back into a healthier physical body now.

So what’s today about?

I’ve been reading thousands of stories about how people have leveraged a career they thought they’d always have into something else entirely new.

If we are no longer in love with what we are doing with the majority of our waking life and realize it doesn’t bring us joy ~ then WHY are we doing it???

  • Why do we spend a majority of our lives being in the company of people who make us miserable?
  • Why do we take on jobs that make our heart hurt?
  • Why do we surround ourselves with impossible to tolerate tasks that don’t really contribute to our growth or our flourishing?

Everyone is quick to have a reason.

The thing I’d tell my younger self who put up with and settled for all of that is this ~

There isn’t a reason in the world.

No matter how much we say there is one, or justify it, or perhaps … unconsciously enjoy the pain ~ there isn’t a single reason to give our lives over to misery or sadness.

If we are stuck in a culture that forces us ~ then that’s something else.

If we are in a place where there is no choice, and that is a real thing, then that is something else.

Society and Culture have different rules for different people.

We know that we are stuck, when we are stuck. It’s all about figuring out how to get Unstuck.

That takes practice.

In 1986, when I went into NYC for my 1st professional job, the recruiters forced me to take a “typing test” which was profoundly insulting. Considering I had just earned my bachelor’s degree in mass media. I wasn’t there to become anyone’s secretary.

In 1986 in the city, sexism was still absolutely a thing.

I was manipulated and didn’t have the backbone to speak for myself.

If I were to talk to my younger self now, I would say,

Every day you wake up, remind yourself that you are worthy of respect ~ know your worth. Know your boundaries. Know yourself enough to walk away the moment they disrespect you.

I had been looking for a job in television or radio ~ I ended up taking a job as a receptionist in an ad agency. A freaking beautiful posh agency, but not one I was ever comfortable in.

I didn’t belong in NYC back then either. I wasn’t city ready. Even today, a small city at best. I didn’t know how to swim with sharks. Today, I do. I choose not to.


the point of all of this is ~

If you want something ~ work on it every day.

If you need something ~ make peace with it every day.

AND …. if you desire something, go after it. You won’t know until you do.

MY old hobbies are now part of the work I do.

I have a side gig as an artist. I don’t care if others like or don’t like what I paint. That’s their business. I love doing it, which is mine.

See what I mean?

The Kondo method works.

At work and at home.

Be You. The World Will Adjust.




P. S. …

…for the social media “independent fact checkers” who have flagged me for my snark and sarcasm. There is no factual way to know if there is a past life according to the current quantitative researchers and naysayers and I was using sarcasm when I said I would have debt collectors in my next life. No newborn babies were harmed in this joke.

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