Dear friends and readers,

My apologies for not blogging recently. I took on an expanded role at my company a few months ago and I haven’t had much time for writing or anything else of late.

The job’s great, the company fantastic, but it is all incredibly demanding. I am now managing a global team and running what is essentially a 24-hour PR and social publishing engine for a $9.5 billion company.

Each work day is a river of emails, conference calls, and situations that need to be dealt with. I jump into that river very early in the morning (don’t ask me how early) and swim basically as fast as I can for twelve to fourteen hours just to stay afloat.

By I get to the end of the work day, I’m a used-up sponge. It’s all I can do to stare vacantly into space for a half an hour before hitting the sack and getting up in the morning to do it all over again.

Isn’t it amazing how much of our lives we spend on that which we must do in order to get to that which we want to do?

As much as I love my job and the work I do, I admit that it eats at me.

When will I have time to finish this novel I’ve been writing (correction: rewriting) for years?

When will I be able to get back to my blog?

When will I be able to get out on the water and do some fly fishing?

When will I be able to go hiking or bike riding or kayaking?

When will I come into the clear so that I can do some of these things I want to do?

At times I feel the frustration growing inside me. When will this life of mine be my own, not one that I spend in service of obligations and responsibilities? When, when, when?

Then I need to stop myself. Such thinking is a breeding ground for depression, anxiety, and all kinds of other negative emotions.

Here is the reality: I can come into the clear whenever I want to.

Yes, I have obligations. Yes, I have responsibilities. Yes, I have mortgage payments and college tuition bills and an affectionate but crazy German Shorthair Pointer who wants to pull me outside every half an hour to do her business and chase squirrels.

But I chose all of those things. No one forced me to live my life the way I am living it.

No one held a gun to my head and said: you must have kids and a dog and buy a nice house in the suburbs and take on a high-profile job with a big company that will enable you to afford the lifestyle you are living.

For that matter, I don’t even need to feel obligated. Another man may look at the responsibilities he has created in his life and proclaim himself as free of them.

It’s not that I can’t do the same thing. I just won’t. Why? Because it’s important to me to fulfill my responsibilities and obligations. Because, to me, that is part of what it means to be a man.

Having thought this through, I immediately feel a little better. Not less pressed or harried, mind you – but better. Freer. Less of a prisoner.

Why? Because I realize that pretty much everything I do is a result of choices. I am the pilot, the engineer, the navigator of my own life.

That is true empowerment.

Coming into the clear is less about our circumstances and more about our thinking. So I choose to think more empowering thoughts.

In the meantime, with the conference season at work winding down, I am hopeful that the work schedule will get to something a bit saner and that I will have some more time to get back to my novel and my blogging.

I do like connecting with you, so please let me know if you find these blog posts at all helpful and useful.

Peace!

Jim

Photo by Mike Heck