It was not the May Day I had envisioned. For months I’ve been promising to get my work life under control so I could reset my priorities, so I could shift into living my life the way I want to be living it: balanced, nature-based, healthy, with passionate intent.
With New Summer (halfway between Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice) only a few days away I’m not even close to ready. New Summer has been my “transition” deadline for more than six months. Ever since I returned from the Philippines–where, despite the challenges of that trip, I did settle into a slower paced, less consumer oriented existence steeped in nature–I’ve realized I’d had enough of the typical society life, and that I’d been trying for years to break free of. I did it once before, two decades ago when I left Southern California behind; along with my huge house, big job, a waning marriage, and my empty soul.
There are several reasons I haven’t been able to let go of my work this time around. One is that I’m much older now and this book marketing business is probably the last company I’ll start, the last mainstream career I’ll have, and I’m scared of being without this revenue source. Though I’m not getting rich I’m comfortable, and living below my means allows me to save. I’ve always been an entrepreneur. I don’t have a retirement fund and no doubt AARP will be breathing down my neck soon. I have to be thinking of my financial future. I don’t want to go through all the hard work of starting something new after running out of savings five or ten years from now. I also know that even I hire staff who are young; those over 50, sorry to say, don’t inspire me to hire them. I want young, vibrant new thinkers to work for me. I’m not going to be able to go out and get a job if I need one when I’m 60, or 70. So, I keep working and saving, and hoping the day will come soon when I can feel financially secure enough to retire. Another reason I don’t just close shop is because I have created a business that is special and necessary and that supports something I’m truly passionate about. I find new authors who write well and I help them get their books read and their writing careers launched. When I dropped out of the mainstream 20 years ago my clients were big corporations. I didn’t feel any remorse or responsibility leaving them behind and I knew there were plenty of other marketing and sales people as good as me–well almost anyway. Now, I really care for some of my clients, I typically love all the books I’m supporting, and because the marketing model I’ve created is one-of-a-kind, they would have nowhere else to turn.
So, here I am, May Day, 2009. I was supposed to go to the ranch today and start breaking free of the consumer material work-oriented fast paced culture we’ve become entrenched in. Instead, I wrapped up a 55 hour work week and spent the evening at Art Walk hanging out with two of my clients that were in town to sell their books. Instead of hopping around Bend looking at art and nibbling on free food I stayed with my authors, my work, and sold books. No one asked me to, no one paid me, I just felt compelled to do it because whatever I’m committed to I want to do it the best I can, that’s my job. Right now, that is my life.