Goal: To be True to Myself


I do love to work. Right now, as I write this, I am unemployed. I miss work. I miss having a focus for my energy during the day.

I miss having a reason to talk to people.

Is that silly? I do have a lot of friends. But to be able to talk to co-workers and know basically that they are PAID to talk to me is comforting.

I suppose that says a lot about my insecurity.

But it’s nice to have people that are every day committed to getting the same stuff done that I am trying to do. Even if it wasn’t our idea in the beginning.

So, as I am settling into my look-for-work routine, I find myself in a different frame of mind.



And people give me very good-intentioned advice:

“Have fun!”

My idea of fun was to work really hard with a bunch of people who were contractually bound to work with me. I liked that.

Now I have to redefine fun. HMMmmmm.

I usually have fun after I do my work. I will go be with friends to be silly AFTER the work is taken care of.

So how do I have fun when there is no work to append it to?

I tried guys, I really did. And in fact, I spent a few days kicking myself HARD for not being able to relax. Along with not being able to keep a job…and that one time when I let down that one person…and on and on…

Wow. I do not do well with this idea of fun.

So. After spending some time with that unfortunate concept, I’m back to another one.

“This above all: to thine own self be true.”- Shakespeare

Yeah, I like work. I like projects.


As I was listening to a podcast for FUN, I heard a woman express it. She said that goals are a way of expressing our fullest self.

YES! Finally I hear someone that gets it.

For me, I need some projects, some goals that I WORK towards or I feel very yucky.

I know me. I will have to be true to my self. Yes, I will do my best to be FUN-employed at this time.

But I GOTS to have my projects, and my work or I am not being my fullest truest self.

That’s how I’m wired.

I like it. Lists, and projects and milestones.

Even on my time off.

I’m not saying you have to. But don’t tell me I can’t.

I’m not going to listen anyway.

What’s for dinner?

My father’s sister Aunt Pat turns 90 this month. I got to get together with a bunch of the family to celebrate her.

We were catching up and somehow Aunt Zelpha was saying how she never had the knack of milking the cow.

“Lola was always the best at milking. We always had a cow, and then a calf sometimes”

They all reminisced together, and it was revealed that they grew all the food that they ate. The cow for milk, chickens for eggs and meat, and for greens: Chard.

They had a huge row of chard to keep them in greens every day.

“How did you cook the chard?”

“We boiled it.”

This flashed me back into the old days of “eat your greens.” It was something from black and white movies, greens as a slimy glob of boiled leafy veg.

Greens have changed now. We have steamed and sautéed vegetables. I blend spinach greens into my breakfast.

But that was what greens were for my grandmother. She grew her greens.

“When we had too extra chard we gave it to the chickens.”

This kind of life was a lot of hard work for my dad’s family. Now it has glamour. Growing all your own food? It’s the dream of many hipsters.

But this was world war two. And they were in California farmland. They had the room and the climate to grow food. There is not room for chickens and chard in the city.

They said they ate the same thing every day. Potatoes and gravy ever day.

My life now does not have that monotony. We have different foods every day, even if it’s the same regular rotation.

I had to go back and look at what it meant to eat less than a hundred years ago. We’ve done a lot of inventing when it comes to food.

Refrigerators were a huge advance in our ability to get enough food. I briefly worked for a refrigeration company, and once people figured out how to do it, it is not a complicated machine.
But everything seems easy in hindsight.

When people had a cold place to keep their food, it lasted a lot longer. And when food lasts longer, that gives rise to a new category of food:


You know what they called leftovers before refrigerators?


Seriously, guys, food was scarce. When my dad was a kid, people spent 40% of their income on food.

How lucky for them that they had a thrifty mom and kids to help grow their own food.

Like I said, that only worked because they had the location and the land to do it. Poor people in the day were actually known for being shorter than more wealthy people because of lack of nutrition during their growth periods as children.

So a fit healthy person back then was someone who was tall.

Shaking my head.

Things have changed. Now it’s a mark of poverty in America to be fat. We really figured out how to make food, preserve it and transport it. This is an amazing time.

As I was able to see, hanging out with my aunt to celebrate her 90 years, and to hear about how far we have progressed.

What’s new?

I taught myself to play the piano when I was a teenager. But the thing is, I hated playing the same thing. I found it sort of humiliating to play the same song over and over.

That’s what’s supposed to make you better though.

I got older, and when I got to live on my own and make my own choices the sameness of my teenage life was shifted. I could go! I could do! I could try and experiment and see what was going on in the world.

It turns out life is full of sameness. Even when I might wish to have new experiences every day, so much of my day is exactly the same. Some breakfast most days. Some routine.

I put on the same shoes. I drive the same route.

Sometimes I think I have won the game of life, because I have tried things and decided on the perfect choice for me. THESE shoes. THIS car.

This career. These friends. This favorite restaurant and THIS dessert.

I know what I like.

And as soon as I think that, I think again. Maybe there is more that I haven’t tried that would change my life and make my smug choices all wrong.

Have I been living a fool’s paradise?

What I need is something new! That NEW shampoo. That new album or vacation.

Maybe what I really want is just a lot more new.

It’s Easter season. It’s spring. I’m listening to stories of resurrection.

New life.

And I must be born again.

Must I? Didn’t I get a few things right when I was born the first time?

Except that tempting lure of what else I haven’t tried.

I am grateful that spring comes every year to remind me to be born anew.

Sometimes it births a new version of exactly the same thing.

Brand new and different don’t have to be the same thing.

There are two joys, one in something entirely new. And also in seeing new what you have loved for a long time.