How to be Happy
Not Realising a New Adventure has Begun
It can be easy to miss the obvious. Whilst I was fretting about what new direction to take it was pointed out to me that I had already taken it.
As I said in Being in the Present I was restless and uncertain about what direction to take. As someone who has always been strongly future-oriented I have usually had a vision of where I was going. With the life changes I have been facing that vision has disappeared.
Doing Something Different Rather than Retiring
I knew I was ready to change direction but I only had vague ideas as to what they might be. I have known for a while I needed a new challenge, a new "adventure" but all I knew was that I wanted my new life to be flexible as to time and place. I have no desire to retire and treat life as a perpetual weekend; as my late mother recognised "Martin won't retire, he will just do something different".
In conversation with Alison, my wife, I shared my discomfort of not knowing what I wanted to do, what form it would take. Alison firmly pointed out that I was already living the new direction. I was flexible as to when and where I worked as a writer and a photographer. I could work wherever I was and I could fit it in around other activities; such as the decorating we wanted to get done. But seriously she was right; in practice I have already made the change but my mind had not caught up with that fact.
Worrying About the Future, Not Living Now
In many ways I had been regarding my writing as a displacement activity to fill time whilst I decided what I was going to do. As a result I felt guilty about the time I was spending on it and that meant I was not giving my new writing career the attention it needed to meet our other needs.
The conversation made me realise my discomfort and uncertainty is less about what I am doing but about my lack of income. Alison pointed out that we have plans to address the income issue over the next few months. We do not need a big change and that is in hand. Those changes will buy me time to develop an income from my writing, photography and web sites - I have done it before and there is no reason I cannot do it again.
The other issue was I felt I had not found my specialist niche but I have more writing ideas than I can deliver. I know I can write on almost anything that interests me with a bit of research. I just need to stop worrying about the vision and concentrate on making the most of what I am doing. There is a saying "do what you love and the money will come" because enthusiasm will create energy, commitment and drive. With thought and a modicum of luck the rewards can indeed come and then some secondary desires can fulfilled - such as spending more time in France and becoming fluent in French.
Now Enjoy Living the Dream
The big insight was that I was already well on my way with my goal of"doing something different"; doing something I enjoy in a flexible way. Because it did not feel like work I did not appreciate I had started down the new path, to live the new dream. Hopefully now I understand I can stop worrying and actually enjoy it! That can only improve the outcome of my efforts and above all I should be easier to live with, well perhaps just a little. How to be Happy
So it is now a case of following the dream wherever it takes me.