Thursday, January 19, 2006

Experience or Excuses?

Seems like I haven’t been doing much other than work lately. I took the week off after Christmas and had a fabulous time painting, getting my website updated, and getting back on track with running and swimming. I’ve been paying for it ever since I returned – I’m completely buried in work!

After working all weekend and staying at the office late the past three nights, I’ve come to the conclusion that this is just not what I want to do long-term.

Well, okay – I’d already reached that conclusion a long time ago, but sometimes I like my job for a minute and think to myself, “Well, they pay me pretty well so it can’t be that bad, right?” Sometimes the comfort of having a nice steady job is appealing, you know?

But I just don’t think that’s what life is all about. The past few weeks have jolted me back to reality. It’s painfully obvious that in the field I’m in, career advancement means more responsibility which means more work which means more stress. And I just don’t know how intelligent I would be if I knowingly chose to devote my life to that for the next few decades.

Fact is, I want to have time to do the things I like to do outside of work. I want to eventually have a family and be able to see them every once in a while. And I want to give my art a serious chance, not just as another hobby.

So I think this is the year that I make an honest effort at trying to make something of my art. It’s not like I’m losing anything by trying – I don’t have to quit my job to try it, I just need to rearrange my priorities for a year. If that means I have to spend most of my spare time painting and marketing, so be it. It’s worth it to give it a try. And at the end of the year it won’t be a “What if?” anymore – it’ll be a yes or no.

I read this quote on Wil’s blog a long time ago, and I love the way it speaks to me:

“What we have is based upon
moment-to-moment choices of what we do.
In each of those moments, we choose.

We either take a risk
and move toward what we want,
or we play it safe and choose comfort.
Most of the people, most of the time, choose comfort.

In the end, people either have
excuses or experiences;
reasons or results;
buts or brilliance.

They either have what they wanted
or they have a detailed list
of all the rational reasons why not."

~ Anonymous

I don’t want to play it safe forever. I don’t want to have a long list of excuses someday. I’d rather aim for brilliance and fail than say I never tried for fear of exiting my comfort zone.

I want to move forward - I want to choose experience over excuses.

1 comment:

  1. Ah... so this is why you're the only person I know who never asks me why I don't find a higher-paying job -- you already know the answer.

    I am cheering you on.