Yes, I know it's nearly 1:00 a.m. but I haven't slept so am still counting this as the post for January 4th, 2018. I do get insomnia occasionally but since the new medications have taken over, the time between those 'spells' is longer. It is still easy for me to switch days and nights. I feel dangerously close to the switch right now; probably because of the bleak reminders January brings now. Two years ago Mom died; three years ago, I stood at the funeral of my childhood best friend. It was a nasty, biting cold that day, which made me clench my body--numb from the frigid air and the grief. The quiet and solitude of night time is what I take comfort in. I get in my best writing then too. Go figure.
At any rate, today's card for The Four Agreements is the agreement: Always Do Your Best. Well, yeah...that one's kind of a "duh" thing at first glance. Then the card has an image of a bluebird bringing a work to a nest with two chicks in it. The words are 'Do your best because you want to." Yeah, I agree but that's so easy to say, isn't it? It's harder to live by.
The card's back says this: You do your best when you are enjoying the action or doing it in a way that will not have negative repercussions for you. You do your best because you want to do it--not because you have to do it. Not because you are trying to please the Judge and not because you are trying to please other people.
I bet most, if not all, of us understand this completely. I think back on when my husband and I ran a business. I worked 60 to 70 hour weeks and didn't care. I loved my job, the books we produced, and the entire creation process of publishing. I enjoyed interacting with many authors and staff. Because the office was in our home, I would duck in there anytime I was bored or there was nothing to do on television. I made it through many nights of insomnia by editing and formatting books. I found no drudgery there because it was something I wanted to do. So why did I give it up? To go to New Mexico and become my mother's primary caregiver through her cancer and death. I've always said family comes first and it was my time to 'walk the talk' so I did. You know what? I grieved the loss of the business too...because it was something I wanted to do, not had to do.
I've also experienced something in a recreational group I've been a part of since 1989 or so. There is a reward system in place for people who contribute their time and skill to the organization. I have reached two of the top honors there. I do more now than I ever did back then. My work is typically better than what I used to do then because I've learned much. However, the perception is that--because I have the highest award--that I don't need recognition for anything else I do. I have seen others quit when this happened to them.I did take a haitus but it was over the drama of a few people, not anything to do with recognition. I missed being a part of Amtgard and, when a dear friend of mine also achieved this high honor, I returned after traveling to be there for her ceremony. So, here I am back and still doing much with no expectation of getting anything beyond a "thank you"; sometimes I don't even get that. I do it because I enjoy doing it. I live for the smiles on peoples' faces and their hugs.
I won't lie and say I wouldn't appreciate an award. I would. Because I have no expectation of recognition, I do them because I want to. I do my best because I want to; because I love the creative process--just like with the lost business. Without my writing, my sewing, my crafts, my cooking, and those things which are a part of who I am I would be a lost soul. I don't mean to sound like some angel because we both know I'm not. I still make mistakes. I still stumble. I still try and I still love.