One Year Later

One year ago today I posted a short note for readers to “stay tuned” for news. I was turning in my letter of resignation that morning. I was quitting my job after 25 years with the organization. The toxic work environment was killing me. I couldn’t stick it out for five more years to retire. I was done. Occasionally, I think that maybe I made a mistake leaving, but then I talk to people who still work there and am reminded why I left.

In the year I have

attempted to write a book about my time working in jail and failed.

took a second stab at it and realized I am not interesting enough to be the subject of a book.

had a poem I wrote published on Spilwords.

written a blog post most days.

hit 1000 followers on the blog.

almost doubled my daily views.

started posting on Medium and am making some pocket change money from that.

delivered food weekly to families for my church as part of the backpack buddies program.

delivered backpacks of food to a local elementary school for the same program now that schools are open again.

read books

taken daily walks

cleaned the house when needed

yard work when needed

Still, I get the impression people look at me as a failure. As lazy. I’m wasting my life away. I guess if none of the above comes with a paycheck, it is not worthwhile.

People I see tend to ask me what I am doing instead of how I am.

I am defined by what I do and what most people think I do is nothing, therefore, I am nothing.

I have run afoul of society’s obsession with busyness and productivity porn.

I’m writing every day. People are reading what I write. But, what do I do? What do I have to show for it to seem successful in the eyes of the world? For them, the answer is nothing.

Where to go from here? I have no idea.


8 thoughts on “One Year Later

  1. I had to deal with the “what do you do” people when what I did wasn’t generating any income to speak of. It was annoying. I was doing something of value to me. I finally just decided that I would ignore what usually happened when I explained my vocation, the gradual trailing off of interest and conversation (sometimes not so gradual). You are doing something of value to you. It seems to me that you’ve increased your writing productivity, which is more important than the actual income generated. Writing requires practice, practice, practice and lots of discarding. Maybe your book about working in jail would make a better series of short vignettes on Medium. I have enjoyed your stories about it. You’ve spent the last year exploring various avenues for your writing, but it’s only a year. Who knows what another year will bring?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I know that people who really like you ask what you are doing not to judge, but because they like your blog and hope your are working on things that make you happy. Do what you want! This is your time! Hang those who feel the need to judge!


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