“If I rise in the morning, I’m gonna set this world on fire.” —Wanda Johnson, Blues singer from Anderson, SC (to hear her sing it live, click the link.)
At the start of a new year, I am just one of many Americans taking stock and thinking about changes they would like to make, or that must be made, in January.
I think of the lyric above when I know there’s big challenges ahead. It’s motivating. It doesn’t just have can-do attitude, but an awesome can of whoop-ass attitude.
Another year has passed, another one has just begun. Whenever a new year or a new birthday arrives, the emotions are universal:
Our time is short. What have we done with it? What are we going to do with it?Life doesn’t come with a CTRL+Z (Undo) function, or refunds for that matter.Like the muscles that make up our bodies, we need to stretch and even tear in places in order to grow. If we do not stretch, we atrophy by default.
When I count my blessings, I start with my marriage, family, and a roof over my head.
At my job, I love talking to new food business owners in town. It all starts with a rush when the assignment is made and the person I want to interview is hopefully easy to reach and mutually eager to talk to me. It’s awesome writing the story. I write for hours and don’t notice time passing. Seeing the story published is also rewarding. I always hope that as many readers as possible are informed about new neighbors and a new business. Occasionally I hear from my subjects about business being helped by the story, or they liked it, or both. It does not get better than that.
A lot of modern news dwells so damn much on the bad (crime, corporate greed, disheartening politics), it’s an honor to focus on the feel-good. Enthusiasm, listening and attention are all signs of love and interest. What’s not to love about the arrival of new neighbors that could be new friends, new places to try, and a growing economy? [Overall, the news should be more balanced about presenting reality. It’s not all bad, and it should not be presented that way.]
On with the blessings…It has also been great to virtually eliminate a daily commute by car. Paying for all that gas, avoiding the addition of wear and tear on a 10+ year old car, reducing my carbon footprint (compared to my former 15-20 mile commute to North Charleston today I do not drive much at all), and avoiding starting my day with aggravation (from fighting traffic) are all plusses in my book.
Now about those fires that need to be started…
“Whatcha waiting, whatcha waiting, whatcha waiting for?”–Gwen Stefani
There’s a book I’ve been meaning to finish writing and photographing for 2 years now. It overlaps cooking and travel themes. If I want to look myself in the mirror and smile, it must be finished by this Spring.
On the day jobs and branding front, I would like to be writing a lot more stories and content than I have in the last two years. In all I’ve interviewed 40 businesspeople, at 600-800 words each that’s about 24-48,000 words total. In the new year, though, I’d like higher volume and higher pay. In the past two years when I joined the news orgs, I thought my tasking would diversify over time, and the exposure would be sizable. I do not know what my exposure is, and my tasking has not diversified and it probably will not.
I have to find new opportunities. I also have to widen my scope. I need to write about other things, and not just locally, but universally. I am pleased to report I have something art-related already in the works.
I will keep blogging, tweeting, and participating in social media. I recently updated my Facebook presence to match other profiles. I want to participate more on Instagram. I also want to take and incorporate my own photos and video on my three blogs.
I had been coloring my hair since my 20s but I quit last Fall. I have about 2 inches of salt and pepper now. In the next couple days, the older colored growth will be changed to look less “skunky” as some hair bloggers call it.
In this new year, I want to tell more stories, tell a wider diversity of stories, create a wider diversity of content, finish my food & travel book, and read more books, practice more volunteerism, and maybe make some friends along the way.
By 2015, if all this happens, I will have done a lot of stretching. As a result, I will feel much more accomplished than I currently do.
Tonight (January 8, 2014) I publish this post. By doing that, I am letting the universe know, with a few witnesses (hi there!), that these items encapsulate my mission this year.
I do not expect a deity or an external supernatural force to make these things happen. It’s up to me.
If you could use a writer, call me: 843-580-2973.