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Awakened by thoughts of mortality.

A dream in which appeared a friend of my father's, who passed away of lung cancer when he was in his late 40's. He was my father's best friend, and an incredibly strong man with tons of presence. He was also quite successful, though not incredibly rich.

And I think about what it means to be successful today. It is a much different world than it was back then-- the gap between the haves and the have nots is widening, and I think that the personal successes are in a different context.

I'm in an awkward place. I am in an unstable job, with an unstable house, and an unstable ex-relationship that isn't quite ex enough yet. And I have an unstable future.

This is not the time or place for me to have large personal successes. The small ones are driving me a lot: getting the boiler, designing & building the shed, repairing the house, these are all relatively small goal-based successes. Confidence builders if you will. I can do many things, and do them well, and having tangible proof of that is not a subtle thing.

But what of the larger successes? What of those life-changing decisions that are designed to alter the course of my personal history? Certainly they aren't easy, and they require friends and timing and not a small element of chance and luck. And that last part bothers me.

The small stuff I can handle. Building a shed is a finite thing, a well-defined piece that has boundaries and limits, a beginning and an end. Things that you can plan for, and if you forget something you can run to Menard's or the hardware store and get it.

But in the end it's just a shed. I'm not going to become famous for it. I'm not going to have a career as a carpenter. In the end, it's a skill set that can go toward something greater. And that "something greater" is that elusive thing for which I aspire.

We all dream. Today I dreamt of death. And life.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 18th, 2004 09:14 am (UTC)
I believe in "momentum". Small successes, small projects done well, create momentum in your life that lead to larger projects and successes.
I also believe in momentum for "luck"...and love. When you've got momentum on your side, alot of things fall in line rather than get crushed by you oncoming!
Aug. 18th, 2004 01:35 pm (UTC)
Big steps
Lots of small successes add up to big changes.

For instance; (a) building the shed, (b) adding onto/improving the house, and (c) other projects I know you have in the planning stages, add up to (d) increased self-confidence and reinforcement of feelings of adequacy, accomplshment, and self-worth.

And I would call (d) a big change in your outlook.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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