Today’s post title is meant figuratively, not literally, as I won’t get actual ducks on the farmstead again until we have a pond for them in which to putter about. But, before I get too far off track, the ducks about which I write, are Life’s “ducks”.
I’ve never been terribly good at following arbitrary rules. Oh sure, there are societal rules of behavior, manners, etc., that I feel one should always adhere to within the absolute best of their abilities. I hold very definite opinions regarding personal dress in public (unless you’re under the age of 8 or at a specific event for which it’s appropriate – wearing pajamas in public is something for which I WILL judge someone poorly). I am a stickler for the rules of the roadway. All of these things are included in the all-encompassing “polite society” bubble by which I feel we all should comport ourselves. All those nice ducks, lined up in a row.
But, Life, as she often does, gets a little hitch in her get-up, and some of those expectations are just thrown right out the window. A lot of “should’s” become “not going to happens”, and we find ourselves looking at our pond full of ducks which are scattered about, paddling around willy-nilly. Everything is in disarray.
Such is where I have found myself the second half of 2016. A whole lot of ducks. A whole lot of disorder. A bunch of “should’s” that I’m questioning.
It was time for me to select my ducks. Which ducks did I want to keep? Wild or domestic, it didn’t matter. What mattered now is that I make some decisions on the ducks I want to keep; or sell off, give away, or put in the freezer, those ducks that I didn’t want.
One of those ducks that I really want is to be a professional writer and author. No foolin’. I have written stories since I was a kiddo. I’ve been complimented, praised, etc., but, this year, I’ve watched the time I’ve had available to write slip further and further away. There are nights I’ve cried because everything else in life needed to be done, and what I wanted to do was “back-burnered” again. For someone who wants to be a write for a living – that’s a cause of stress.
Speaking of stress, add in working with a sociopath for two years, and I have found myself in a situation I’ve been in once before of drinking far more adult beverages than I should (there is that word again), and not working out as much as I want. I am an admitted “stress eater and drinker”. And as much as I try to mitigate the stress with time outside and trying to keep a good sense of humor about dealing with crazy all day – two years is a long time.
That duck has got to go.
The more I focused on that particular duck, the more helpless I felt. So, I’m going to shoot the duck.
It makes me a bit sad, in a way, to shoot the duck. The duck makes me good money. The duck is pretty flexible on when I show up and go home or have to step away from the pond for a while. I’m damn good at doing my part of keeping the duck in the pond. But the damn duck is stressing me out. So, the duck really, really has to go. Catching it isn’t an option, so – it’s time to break out the bird shot and take it down.
With that duck gone, writing will be able to take more priority. Stress levels should go down. Sure, I might feel the loss of some of that good money the duck made, but, other ducks will come along, paddle around my pond and it’ll all work out. Also, less adult beveraging and more exercising!
I will find myself beginning new ventures and adventures with zeal starting in 2017. A few ducks I’m going to be checking out in the weeks to come, thanks to wonderful people like Jess Witkins, should look great in my pond.
Life shouldn’t be about adhering to the “should’s” because they’re what everyone else says are the right things to do.
I’ve always been a bit of an odd duck, never caring what most people thought about me, what I did, or what I said. So, after 40 years on the planet, I decided it was time to take a chance, pick my favorite duck, and get it in my pond and care for it.
Life is too short to care for the wrong ducks.
I’m not going to shoot the job duck, but I agree I need to focus on some things (exercising, for sure). great post.
Thank you, Sir. 🙂
I get that walking away from a decent source of income is difficult . . . but I’m quite happy that you’re shooting that duck and moving on. Here’s hoping that the reduced stress in your life allows the creative juices to flow and to replace (or exceed) the income from which you’re walking.
Thank you, John! I hope so, too. I’ve not had a lot of time to write other than my 5 minutes in my journal (my 2016 goal), but I will get there.