A moment of clarity?

Despite my best efforts, I am having quite a hard time maintaining focus, on anything.

It probably doesn’t help that I have a massive head cold and am feeling like poo. Let me break it down for you.

Since the beginning of the year, I have tried hard to make everything work. My ideas remain just that. Ideas. For a while, I thought about starting a few more blogs but scrapped that idea. Then, I decided to throw myself back into my photography, and I shot a wedding and some stock images of Dreamland for a friend and little else.

Then, I worked hard at trying to push forward with my web design business. So far, I’ve made about a dozen websites. About half of those were for free. Kind of a voluntary thing, mostly because Karta was involved with those organisations in one way or another. The other half was for friends, none of them made me much in the form of profit. So, I think that I need to forget about that as a career too?!

I have a considerable skill set, however, it only really serves me and the things that I enjoy doing. But, even those things need to be trimmed and pruned.

There is only one thing that I enjoy at the moment, writing. Writing is my meditation, my therapy and a mirror into which I can see all of the shitty things about myself.

Writing also gives me clarity of thought. Through writing every day, I am finding it easier to see what I have to do with my life.

I will never stop dreaming of the life that I’d like for my family and I. In fact, part of this post is going to be about just that. But first, I need to tell you about the reasons why I am finally going to put a lot of my dreams into storage for the time being.

The first thing is this; I’m a nice guy. I like to help people, especially my family and friends. The problem with being a nice guy is that a lot of “friends” misunderstand my generous nature and take the piss. Quite often, I will be asked to do this or that, only for my enthusiasm for those things to being lost beneath lies and ambivalence.

Too often these days, people ask me for my help or arrange to go and do things, only for their plans to change at the last minute. If it were just happening now and again, I would not mind too much. But this is happening to me over and over again. It has made me realise that I must be the problem. I think I’m too trusting.

As an example, I was asked, by a friend, if I could refresh his website for him. He also wanted me to add a few things and update some of the existing information. I agreed and told him I could begin working on the site the following week, I also gave him a price and sent my invoice to him. That was two weeks ago. I still haven’t had the required information or, indeed that payment. So, I’ve given up waiting and probably won’t be available to do the work in the future.

Another example would be the time, back at the beginning of the year, when another “friend” of mine, asked me if I’d be interested in designing a logo and building a website for his new business venture. Again, I agreed. A deposit was received, and the work began.

This time, I encountered what is known as “scope creep”. That is when the work that was originally agreed begins to have small additions made to it. There is a certain amount of latitude for this; however, it can quickly get out of hand. That is what happened in this instance. It was “can you just do this for me?” or “we need this, this and this changed”, even after that particular part of the project had been signed off. Fairly standard stuff, however, I wasn’t being paid any extra for doing the additional work.

In the end, it all got too much for me, and I walked away. I had to for my sanity. It may even have cost me a friendship.

These have been just a couple of example of how my misplaced trust has caused me problems. There are many more issues, not just to do with business, but also personal friendships. I’m just fed up with being let down.

So, I have decided that from later this month, on my birthday, I am going to mothball all of those businesses that have been getting me nowhere. Instead, I am going to spend a few months writing and learning. I am also going to find myself a day job, something that will keep a regular amount of money flowing into our bank account.

But, before that happens, I am going to invest a couple of weeks in improving my daily routine. I’ll rise early, read & write for a while and then take a shower. That extra hour in the morning will be just for me.

Then, my family will wake up, and for the next hour or so, I’ll be focussed on getting them fed and watered and out of the door to work and school.

I will take a walk to the supermarket to buy food for the day and follow that up with some more reading, meditation and writing.

I’ll make time for an online course and spend some time looking for a job. Then for the last hour, I’ll do the household chores.

Once my family comes home, I’ll cook dinner, help with homework and be as present as I possibly can be, for them.

After all of that, I’ll relax with my wife, watch a little TV and then go to bed. Simple.

By changing my routine in this way, I will find the courage to say no to the random ideas that keep popping up in my head every day.

All that I need is clarity. With clarity comes focus, and with that focus, I will be able to see what I am going to do with the rest of my life.

Until next time, adieu.