Do I Need A Handler?
I don’t really like change; I like predictability. In fact, I have spent much of my life discerning how things that appear to be unpredictable are, to a high degree, predictable.
As an expert in human behavior, it is clear that even reactive people have only a limited set of “reactions.” I’m not saying that I can forecast the future or have the insight to predict a person’s impulsive behavior. However, once you get to know a person you can see their behavioral patterns emerge. Reactive people tend to respond in more reactive ways. I tend to react in predictable ways. Some people like my steady consistency, others find it boring. But I digress.
I now am entering the two-week countdown to the end of my private practice. Everyone is congratulating me on my impending retirement. They are asking, “What next?” Those who know me understand that I won’t spend my new-found time oscillating in a rocking chair. However, dear reader, I am also asking the same question of myself. In fact, I have been thinking about this question for years. I have come up with, modified, and discarded some ideas.
A part of this problem is predicated on my ambivalence. In my formative years, people (teachers mostly) told me that I was destined for great things. Hear that a few times and you start to believe it. I have squandered an opportunity or two to do “great things” over the course of my life. I think the “great things” portion of my life is over. I lived my professional life doing what I felt that I should do, rather than living up to some artificial (and likely untrue) expectation. I believed that I should be a practicing doctor, who spent at least a part of his time providing services to the underserved. I am steadfast that this was the right thing for me to do, but hardly “great things” worthy.
The current status of my retirement will only give me two extra days a week. This is limiting. I am battling with the idea of doing something significant vs. something significant to me. What is meaningful to me varies. Some of it is trivial, some not.
I have started the process of organizing things in my home. Doing these mundane tasks offers some satisfaction, but organization always tends to move back to disorganization. The pantry that I spent two days cleaning a few months ago is once again in chaos… And so it goes.
With that said, there is a satisfaction doing concrete and time-limited tasks. I have tackled a number of these tasks over the last year. I have much more to do. Some I accomplished with my friend, Tom. Others, by myself or with the help of my kids. A few with my wife.
But I digress again…
It is clear to me that I’m having difficulty writing this piece. I think that it must create a subconscious angst in me. It is one thing to dream of doing something; it is another thing to do it.
Beyond the mundane tasks, I have creative goals. I want to get back to playing my guitar. I am toying with taking guitar lessons. Oddly, I feel like I need to get better at playing before I take lessons, as I don’t want to waste the teacher’s time. I know this is ridiculous. I am thinking about learning a foreign language. A monumental task as I have terrible auditory discrimination and even worse short-term memory. I want to expand some of my current creative outlets. I wonder if my friend Tom would let me help him a bit. It would be exciting to allow myself to learn from someone.
None of the above seem sufficient to me.
OK, I’m stalling. Let’s get down to business…
As I had mentioned in past posts, I was a creative little kid before I discovered science. I could come up with fantastic stories, I could play the piano by ear, I could build and create things. I gave up most of that when I decided to move my life in an analytic direction.
I come from a family of writers and creators. I want to write and create. I have always had the desire to combine multiple interests into something bigger. What, I have no idea.
I continue to try to improve my writing, but I don’t have a clear voice. I take nice photographs, but I don’t have a distinct style. A part of me fights having a particular voice or style as I don’t want to be limited. I know that this ambiguity is not the road to success.
I also know that I have a passion to know the stories of others. I see the extraordinary in the ordinary. The uncommon in common. The treasure in the discarded. How do I join all of these together?
I want to explore places, connect with people. I have come up with dozens of ideas, but I have been unable to move forward due to fear and lack of protocol.
When I founded Genesis 25 years ago, I did it with other partners. One loved business; the other was an extrovert with superior people skills. I came to the table with creative, technical, and problem-solving skills. Together, we formed a formattable package. Each complementing the other. I think I need that now.
I need a person (or people) who have the skills that I lack. I need to brainstorm ideas. I need someone with connections to help me achieve my goals. I need someone who can take my ideas and help me turn them into something that would be relatable to others, not just to me. I need a compassionate handler. I need a lot.
I have no idea how to find such a person or group. I have no idea why anyone would want to help me in this pursuit. I just know that this is the missing link. The link to take me to the next step.
My life has been characterized by being fully independent and a self-learner. My HIgher Power has slowly moved me in a new direction where I have been asking others for help. This process has been both wonderful and terrifying to me. When I build my courage to ask for help my childhood tapes play loudly. I wait to hear, “I’m busy.” “Don’t bother me.” “That can’t be done.” “Why do you want to do that!” In reality what I typically hear is, “Sure.” “Let me try.” “No problem.” I need to use my psychological awareness to move past my old garbage and into a brave new world. However, I need a bit of a miracle to know who or what to turn to for this great adventure.
I find life so interesting and complex. Onward and upward. Turn every disadvantage into an advantage. God, show me the way.