It’s that time of year. The amber and red leaves fall onto the ground. The crisp air invades your lungs and reminds you that things are dying. I’ve covered my love of Fall in another post, but this one is more personal.
You see, it’s time for me to Turn the Wheel.
Life is a series of cycles, for better or worse. I tend to track my life with less interest in the Gregorian Calendar, and more interest in my Natal day. Tomorrow is that day. I’ve come a long way in the past year – one filled with lessons (both professional and existential) If I could sum them all up I would, but these were my lessons to learn. You have your own. I do have some perspective for you on what I’ve learned. I won’t call it “advice” because our lives are filled with tons of these compact little nuggets people love to spread around like too much peanut butter on toast.
I heard a wise person once say – “I can’t teach you the path to success. My road is different than yours. The path I walked through the mountains and jungle has been destroyed behind me. You must walk your own path.”
This year I defined what success is for myself; both professionally and personally. Goal setting was a critical part of the learning process for me, and I knew I had a lot to learn. I delved into more writing craft books than I have before (a total of 7) which has helped me develop the chops I need behind the keys. I stretched out and went to conferences, met other writers in the area, and tried to network a little more. All of which taught me something more about the world at large.
I traveled from state to state and even did a stint over in the UK, which I enjoyed quite a bit. There’s something about the seafront. The tide of the Atlantic Ocean with the sun setting is a powerful writing aphrodisiac. I experienced life. I think if you’re going to take anything away from this post take that – please. Experiencing life is critical, but remember to take your blinders off first. Life isn’t just your life, it’s everyone. What you do in your daily life can have a massive impact on others. Your position at work, what you choose to let slide, if you choose to speak up when the world shows you how ugly it can be.
It all has consequences.
I attended one wedding and one funeral this year. The wedding was wonderful, filled with the love two people have for one another and fun friends. The funeral shook me to the core. It reminded me about the terrible way humans choose to treat one another when they don’t like someone’s life choices. It is a reminder that I sit on a massive home field advantage everyday I wake up, something I did nothing to obtain. Not everyone has such a stacked deck.
This year I pulled back from writing weekly for you here for several reasons. I felt more closed off this year, almost stuffy. In my mind, I felt like an old wizard among thousands of tomes trying to locate a secret. I believe I have found that secret, and when the next year begins anew tomorrow, I will start using it. Pulling back gave me more time to concentrate on my own life, which I am happy to report is healthy. My children and I are even closer and more connected, a benefit I cannot overstate. My wife continues to be the foundation and hub of all things within the Diamond household, a role she’s already mastered. But more than that, I needed my space. The noise and constant hum of the digital web were a tad too much this time around. It is important for me to pull back more often, or at least come up for air.
In short, I have weathered the storms of the year and come out on the other side slightly more focused on the present, but more focused on the farther future. I enter tomorrow hopeful still. Even after all I’ve seen during this Turn of the Wheel, I still have hope.