For years I had a job where at any given time, usually early in the morning, the phone would ring with some disaster that had to be fixed RIGHT THEN or either people would suffer, or great financial loss would occur, or both.
It was hugely stressful, and exciting, and scary, and frustrating and I was important. On a moments notice my travel bag and I could be off to Washington D.C. to meet with the very top people in the land.
Then one day the owner lost his mind, quit paying people, the shareholders sued, and the roof fell in so to speak and just like that, it was over.
Broke, because I was one of the unpaid, I decided it was time to take that Canon my husband had bought me for Christmas two years before, that I never had time to use, out of the box and follow my dream and go back into to the photography I had enjoyed as a young woman. In particular I wanted to do stock photography. (If I ever truly figure out what it is.)
But many mornings when my phone doesn’t ring I ask. Am I important? Is what I’m doing making a difference anymore? How did I get to this? I’d like to say “Yes, of course” and give you many reasons to back that up, except I still don’t really know.
I do know I wake up most days happy and with hope. Occasionally I wake up bemoaning my lack of funds and equipment but I have fun things in my fridge I get to write off. Remember those cherries in the red bowl? Well, after I photographed them...I ate them.
I plan trips to places I’ve wanted to go for a long time, like that wreck of the P-38 Lightning out in the desert 120 miles from my house. My mother’s father designed the P-38 and my father’s father flew them. I knew my mother’s father well, and my father’s father is still alive and loves to follow my adventures and this will make us both very happy. Plus, I get a four-hour hike and some one-on-one time with my adult daughter.
I now get to actually attend family events without having to slink off with my Blackberry and laptop to solve some crisis only to find when I am done the ball game, concert, birthday party or whatever, is over and everyone is annoyed with me. (Now I spend the whole time photographing the event, but that is somehow different.)
Am I making a difference no longer balancing the world?
I’m home with my husband. My dog is content to be able to sleep on my feet every night, because I am actually in my own bed. I got to go to on a bus with the families of the high school football team across the state to the finals and see my nephew play…..and I took my Granddaughter to the zoo.
What exactly is “important”?
“It is very easy to overestimate the importance of our own achievements in comparison with what we owe others. “