Thursday, September 23, 2010


My grandfather, in his memoir, We Two, Twice Twinned, divided his life into 20-year segments:  student; missionary; seminary president/teacher; and author.  Twenty years doesn't work for me.  After the child/student part, which ran closer to 25, practicing law filled 16-20 depending on how you figure it, and the current phase is now stretching toward 15.  Oops, I can't be that old, can I?

Maybe it's time to interview.  "Tell me about yourself."  Don't you hate that one?  A few minutes have passed since you shook hands and introduced yourself.  You've played the question and answer game about things your social brilliance noticed on the way in, such as soccer pictures or the interviewer's Mickey Mouse tie.  Now it's time to get serious.  Your research has informed you what the business is about, you have an idea what this person does, so now you want to show you're a good fit, probably not as his or her future boss even though, let's face it, that's the right idea.

"Where do you want to be in 5 (or 10) years?"  Ah, show me the door.  Two standard questions in a row are not a good sign, but let's make the best of it.  Maybe the guy/gal completely lacks creativity.  "Doing what I'm doing" is not going to cut it, even if it's true.  It is for me, so it's definitely not time to interview.

I'm not saying that in 5 years I want to be doing exactly what I'm doing now.  That's nonsensical.  Might as well die if that were the case, everything worth doing having been done.  No, I'm saying I think I'd be happy living on this farm, choosing how to use my time, with Karen choosing how to use hers, and Adam somewhere having fun making his choices.  Having a boss other than me isn't in the picture -- unless maybe I'm shooting a movie somewhere, rolling up my sleeves in a House or Senate office building, or, um, playing in the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Right.

Dreams.  Do you know people who don't dream?  I do, but I'm not sure I believe them.  They must be aliens.  I enjoy both dreams and nightmares (go ahead and guess which of the above was which).
"I have a dream," says Virginia.

"Just one?" I ask.

"More important than all the rest," she says. "Like all of them, they're up to you."

I get it.  Unless I get cracking real soon, I'm going to be either seeking an extension or hauling the old stove up the mountainside.  On the other hand, maybe I'll finish composing that trio for the Arrowheads.

1 comment:

  1. This comment is for Virginia, not James.

    You need to speak louder. I'm not sure he's listening. It seems as though your dreams aren't getting through to him. You need to scream louder than his publisher. Set some deadlines of your own.

    Email me if you need some advice. I'm here for you.