all salespeople feel on a relatively regular basis. No sooner have you achieved one set of targets – usually through blood, sweat and tears – than your boss increases them the next year and reduces your territory. Selling, for me, meant treading a fine line between achieving and not being penalised for over-achieving.
Whitehouse once told me I always achieved whatever targets I was given hence increasing them but didn’t try to explain why I should lose parts of the territory that provided me with the business. Talk about disincentivising! He told me I was the third highest paid employee (after the directors) so got my recompense. True, though power with value remains a driver.
Getting older brings a different kind of fear. It’s only happened twice in my Diamond Year so far, but I’ve definitely felt the reverberations for several unpleasing hours.
I have mega levels of energy, a fine intellect and many useful skills to offer. Unfortunately, on a CV, I am a Diamond person now – ie OLD – so that is a major hurdle to overcome. And why am I looking anyway?
My books are selling and interest in my cartoon art is growing. Unfortunately, that doesn’t translate into enough income I can actually live on. The sales need to be multiplied a thousand-fold to do that. Other income sources simply do not provide enough to live on either. So that means pitching for writing and illustrating work – the plan for next year when ‘Wise El’s Big Thoughts’ is up and running.
Yet that too is uncertain. Fellow freelance writers are also scrabbling around for either regular or other work to fill their portfolio (of income channels). I’ve got the directories and have a plan in progress but have this horrid feeling that without a stroke of really big luck, I’ll have to find paying work till I die (to keep sufficient income flowing). Hence am on various lists for part-time jobs – and hence the ‘fear’ re the challenge of the age hurdle.
Fear has also made me revise my art focus as well. While still creating contemporary spiritual art, most of my time has to be spent on the parts that are creating the most interest: Wise El with motivational writing, and illustrative mantra cards as well. (The latter is undergoing yet another change as I still want to improve my painting and drawing skills.) It rather puts a dampener on spiritual channelling and God, as is God’s wont, tends to answer when you least expect it – and not how you expected it.
Thus, good reasons to fear.
Norah Ephron made me laugh (the wry kind) in her article on ageing though not necessarily at what she wrote. Probably the opposite. People are living longer rather than popping off in their 60s – so could you imagine how awful it would be to have to keep struggling to live and pay your bills as your body shows more and more signs of wear and tear? Well that’s what keeps going through my mind – on and off – though all the issues, bar the issues with crap suppliers, tend to be age-related.
I think I still look good and am flexible and otherwise healthy (just the food reactions) but a few (female) people are still a bit rude if they are a little younger than me but look a little older.
Then there is the real spiritual kicker: what’s it all about? My life seems to have been a nothing much kind of a life. If my ‘children’ ie the art and books don’t prove themselves, then I really haven’t achieved very much.
Unlike children, they can’t love me back or support me either now or later in life (without that stroke of good luck) should I ever need it. Indeed I have no-one at all I can rely on – and that goes through my mind rather more often than I’d like. At least if the art and books picked up the head of steam I see in my mind’s eye, then some moneyman somewhere would ensure I had some modicum of respect and attention.
All very tedious but I suppose par for the ageing course. Yet I’d really feel spiritually short-changed if, as Ephron puts it, “There are dreams that are never quite going to come true, ambitions that will never quite be realised.”
I think that’s how Ma felt with her books. They, rather than us, were her life’s purpose, however much she may have loved us. Dad too died, thwarted. The most I could and can do for them is to free them from the ties that bound them to those unfulfilled dreams. Maybe someone will do the same for me. But please look after my ‘children’.
Art is informed by the life we lead, by our thoughts, experiences and desires. My blog posts are either streams of consciousness, wrestling with spiritual concepts or other experiences on this particular spiritual journey. For examples of how this translates into my art, please visit my gallery.
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