March 10, 2010

Pinches, pants trick help separate dreams from reality

Sometimes, I pinch myself to make sure I'm awake and not dreaming. Or I walk to a mirror to make sure it's me staring back. Or I check carefully to make sure I'm in my web accounts.

It's not a new sensation. I mean really how many people get to be in Willie Nelson's house, or get to tell  William Holden why a scene in Network movie is unbelievable or share a cup of coffee with Garrison Keillor?

I get that not everyone talks regularly with authors or finds their suggestions/thoughts and names in books. I understand that not all get joy from standing on a stage before thousands or arranging the event that brought people together. I know some find no thrill in watching the plants that grow from an idea seed carefully planted, pruned and watered.

Recognize validation

I savor successes. It validates my ideas when I learn that someone I respect has chosen to subscribe to my blog, Google Buzz or FriendFeed. I can't help but smile when someone tells me I'm like sunshine even after I've missed a deadline. Or picks out a piece of my writing to launch their own thinking.

I seek signs that will lead to more success. Sometimes, the perfect message pops into your inbox. Today, it was Chris Brogan's newsletter that was titled "I Don't Fit In - Do You?" He not only perfectly describes how I feel, he shares what he did/does with that concept to make a life script that works for him. The timing of the message is unbelievable perfect.

Recognize signs

Brogan answers my thank you (a bonus) and when I go look for the web address so you can sign up for his newsletter I stumble across "My Love for Blogging." That's the post I needed today as I work my way through some changes.

Just yesterday at a lunch with some former co-workers, I realized what I don't want to blog about anymore - Advance Publications. That's sad because it is something I know. That's sad because I think I'm the only one that was watching all of them and that's how I discovered the trends. That's sad because that's the only reason some of you come here.

Don't be sad

In fact, sadness is the very reason I don't want to blog about it anymore. Despite the optimism of the three Michigan newspapers adding a Tuesday newsstand-only edition to its three-day lineup, the long-term outlook is horrible. I find it hard to go to funerals and I don't want to cover any more either.

Yes, I hope that somehow Advance will find a vision that works and that it can execute - I'd like to keep getting that pension I earned with way too many 60 hour work weeks. Yes, I'm thrilled everytime I see an idea recycled and improved. Yes, I think the news business is vital to communities.

Recognize limits

But, like you, I only get 24 hours a day.

Whether I'm overflowing with self-confidence or drowning in pity, I know my Advance days are behind me. My eyes sparkle when I'm exploring other subjects. So, I'm moving on.

The best part? I'm moving on because I carry within me lines from my grandfather who wanted me to succeed even when others did not. The same man who coached me to believe "trust  no one, not even your own mother" also tattooed into my brain that every person puts their pants on one leg at a time, making them no better or worse then you and always making them approachable.

Still, sometimes I pinch myself to make sure I'm not imagining the conversations and encouragement. Sometimes, I visualize that person putting their pants on. Sometimes, I just say thanks.


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