Time To Do What I Want

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* I don’t want no gold watch for workin’ fifty years from nine till five
 Awhile the boss is guzzling champagne 
 And I’m beltin’ beer in some dive

I was sitting in the sun listening to one of my favorite Lou Rawls songs, A Natural Man. The song reminded me of the life I intended to live.

Time to do what I want

I spent a lot of time doing what others wanted me to do. I was/am a leader, worker, spouse, writer and parent. Having done a good job (I think so!) in each of those categories, beating the requirements that others had of me, it was time to do what I want.

I was a workaholic, sometimes working sixty or seventy hours per week for ten to twelve weeks in a row. I also helped friends and family as requested. “No” was not a word I often said.

I’d stop the long hours when a project finished only to start again with a new project as soon my calendar cleared.

* I don’t want no gold watch for workin’ fifty years from nine till five
 Awhile the boss is guzzling champagne 
 And I’m beltin’ beer in some dive

At the same time, I was Johnny on the spot helping family and friends even if it interfered with my projects.

Two big steps

1. I stopped working a full-time job. Now, I write for a living. One of the best parts of being a full-time writer is the freedom of my schedule. I will get on a roll and work late but not for weeks in a row. I’m in charge of me now.

I miss working a little. I had a few bad and naïve bosses, but 90% of the time I had good people who worked for and with me. I’ll never forget those teams.

* You know, there was a time when
 If someone told you to do somethin’
 You did it. Bam! Right on! 
 No questions asked
 It was “Yes, sir,” and “Yes, mam,”
 You never said no. You know? Huh?
 But, you know
 Things are changing nowadays

2. I say “no”. No is a powerful word. Learning to say no to the things you don’t want to participate in is a happiness driver. Saying no rather than grumpily or half-hardily working on other people’s projects was a time saver. There will be times when your family and friends will be disappointed. You will become accustomed to their reactions as you learn how to say no more often.

I’m a normal human. I can act ugly

I have done and said things I would not want to be printed on the front page of the Wall Street Journal. I have quirks and bumps like everyone else. Luckily, my good far outweighs my bad.

I have always had more good karma than bad karma in my life. My shit works out. My family loves me. I’m grateful every day when I open my eyes.

It took a while for me to figure out what I needed to be happy and how to feel free. Sometimes, I want to sit alone in a room; at other times I want to be in the gala’s ball drop in Times Square. Happiness for me changed over time.

No one could figure out happiness for me as no one can figure out happiness for you.

* It’s a new day babies
 Folks want to take their own lives into their hands 
 And make their own choices
 No longer do they want to go along with the program

I’m not giving up my freedom to do good and neither should you. I am happy and free. I am working every day to leave that positive mark on the world. I enjoy being alive.

* ’Cause I want to be happy and free
 Livin’ and loving for me

What do you want? Decide and make it happen.

*A Natural Man by Lou Rawls from The Essential Lou Rawls album 1971

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Reach me at https://www.tonicrowewriter.com/


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