From time-to-time, people ask me what I do. That can be a little tough to answer sometimes. It kind of depends on what day it is, or even what time of day it happens to be.
For example, right now I feel like a writer (you’ll have to make your own decision about that). Maybe not in the sense that I’m being paid to write, like real reporters. But I do write a couple things a week, and have done so for years. That’s pretty challenging.
It’s hard being interesting ONCE a week, much less twice. Every so often, the well just kind of runs dry. But I find different things interesting, so in the end, I just kind of tell the story about those different things. Now if I actually got paid, I’ll bet I could be much MORE interesting!
I also like making music from time to time. Like writing, it’s never been a paying gig. It’s incredibly hard breaking into that business, even if you’re young and have nice hair. I won’t be checking those two boxes anytime soon. It also helps if you have an amazing voice and personality like say, our own Brett Eldredge, but those things happen to be taken, too. Darn.
So at this point, I’m pretty happy to just write a decent song every so often, and I really enjoy seeing it through the recording and video process. My expectations are pretty low, so even a few “likes” or “shares” are pretty cool for me. Hey, maybe he could sing one of my songs sometime?
As far as justifying the expense, I figure some people buy boats, cars, or off road side-by-sides. I pay for songs. It’s a trade off. While I can’t take ’em mudding, I don’t need quite as big a garage.
In the last couple of years, it’s been pretty interesting learning how to lead worship in our church and a few others. I’ve always been happy to help out in the band, but when the need was there, I had a weak moment and said I’d do it.
As a result, last summer and fall, I went back to school, taking 18 hours of graduate classes about worship. My goal was to learn a little more so I could be more effective at it. I kind of got reeled in like a fish on a line. Did you know that our whole life is really supposed to be an act of worship? As Homer would say, “Do’h!” It’s changed the way we look at things.
Fitness still interests me, as do martial arts and defensive tactics, firearm instruction, and law enforcement too. I like seeing people improve their lives, and I like helping them be safe. But I think the common thread that runs through everything is that I simply like sharing what I’ve learned.
For one thing, if you teach it, you learn it better. That’s why every time I come back from a seminar, class, or training program, I jump right into the topic in classes. It puts pressure on me to make sure I know my stuff. It also forces me to dig deeper.
That same idea is what gives you leverage over yourself when you need to make some changes. Tell the world, and you’ll most likely git-r-dun. You simply won’t want to be embarrassed.
If you want to build a new deck, tear the old one out. If you want to learn something new, do some research, find a class or seminar, and sign up for it.
If you want to get in shape, get some equipment or join a gym. Download MyFitnessPal on your phone and start tracking your calories. Or try one of the (many) programs out there. It doesn’t really matter which one. It matters that you’re trying.
Let friends know what you’re thinking about. Once you get started, let people know what you’re doing. It will help hold you accountable.
Even if you don’t feel like wearing different hats, you might look for new ways to do what you like to do. What problems exist around you? Could you be part of the solution? You’d be surprised at what just a few words can do, in a song, or sometimes, even in an article.
In the end, I think that most of my writing and teaching is really just me preaching to the choir: me. Sometimes, it’s an itch you’ve just gotta scratch. But I hope that every now and then, it might mean something to you, too!