It caught me by surprise. Unexpectedly, I found myself taking pride in my work. When I noticed the feeling, I realized how good it felt. I also realized that it had been a long time since I had last felt the feeling.
On the face of it, it was not much to be proud of: a handful of grammatically correct sentences in French that are structurally a little more sophisticated than the others. A sentence or two that I had expected to be corrected, but I decided to write anyways because, hey, that’s how you learn. A sentence or two over which I had struggled and, when I learned that I had composed them correctly, I experienced a good feeling.
I had challenged myself, I had reached beyond my own expectations, I had risked failing, and I succeeded. Cue the serotonin flow of accomplishment.
The shadow of this shiny moment, however, was the realization that I had not felt the feeling in some time. The return of the feeling only highlighted its long absence.
We live, I think, in an incredibly privileged time in human history, especially for those of us who like to create. We can, if we chose, work at relatively non-taxing jobs that provide us with plenty of time and money to pursue our creative pursuits in comfortable circumstances. We can share our work easily and efficiently. Our art has been freed from the stifling confines of the cash nexus.
Ideally, our workaday lives and our creative lives will be fuel for the other’s fodder. Sometimes, one part of the day will energize us at a time when the other does not. There is also, of course, the risk that complacency or frustration in one part of the day may wash over and stifle the other part of the day.
From whichever side of the dyke the complacency or frustration flows, the answer is the same: do something to improve or, at least, change the situation. The good life is not a stagnate life.
I know what I’m going to do to change my situation. What you are going to do to change yours?