No. That is the simple answer. The real answer is more complicated. When someone tells you to be happy with what you have, it sounds like you are not grateful for what you have. That is not true though. I am grateful for everything I have (and lost). I have made a lot of money, and I have lost a lot of money. I have had relationships, and I have lost relationships. I have made some good decisions, but I have also made a lot of stupidly bad decisions. I am grateful for all of the good times, and the bad. The good times are easy to appreciate. I choose to look at the bad times as lessons learned… if I pay attention to them.
I would not be who I am today (for better or worse) without all of the good and bad in my life, but that does not mean I am satisfied with who I am. I always strive to be better. I will always want a better life for myself, but more importantly, for the people around me that I care about. Going through the challenges of the last few years, watching my youngest son deal with his disabilities, and seeing my oldest son deal with his brother’s disabilities, his parent’s divorce, and his struggles to fit in, it has certainly made me appreciate what I have more than I otherwise would have. That, however, does not mean I will not strive for more: more happiness, more security, more quality time, and more family time. I will never stop trying to be a better person. My priorities might have changed as I have gotten older, but my ambition has not. I am happy with what I have, but that does not mean I cannot strive for more.
I finally seriously started writing the fourth book in The Event series. I wrote a few pages back in October while waiting for a flight back form Dallas. It was an odd trip ending with my Bengals getting thrashed by the Cowboys, but it was still a good trip. Sitting in the airport, I wanted to be productive, so I started writing. I did not really know what I wanted to do with the story though. I had a concept, but I just could not find that magic theme that makes me want to tell the story.
Inspiration comes in a variety of forms. It could be a song, something you witness, or someone in your life. Timing has a massive effect on inspiration. Back in October, I did not know what was going on in my life. There were some good, and there was some really shitty. Inspiration could have smacked me in the face with a shovel, and I doubt I would have even noticed. Fast forward to June, and things seem a lot better. The divorce, lawsuit, and job loss were out of the way, but I still had my struggles. I wanted to start writing again, but with everything going on, I did not give it much thought.
This time, inspiration hit me in the face with a shovel, and I did pay attention. So far, each book has had its own style and theme while keeping the characters in tact. This book is no different. Some of the characters will remain, but this story will focus on the mental fuckupedness (yes, I made up that word) caused by trauma, attempting to deal with that, and hoping to move past it.
I might not have every aspect planned out, but it is a story I want to tell, and I am excited to get underway. Just like life, I do not know what is always going to happen, but I am thankful for the good times and the bad. I am truly thankful for those who stick with me and those who are the inspirations that allow me to do this.