To be or not to be… employed
EMPLOYMENT: To seek or not to seek; that is the question. Or, maybe Shakespeare had it right in Hamlet when he coined the phrase, “To be or not to be…” Myra hadn’t looked for a job in more than 20 years. That’s not to say she hasn’t worked at all; she just doesn’t seek it; rather, it finds her. In fact, truth be told, she’s not seeking employment now, but has found herself hanging out in a newsroom anyway.
“Don’t you feel even a tad bit guilty about wasting your God-given talents?” asked her writing coach (Frances) during their weekly session. Myra could only laugh at that question.
“What’s so funny, Myra?” Coach asked. Myra had to scramble to explain her giggles.
“Look coach, I don’t think that’s the issue,” Myra said. “I’ve spent most of my life feeling guilty over one thing or another. The truth is I get overwhelmed with the responsibility of telling people’s stories, especially when I feel God’s telling me to do it. Before I know it, I’m doubt my ability and never feel worthy of the writing opportunities that come my way.”
“Really? Is that why you hid out on the coast and didn’t write a thing for almost ten years?” Coach chided. “Church work and journaling doesn’t count, Myra!”
“It’s not like I didn’t write anything, I did write that one challenge piece for the FaithWriters web site,” Myra defended herself.
“Oh, that’s right! And when was that… 2006? Hmmm. That would be, let’s see—six years?”
Myra looked down at her keyboard and took another sip of her coffee.
“You’re stalling. What do you have on your screen right now?”
“Another writing challenge piece,” Myra admitted.
“What’s the topic?”
Coach couldn’t help herself; she let out a deep belly laugh that everyone in the coffee shop heard. “Sorry,” she said to everyone turning to look and see who was laughing so hard on a Monday morning.
“I’m having quite a struggle with this one. I talked to my boss about it yesterday and she had a simple solution. “Remember, we’re not doing this for the money,” she said.
Coach couldn’t seem to resist asking, “So what time tomorrow is this challenge thing due?”
“Okay, I admit it. The deadline is tomorrow morning at 9:59 a.m.; 750 words,” Myra said sarcastically.
“Do I need to ask how close you’re to being done? How many words to you have?” Coach asked with a smile.
“I’ve got 486; it’s fiction. That means I should make deadline since I get to make it all up,” Myra said.
“So, you’re finally doing fiction. Does this mean you might actually dust off that novel of yours?”
“I already have and, no, I’m not showing it to you yet,” Myra chirped.
“That’s fine, as long as you don’t bury your imagination again. Myra, you keep reminding me of the guy who buried his talent in Jesus’ parable in Matthew 25:14-27,” Coach said. “Why don’t you get out your old fiction pieces and see what you have there. I think you’ll find that you’ve buried more than one talent. By the way, when was did you write your first short story?”
Myra pondered that suggestion seriously. “I wrote it in eighth grade, 1964; wow, that was 48 years—with no interest for Jesus. I’ll dig it out of storage for you. Do you think these weekly challenges on the web will give me more peace with my newspaper deadlines, too?”
“It’s sure worth a try! Actually it could polish two sides of your coin, your fiction and your nonfiction at the same time. At any rate, I’ll hold you accountable—every week from now on,” Coach said.
“I saw that coming,” Myra responded. “I guess we’d better get a move on. Here’s the clipping I promised last week.”
“Thanks,” Coach said as she looked at the headline and length of the story. “Good job Myra! This employment opportunity is really working out for you. It’s good to see you moving forward,” Coach said as she gathered up her purse, stuffed the clipping in as she stood to leave.
Closing her laptop and standing up, she hugged the coach. “We’ll see. I’m committed to not quit and the newsroom staff seems to like having me hang around.”
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