For as long as I can remember, I’ve been on a constant quest towards…something.
In school, it was to get good grades. After graduation from college, I formed a rock band and the quest became one for a recording contract (alas, that never happened). Then, once I decided to go to law school, it was to do well enough on the LSAT to get into a good school. Next to pass the bar exam. Then to win the motions and appeals that I drafted as an attorney.
And even as a lawyer, I found I had the need to do something creative which was outside the law. So I formed another band (this one performing and recording country-rock songs which I composed). And then I enrolled in cooking school, during which I worked hard to master all those French sauces and become adept at carving beautiful garnishes and baking the perfect baguette.
Recognize a pattern here?
Some years ago, I began describing this need for constant forward motion as being like a shark. Sharks can only obtain oxygen through the process of water passing over their gills, and in order for that to happen, most species of shark must constantly keep swimming forward through the water, lest they suffocate.
So it is for for me, except instead of oxygen, I have the need to constantly swim forward in some sort of creative quest, lest I become unhappy and depressed.
As a result, when I retired after twenty years working in the law, I knew there was no way I’d be satisfied simply spending my days reading, watching TV, or working in the garden. I needed a PROJECT. Something to work on and to aspire to in the future.
For a variety of reasons, I settled on writing mystery novels, and it may have been the best decision I ever made in my life. Not only is it a quest that can keep me busy for years to come, but it’s brought me into a community of like-minded people, all swimming forward in a glorious school of amazing, creative, and generous sharks.
So, c’mon, let’s all keep swimming!
Readers: What are you: a shark who needs constant forward progress, or a cat who’s content to curl up in that sunny spot in the garden and simply enjoy the moment?