Thirty-seven days. That’s the time I have left in this quest. Eleven months ago I thought a year was more than enough time to figure out my own answer to the question: What is goodness? Hah! Was I a fool or what?
But I’m not being completely honest. I do have an answer in mind. In fact, I’m already composing the post for Day 365, and the answer I’m going to announce isn’t what I expected when I launched this quest on June 1, 2010. (That’s a bit of a shock, but I digress.)
Still, I feel like a failure. I haven’t done half of what I wanted to do. I haven’t interviewed the people, participated in the workshops, or read all the books I wanted to read, and I certainly haven’t written what I wanted to write. For the last few months I’ve been particularly quiet on this blog, even disappearing for a while. Did you think I had forgotten you, faithful blog reader?
I didn’t forget, but I did run smack into reality. Last year was a financially lean one for me. For the last four years, I’ve been an independent journalist, which means I work without a financial net. The drooping economy tore a truck-sized hole through my client list in 2010. Things got to the point late last year where I HAD to get new assignments and/or diversify my income, or well, I didn’t know exactly what would happen, but Mickey D’s was probably in my future, either that or moving myself and my 85-year-old mother into a cardboard box.
I went into high gear to market my work. I even applied for a job at the University of Kansas. Much to my utter surprise everything worked. By January, I had brought in more writing assignments than ever before. I even got the job. Since February, I’ve been working with the KU Energy Council and writing, writing, writing everything from articles about the smart grid to pieces on taxes and fundraising, and yes, even on morality and goodness. (The University of Chicago Alumni Magazine, by the way, is publishing my profile of Ruth Grant and her own search for goodness in their next issue.) Right now I’m so behind that I haven’t even updated my professional web site with the new job and the new publications.
I’m not writing this to whine or make excuses, but to wonder.
The necessities of life forced me away from the quest for goodness. Struggling to bring in cash literally sucked me away from what I wanted to do for the greater good. If this happens to me, an educated white woman, then how often does this happen to poorer folk, to those who don’t have my advantages? And that leads me to wonder about what is lost because people struggle 24-7 to merely survive.
So, that’s where I’m at on Day 328. I’m pondering life, juggling a lot of work, but at least, I’m back on track with The Goodness Project. Let’s see how much I can do in the next five weeks.