Lessons I Learned From Living With a Creative: Responsibility vs. Creativity

I knew a man once.  He had a continuous flow of ideas.  He was not afraid to try any of them.  In fact he would go to great extremes to act on them.  The word fear did not exist in his vocabulary, neither did the term practicality and responsibility.

He started a business that was successful.  The business served insurance agents, which at the time was a needed service.  When the industry changed the business was no longer needed.  It wasn’t long though and this man started a new business, a new insurance agency.

There was a year in between ventures, however, due to him following another idea. During his time in insurance he dabbled in selling securities and got his securities license.  He got the idea that he would write a book on financial planning, and spent one year writing that book.

His insurance business didn’t go as planned, and that could be due to another idea.  He loved golf and decided he would become a golf pro.  He took the necessary steps to do that.  In the process of that career transition he decided to design a golf course, and did just that.  Property was purchased, people engaged, and the course built.  Yet this venture would not succeed.

He went on to become a golf professional and worked for several courses.  The years, however, caught up to him and when they did the dreams and ideas stopped.  Something called responsibility finally caught up to him, and he had to face what years of dreaming and chasing ideas had done.

You see this man had four children, and a wife who was trying to keep it all together.  There wasn’t an income stream when he started a business, quit work to write a book, or design a golf course.  So his wife paid the bills,  a responsibility that would take a toll on their marriage and their children.

Lessons Learned

That man was my father.  I am so proud of the man that he was.  He taught me how to dream.  He taught me to try new ideas.  I never saw an ounce of fear in his eyes.  He just did it.

Now that I am a mother and wife, however, I understand what my mother went through.  She had to deal with all the responsible and practical stuff.  She dealt with electric bills, feeding four children, figuring out how to pay the mortgage, and keep her car running.  While dad dreamed, mom was burdened with responsibility.

I am caught between my parents.  A part of me wants to quit work and write a book.  I want to sell the house, move and start a business.  My dream job would be to work in a bookstore in an airport because I absolutely love both things!   Yet, we don’t live near an airport, and I need a higher wage than what the bookstore can pay.

Dad was always chasing the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and what he didn’t know was the gold was right in front of him.  He had a wife that loved him, and four children who adored him.  It was all right in front of him.  He was just more enamored with his ideas then the responsibilities of life.

My day time job is far from what I want to be doing.  I have dreams and ideas just like dad, but I understand that I need to be responsible first.  That means that I keep my day time job, and pursue my ideas after work.  Perhaps one day I will get to pursue my ideas full time, but for now I seek to find enjoyment in my day job, and support my husband and family with needed income.

Let’s dream and pursue ideas, but let’s do so in a way that supports our family, remembers our responsibilities, and values those closest to us.  There is no dream or idea worth pursuing that costs us the welfare of our family, that overshadows responsibility, and that overlooks the wealth that is our loved ones.

Marcy Pedersen

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