Today is Z day, and the final day of the A-Z Blog Challenge. I didn’t have a theme this year, was sort of winging it, and boy, my blogs have been all over the place. In preparation I did make up a tentative list of topics. Just a few ideas in case I was feeling brain dead when that letter’s day came up.
With the Stanley Cup Playoffs in full swing, and yes, I admit I’ve been watching, this last blog could have been Z is for Zamboni. But when you watch hockey on television you never actually see the zamboni, and to be honest, there’s nothing interesting about watching a big machine driving around in circles on the ice.
Zucchini muffins were on my list of potential topics, chocolate chip zucchini muffins to be precise. I decided that should be a topic for later in the season, when the gardens are full of the vegetable and every gardener would welcome a recipe to use them up.
I decided to do Z is for Zenith, not the celestial kind, but the ‘culminating point or stage’, that highest or climactic point. I’m not really a big sports fan, but since I grew up in a house where it was sports all the time, I find it makes good background noise as I’m doing something else. With the hockey playoffs and the recent Masters’ golf tournament, I was inspired for today’s topic.
The commentators, during any golf tournament, talk about the Masters and the other three ‘major’ tournaments like they’re the Holy Grail. I suppose to the golfers they are. To win a major tournament is to reach a level of achievement that cannot be denied. So the poor guy who wins tournaments, but can’t win a major will always be…in Rocky’s words, ‘could have been a contender’.
In the current competition for the Stanley Cup, it’s much the same. How many professional hockey players have never won a Stanley Cup? How many football players have never won the Super Bowl? And how many athletes never win an Olympic medal? I’m out of sports analogies, but I think you understand what I’m getting at. There are levels of achievement in almost any endeavour, some people will excel and make that zenith level, but those who don’t should never be deemed failures, or second class citizens in their particular area of expertise.
The ability, work and dedication that's required to get to professional status, or to participate in the Games, is an achievement not to be negated just because that person did not achieve their ultimate goal.
There are similar comparisons in other fields. Take one I’m familiar with…writing. I see the names of my favourite authors on the best selling list; see them achieve a financial success that is to be envied. But there are many other authors who may not write best sellers, but can still take pride that they are ‘published’.
I came at writing with a serious intent rather late in life. I don’t expect I’ll ever write a best seller, nor achieve financial success, but writing has given me so much more. For years I have dealt with the loss of my 30 year career due to health issues. I was a workaholic and had nothing to replace the time and effort I expended at work.
When I found writing I found a purpose. I have been able to deal with my cognitive issues (memory and concentration) by making notes, lists and some serious editing and rewrites. I am dedicated to making my writing the best it can be.
I’m working on my 8th novel and am proud of the fact that my imagination is still strong and thriving. I have been able to sustain the effort in not only finishing the story, but doing something with it.
I self publish on Amazon, and while that is not the same as having a publisher seek me out to publish my books in hard copy, it is still a major achievement. I’m excited when I make a sale, happy to share my work with others. But for me, the success is in seeing it through, from a germ of an idea, to final product.
If others enjoy reading it as much as I've enjoyed writing it, it’s icing on the cake.