Wednesday, February 25, 2009

New Inventions

Over the past week I have received three emails from friends who have just lost their jobs. Serious jobs, too, jobs that seemed secure. Being self-employed, I suppose I cannot really lose my job - I sort of am my job. But when those who once hired me are now contacting me for leads themselves, I know something troublesome is afoot. While I am truly encouraged to see the way our new president has grasped hold of the reins of this runaway coach, I know it will take a while to pull it up to a comfortable pace for all the rattled passengers inside. Indeed, even when this downhill ride has reached level ground, the economic landscape seen outside the windows might look a bit unfamiliar to us all.

All this has led me to think about reinvention. I was speaking to a friend a couple of weeks ago, a woman full of optimism and industry who thinks this is the perfect time to start a new career, to take a chance on an idea that might have been simmering on the back burner of one’s mind for ages. Her enthusiasm was infectious. It made me think anew of the old adage, “necessity is the mother of invention”. Perhaps, for some of us, this financially fitful time represents the impetus we have waited for. Too many people of my acquaintance work away everyday at jobs they truly despise. They look wistfully at the Songwriter and myself and say if only they could get up every morning and love what they do. Of course, we hasten to tell them that self-employment is quite often far from a bed of roses, but they are difficult to convince. Perhaps this current situation, though worrisome and rocky, may serve as a bit of a reshuffling of ideas and goals, of priorities and dreams. Perhaps, just perhaps, there are people like my friend, who will see this time as the fabled fork in the road they have longed for, a magic moment to reinvent their lives, to create a new venture, to realize a long held dream.

Invention, it must be humbly admitted,
does not consist of creating out of void, but out of chaos”

Mary Shelley