Day 15: Crusading for Fun and Profit


I've always been a bit of a crusader. I realize I'm starting this whole blog post more on the nose than usual, but here it is. Right here. Right in front of me.

This thought may seem a bit obvious to those around me daily. However, I don't always see it.

Why do I write of my realization now? Well, lets just say I've been a bit busy lately.

In those moments of self-reflection when I look back at where I am and how I got here, (which strangely come to me more often than not when I'm showering (I know that's more than you cared for me to share)), it occurred to me that I'd been neglecting some of my aspirational activities lately.

This, I've noticed, tends to happen when I become completely focused on things like learning a new skill or taking on a new job. Where stress builds I tend to dive into one set of interests or activities to the exclusion of all else. Frankly, I can't function in a stress free environment so I add additional stresses when my basic levels fall.

Being obsessed with stress however doesn't really define me as a crusader. Instead I've recognized a need in myself to champion things. Causes, people, ideas... it's really not relevant to the point that I just tend to do it.

This championing lately has been in the form of my work. Due to the nature of it I can't discuss specifics, but when I sought out the challenge of joining this team and embraced the quirks and uncertainty of working for a small company I think that was my crusading nature taking over. I see the potential. I see the challenges. I see the risks and the rewards. Ultimately though none of those matter so much as having something to champion.

I chose the term crusading very specifically when thinking how to describe my activity. Those who aren't aware may not realize the term derives from the actions of soldiers fighting for king and country and the pope during the military and political religious wars of the eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth centuries in Europe.

The link between the term crusader and the religious zealotry is somewhat obvious in that context. Crusaders were also men consumed by greed and a lust for power. While they often set off in noble pursuit, or so the stories romanticize, they often fell to more earthly, human vices like a desire for land or gold.

How though, you might ask, does this little history lesson have anything to do with me? Well, first thanks for asking that question.. it will help me pull back from an entry where I show off all my interest in the Crusades. I'm not sure anyone wants me to ramble on about that too long.

Anyway, I draw the religious comparison because I've observed a tendency in myself that I liken to that very scenario. I often rush toward the crusade with that level of furor only to eventually burn down to more practical drivers. My current crusades still burn like the hearts of twenty golden suns, but I can sense the kindle fading a bit.

I need to identify a longer burning approach, one that will not just sustain me in the warmth of commitment in the near term, but also allow me the slow steady burn to see me through the long cold nights of discontent and occasional failure.

This blog is not about deep thoughts. Lately it's often been about nothing at all. I still intend for that to change... but maybe I need to make that my newest crusade.

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