The Power of Having a Thing

The Power of Having a Thing

It’s no secret that in the past, I struggled with working and doing my thing. (My thing being writing, blogging, podcasting, making videos, and other “things.”) Now that I have my favorite day job ever, it’s not the struggle it was at jobs I didn’t like, but there will always be that want for doing the things I love more than anything…even more than my job. For me, though, having a day job I love helps me do my thing without concern…and because I can do my thing without concern, I value my day job more than ever.

This sometimes leads to moments when someone at my day job sees me accept something they would not accept.

“You’re seriously gonna let that slide?!” they say. And my answer is, “Yes — that does not bother me as much as it bothers many others.”

Someone wanting more control at my day job is not reason to bristle because…I have my things..

The Things!

Every week on a podcast I do, my partner and I close with the motto: “Chill the fuck out, and make the damn thing!” By this, we mean, “Don’t get so caught up in every little thing that it steals from you the ability to do at least one thing you love!” (More about our motto, here.)

My big things:

  • Writing
  • Juggling
  • Podcasting

Of these, writing and juggling are wholly mine — meaning nobody else has a say in what I do with these two things I love. (In the case of Men in Gorilla Suits, Shawn and I flip-flop, letting each other run the show every other week. It works very well, and it keeps us on our toes!)

The Power of Having a Thing

Having something that is wholly mine means when someone at work wants to control something, I can let it go. Same thing in many facets of life.

I see so many people tired because they try to control everything around them; they turn little things into full-scale battles rivaling a crusade. It looks so exhausting and often comes with anger.

It’s amazing the hours lost at old jobs when I’ve seen people arguing about applying punctuation to bullet points, or even people fuming about using Oxford commas or not. Now, I will defend the Oxford comma to the end, but when I’ve written newspaper articles — AP Style — I’ve had no problem not using them. It’s style, and I’ll write the way I’m paid to write. (“Tildes instead of bullets, and two commas after each point with and/or and then a period at the final point? Sure — check, please!”)

Some people, though, spend their dinners complaining about these things to significant others who don’t care. Somewhere this evening, a kid will beg:

Daddy, not the bullet point rage again…

Have a Thing

This is where having a thing matters.

When all around me people are drawing sides and demanding blood over something as small as a punctuation argument that can go either way (Oxford commas), I’m waiting for the issue to be settled so I can write to a style guide…and then go home and write what I want, the way I want — all that other stuff be damned!


  1. Having a secret treasure in your pocket, a thing is a ward against taking things too seriously.

  2. Christopher Gronlund says

    Deacon: Definitely. It’s something that helped at older jobs full of drama and other things. I’d wake up, write, and there was a certain sense of, “I can’t let this get to me TOO much because…I’ve already written this morning…” It really does help.


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