It’s funny how our mind works don’t you think. Yesterday I was having an online chat with my good friend and editor Gerry about nothing in particular when I recalled an episode in my life I had not thought about for years. While we were putting the world to rights, yet again, my mind suddenly recalled a happy period in my life, back in the eighties and nineties when building boats and sailing them occupied my existence 24-7.
All my adult life the most important things to me have been my interests, my passions that were formed in my childhood. I have an abiding passion for astronomy, archaeology, ancient history, photography, boats, and literature.
My earliest memory goes back to when I was four years old, standing at my then full height of just over three foot something, reading out loud from a ‘Little Golden Book’ of Bible tales – about Nebuchadnezzar I seem to recall. Ever since that time words and the wonderful books that contain them have filled my life with immense joy.
A life time of reading, photographing things, observing the heavens, building boats, hiking, goat and wild pig hunting with my trusty 30-30 Winchester action carbine in the New Zealand Bush, delighting in the wildness of the New Zealand countryside; spending hours engrossed in amazing exhibits from the ancient world at some of the world’s best museums, while not making me financially rich, has enriched my life beyond measure.
These days, due to severely reduced financial circumstances, the only one of my pleasures that I am still actively involved in is literature, and within that, my new passion – writing.
Writing has become my savior over the last decade, helping me to repair myself after experiencing three major breakdowns. These days my mind is occupied with plotlines and characters, scenarios and events within the particular story I am writing at any given time.
While I am no longer ‘working’, I am still contributing in my own way to society. Politicians and government employment department staff would disagree with that, by saying that at sixty-two years old, I still have three more years of useful employment left in me.
Useful for whom? Certainly not for me, I’ve done my bit. I’ve given my all. I’ve spent a lifetime working in the rat race, only to be thrown onto the heap along with the millions of others like me, who foolishly believed that work was everything, work comes first. I swallowed hook line and sinker the whole work ethic baloney. I became a workaholic and look where it got me – nowhere!
Give me a break! I worked tirelessly from the age of fifteen until fifty-five as a faithful employee for various employers, both in New Zealand and here in the UK. And what was my reward? Three major breakdowns brought on by on the job stress. My mind cannot take anymore, nor can my health.
We are all blessed with a mind. Look after it, nurture it. I abused mine for years, don’t you do the same thing – please…
Jack Eason – author of Onet's Tale