Themes Of Life

questPreviously on Betsy’s Blog…

Skipper, the Habit Formulation specialist has returned.  Betsy and Quest Guide Harry  are meeting with her in Betsy’s brain to discuss how Betsy is doing in the initial implementation of her Good Habit Strategy, i.e. writing every day.  The verdict has come back – okay so far.

But Betsy seems to have something else on her mind.  She seems to have been thinking, which is cause for concern in and of itself.  

Join us, dear reader, and we’ll see what in the world is going on now!


*Betsy shifts in seat*  So, I wanted to talk to you guys about something else before Skipper has to leave again.

*Skipper looks at her from the top of Harry’s gerbil habitat tower*  Go ahead.

It’s about that overall goal thing you were talking about before.  I’ve been thinking about it and I think I understand now.

*Skipper puts aside her tablet computer*  You do?

I think so.  *Betsy frowns* It’s like a…theme, right?  Like a story theme?

We’re talking about your life here, kid.  Not a story.  *Harry settles next to Skipper and braces himself back on his paws*

*Betsy waves hands* No, no I know, but I think an overarching goal is almost like a theme for your life.  See, it would have to be big and kind of open-ended, but having one would give you a direction, right?  Just like a theme does for a story.  Okay, maybe the overarching goal isn’t the theme itself, but it would point to the theme.

Go on.  *Skipper stares intently*

Okay.  *Betsy gathers her thoughts*  In a book, the theme is the overall concept that ties everything together.  So, in my book, Hold Me, the theme was forgiveness.  Forgiveness of others, forgiveness of self.  Just forgiveness.  And the book I’m working on now, Handling It, has a different theme.  The theme is a…a…stream that flows through the whole thing.

Okay.  *Skipper nods*

So, my life has a theme too.  *Betsy frowns*  It’s a stream or thread that runs through it.

But you can have more than one thread running through your life, can’t you?  *Skipper grasps the edge of the habitat tower*  More than one stream.  And what if the stream carries you in the wrong direction?

But that’s the point.  You can choose.  *Betsy considers*  When you’re writing a book, you choose a theme.  It’s there already, but you choose to bring it to the forefront.  Hold Me had a lot of possible themes – revenge, family, fear – but when I saw that the concept of forgiveness was underlying a lot of the story, I decided to try and emphasize it.  I could have chosen to emphasize another theme, to bring that concept more to the forefront.  In Handling It, I had trouble ending the book because I couldn’t see a consistent theme.  Now that I have it in mind, I found the ending.

So you have to find the “right” theme? *Skipper gets up*  *scurries down gerbil habitat tower* *jumps up onto sofa next to Betsy*

Maybe. *Betsy scratches ear*  But that’s what happens in life, right?  You have a bunch of possible underlying, well, themes in your life and you have to choose what you want to emphasize.  It’s there already – you can’t emphasize what’s not there – but you have to make the decision whether or not to bring it to the forefront and give it importance.  The overarching goal is the way you do that – the way you bring the theme to the front.

*Skipper jumps onto Betsy’s knee*  *Stares at her with brilliant dark eyes*  And what is your overarching goal?

*Betsy looks around nervously*  I feel like people are watching me.

*Harry jumps down off gerbil tower and climbs up onto Betsy’s other knee*  Tell us.

*Skipper nods*  Tell us.

Okay.  *Betsy clears throat*  The goal is:  That I will always walk my own Path, follow my own Guide, seek my own Grail.

*Skipper sits back*  Ah.  Independence.  Freedom.  Art.

It’s just…all of my life I’ve been hearing the Muse.  Other people don’t hear her and I’ve tried to be like them, but I never could.   I don’t want to try not to listen anymore.  There are lots of other threads and streams in my life – like family, learning, service, work, self-destruction, escape.  Fear.  Some of those threads might be turn out to be valuable, and I could emphasize them, but most of them will carry me away directions I don’t necessarily want to go.  This seems….right. This feels like me.  *Betsy shrugs uncomfortably*  I feel kind of stupid putting it into words.

No.  *Harry touches her hand with his paw*  Not stupid.  

No.  *Skipper’s voice sounds powerful*  *Energy pulses*  *She sits up on haunches*  The only way you can go where the Muse wants to take you is if you follow your own path.  

*Betsy nods*  Yes.

*Harry stands on hind feet*  This overarching goal flows through your whole life.  The Quest you are on is more than you thought it was.  It’s more than merely becoming a successful authorpreneur, isn’t it?

*Betsy nods*  Yes, although that’s part of it and a huge, long-term goal.

*Harry stares at her intently*  And what is your bigger Quest?

*Betsy thinks* *stares into Harry’s big, black eyes* *draws in a deep breath*  To become exactly who I am.

*Harry smiles*  Yes.


To be continued…






  1. This. Is brilliant.

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