Sigmund Freud, the German founder of modern-day psychology, famously observed that the two dominant activities of humans are love and work. He concentrated his study and writing on the former, especially the sexual aspect of it. That earned him fame and blame over the years. And despite my dislike for his obvious fascination with sex, I have to agree that he named the two dominant factors in human life.
Love and work have shaped my long life. Love brought about my relations with the people I care most about, my four children and four grandchildren. And work, done for the love of it rather than to earn a living, gave me a life full of rewards. Never once, after my impoverished youth, did I ever have to worry about income. Because of my devotion to my work—assisting troops in combat with signals intelligence about the enemy using the seven foreign languages I knew and later leading rather than managing my subordinates—I was promoted repeatedly until I reached the top levels of the Senior Executive Service (SES) of the federal government. I retired as early as I could so that I could write full-time and now have published six books and 17 short stories.
These days my work is my primary fulfillment. I especially enjoy giving my four presentations with slides on the fall of Saigon (which I escaped under fire), the 1967 battle of Dak To in Vietnam’s western highlands (I was very much involved), how to cope with Post-Traumatic Stress Injury (PTSI) which I suffer from, and fiction craftsmanship. Meanwhile, I continue to write and do blog posts (like this one) every day.
A man couldn’t ask for a much better life. And to Freud’s credit, it is all due to love and work.