Thursday, November 5, 2009

What do I know?

My office

Each morning I find myself going through my google reader and finding interesting tid-bits of information. I have my incoming posts in different categories. Michelle over at When I Grow Up can be found in the Mentoring category. Translation: Michelle is a life coach; a creative mentor. I have been following her blog for quite a number of months now and I find her questions and observations to be pointed, thoughtful and searching. Ultimately she is kind and provides a perspective that I've lost somewhere along the way.

At this point in my life, now that my raison d’ĂȘtre are all in school full-time, I find myself wondering about my next adventure. What do I want to do now that the only thing I ever wanted to do is well on it's way to being all grown up? Certainly I have not finished raising my kids, but they are now leading full and exciting little lives and are far less dependent upon me for nourishment, cleanliness and entertainment!

I've been doing a bit of this and a bit of that, but nothing with a great deal of focus or ambition, for various reasons, good and bad. It's time to gain some focus.

This morning, Michelle's entry, by guest host Laura Neff: What DO I know? really got me thinking (which I'm sure is the idea!).

As you cast about for your next vocation, focus on what you DO know.

Full disclosure: I suppose I should note that I have been gainfully unemployed, but working hard nonetheless, since December 24, 1996, when I was put on medical leave while pregnant with Cole. Whatever my next experience, I've now been so long out of the workforce that what I learned is no longer considered relevant. Neither considered relevant is any education, formal or otherwise, gained in my lifetime to this point. What's a girl to do? I know that I can never work in a cubicle ever again, and I still hate answering the telephone.

What are the skills and talents in you that just light you up?
I enjoy and am good at: photography, writing and creating. I really enjoy researching and reading everything I can find about whatever topic hits me at the time. I love taking care of my kids and mentoring them, raising them all to be confident and contributing adults. Jewelry design has become interesting but there are so many good and talented designers, I'm happy to just watch them create. I am really interested in blogging and marketing - the creative and technical aspects of both. In my career days, I was very good at managing money and managing people - clearly something I manage better in a corporate environment! I was always good in a board room, a P&L and giving a talk to a large group, though I was good, I didn't really enjoy it. I really enjoy and am good at understanding nutrition and homeopathic solutions to ailments. I'm really good with colour and garden/home design but I have no patience for shopping - just give me the Pottery Barn or Restoration Hardware catalogue!

Which of those would you like to continue honing and developing in the years to come?
I will always mentor my kids as best I can. I suppose the photography, writing and creating would be what I would most like to hone but I'm very wary of making my hobby/passion my business. Then what I love becomes a chore. I don't want my photography, writing, scrapbooking, painting or anything I do as a creative release to become something I dread, that would be devastating.

What kind of days do you dream of having? How are they structured?
I dream of days where I have something specific to do and someone expecting me to do something with my day! They are busy and full, full of expectation and promise. No laundry is involved.

Who do you want to be working with?
I want to be working with a group of nurturing people who "check their ego at the door" and are interested in working toward a goal, a collective positive goal. "People" can be virtual, but I really do thrive in an environment with interaction. I can't work in a bubble with no input ... or output.

What kind of work environment puts a huge smile on your face?
If I can't work outdoors, due to the glare on the laptop screen, the next best thing is working in front of a big picture window with plenty of light. A bit of music, or even television noise in the background. No phones, never phones. I hate being cramped, my cubicle days are not missed in the least, so I'm never going back there ever again.

What’s the quality of life you want to experience? How will that feel?
I want the freedom and means to be able to go to any and all creative retreats that appeal to me: Squam Art Workshops, character- and confidence-building retreats with Patti Digh, Danielle LaPorte or Christine Kane, I want to practice photography in the great architectural centres of the world, attend the UP Experience in Houston or a TED experience anywhere, attend lectures conducted by the Dalai LamaMalcolm Gladwell, Leo Babauta, Seth Godin and Sir Ken Robinson. I don't need to stay in fancy hotels, or even travel first class (though that would be nice, I enjoy leg room), I'd like some nice food though, something representative of where I am - and nothing processed. I want a life filled with knowledge and always the understanding that there is more to learn. When you know it all you might as well be gone.

Aren't those great questions? What answers would you give if you were posed with the same questions? What do you think? What do you know? Are you looking for something new? What do YOU want to be when you grow up? Clearly I have no idea!

1 comment:

April P. said...

oh gosh, you and I have pretty much the same problem. I taught, and my teaching certificate expired this past summer; even though I haven't been teaching for just 7 years (!!!) yah, I know, a lot changes . . . I'm at sort of a midlife crisis and this blog sounds like one I need to be following. I have no idea if I could even answer all of those questions thoroughly . . . thanks for sharing!