Jan 28, 2010

Energy to stay up late

Look out world - Professional Rick is awakening. After a year and a half of 'retirement', i've plunged back into the community by launching FreeRange Consulting. Initially out of financial need, it's quickly emerged into a re-emergence of parts of me that flourish and thrive.

I have skills that are needed in this community - how to raise funds sustainably, how to set a clear vision and achievable strategic plan, how to structure a board and organization to get the job done. And I still have a deep desire to serve, to bring these skills where they can truly help. That drive is reawakening me and bringing a new, different energy.

I also love being involved in the community. Wednesday night I started at "Green Drinks" - a monthly gathering of eco-activists at the local pub - then moved on to a community forum on child and family services, then wound up sharing stories at an open mic night. It feels good to be off the farm for a night, to be out in the world and making connections, weaving together the various strands I've collected and learned.

And beyond any genuine do-gooder drive is the pure thrill of mastery and excellence. I stayed up past midnight last night after finally making a breakthrough in how to structure my consulting website (to be unveiled soon). Whether it's running a training workshop or figuring out my bookkeeping system, there's a linear thinking from problem to solution to Done that I don't get in the cyclical rhythm of farming and parenting.

There are definite drawbacks to letting this professional beast back out of slumber. Writing, renos and napping have taken a blow. I have to dress a bit better a bit more often, and even shower more than once a week. Twilight farming time will be in competition with late-night grant proposals. The kids see me disappear to the computer more frequently. Once this start-up phase is past I'll have to do some careful, intentional limit setting to make sure that all I've gained and learned in these other new realms don't suddenly become a quaint "I used to be a slowed-down in-touch stay-at-home dad/writer farmer" memory. I don't want to have to change the tagline on this blog, just add another descriptor.

So, watch for my grand launch announcement next week, watch me explode creatively on the community, and please watch out in case I lose my balance and need to be gently or forcefully reminded of priorities and family and person. This is yet another brave new experiment, a new piece that I hope fits well into this puzzle we've been creating for the past 18 months. Thanks for helping me find the fit.

1 comment:

  1. Great blog Rick. Yes, it will be hard leaving those 'quaint' times behind. I know that struggle of dividing time between family and the things you have to do and the things you want to do.
    Are you living in a yurt? Or planning to? Now that would make a good book. I remember reading about a couple who lived off their garden (not in the garden). The both lost weight and their iron levels went up despite being on vegetarian diet. It was an labour intensive way to live but they loved it. Good luck with your consultancy business. Russ