DISPATCHED FROM THE CROSSROADS, AT THE INTERSECTION OF yesterday & tomorrow
12.31.06: YEAR IN REVIEW
I have completed Year 3 of my... Second Career? Can I still call it that?
According to my 2004 Review, I started the "I'm My Own Boss Now" Era with the following in mind:
To pursue a two-part second career. Part 1: explore my creative side as a maker of small films. Part 2: put my organizational skills to work as the chief curator/sales person for the vast Zimmer/Price collection.
Does a second career mean you have to make money at it? Or does it simply mean that you're doing something you love?
Stewardship & Sales
I was not as enthralled with being a "shopkeeper" as I was in 2005. But my Ebay store plugged away, some good months and some bad. Best benefit was sharing some laughs with my brother at some of the weird throwaways he managed to sell.
Our private sale of the natural history book collection actually put money in the bank.
I count our home improvements — esp. living room and hallway "gallery" space — as good stewardship because it has forced us to look at and enjoy our collections. And it begins to give the collections more deserving display space.
I did this soul-searching at the end of August. My attitude by year's end: to hell with work-for-hire. Being able to design a web page or audio program that expresses something in me is worth more than getting paid to do it for someone else. But my left brain will always boss around my right brain and force me to worry about planning and productivity. This year's products:
Cosmopolitan Productions logo (Adobe Illustrator). I wound up redesigning many "logos" throughout Mad In Pursuit with newfound Illustrator skills. (January)
Sisters cartoon (Adobe Illustrator) (February)
Midlife Web Diary radio production, licensed to a public radio station in Minneapolis (May) The Valentine 1955 was also licensed by 3 radio stations (incl one in Ireland) during February (Black History Month)
Class Offerings DVDs, National Technical Institute for the Deaf Theater Dept: annual work-for-hire job. Not "artistic" but demands plunging myself into details of video editing and DVD production. Good practice. (July)
What Would Gandhi Do? Essay published in the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, based on conversations with Arun Gandhi (August)
Waiting for Something to Happen. Quirky animated cartoon. I love this! And I forgot completely about it till now. (August)
Take Three. 3-minute meditation. Collaboration with Joanne P. — her writing & voice, my sound design and my animation. Audio and animated versions. (September)
Maddie Malone, Strategy Geek. Comics, hand-drawn. (November)
Life on Planet Susan. Comics, hand-drawn (November)
Pandora's Children. Unfinished project, but I did LOTS of work on it this fall — both drawing and animation.
I jumped around like crazy! Can that be good?
My Higher Self
Served as Grand jury foreperson for month of January. Spoke with Gandhi's grandson twice and began to think seriously about nonviolence. Explored chakras and hero journeys. Thought about religion — about not believing in God but not believing in Atheism either. Tried to be more thoughtful toward others and more compassionate.
I'm only slightly more thoughtful toward others than I ever was — and that might be self-serving — a humble attempt to replace all those scads of friends you have when you work, who slowly disappear when you can no longer share their griping or their inscrutable successes. But when I was working 60 hours a week I thought I had an excuse for ignoring my family and old friends. Now I think it becomes the role of the "elders" to try to be more attentive to those around them — part of the job description. Part of the privilege of getting this far and still smiling.
Consulting. I dipped my toes back into consulting around organizational strategy — for a community group and a youth service. I thought this might be another path for me, but I was disappointed that they didn't follow up on their action plans. Been there, done that. The effort wound up reinforcing my decision to get out of the business. I don't like that I've turned cynical about it — but there you have it.
Health & Wellbeing
Started the year with a cold. Ended the year with a cold. Snff.
Passed the usual midlife screening tests. A little hearing loss in the upper registers, with accompanying tinnitus. Family members got through all their tests too.
Clothes got tight so I actually changed some habits and lost about 8 lbs.