Friday, June 4, 2010

And here I thought I'd be all psyched for some time during the week while the weather is sunny and warm. Instead, I find myself hit with anxiety, lacking answers or any real direction.

Maybe the hospital bills have something to do with it. I'm doing okay financially, and of course the insurance is handling the bulk of the costs of the biopsy, but yeah, the reality of those 'unexpected' costs is getting to me at the core level. And yeah, I'm getting my money's worth out of the insurance -- without it, the whole process apparently would have cost me over $10,000 -- but it does lead me to wonder how much I'd end up paying per month once the COBRA runs out, now that I have this nice little incident on my permanent record.

So what is it that I'm supposed to do? The more I mull through the whole touring/ranger/know-it-all career concept, the more I realize it's not financially workable for me. When I stand back and view it objectively, I totally understand why. Who puts that much value on learning about arcane things from someone who can spin a good story? I mean, it would work if Richard Branson wanted someone on staff to research his personal whims and tell him all about them, but how likely is that? I've learned a heck of a lot hanging around my pal in Princeton, and while she's really making a name for herself locally, she ain't gettin' rich off it. She is, though, seeming to have a lot of fun.

Everything's telling me that what I'm doing now is a fantastic post-retirement avocation, and there's nothing wrong with that, but how am I gonna make money? More immediately, how am I going to get myself back on a productive path?

What have I learned about myself?
  • I do like telling stories.
  • When I'm on, I'm really on... and I love getting positive feedback in the form of laughter, smiles and engaged conversation about the topic I'm covering.
  • I like having latitude and being my own boss.
  • I'm not really big on being told what to do by people who boss me around. I'd rather be a partner than an employee. (I'd use the word 'collaborator' but ever since a European pointed out the negative connotations of the word, I've been cautious about labeling myself that way.)
  • I'm not all that motivated. When things fall into my lap, I'll go for them, but do I go looking for them? Not really.
This puts me squarely where I was: being unhappy with the prospect of a corporate environment, but in a position where I half anticipate having my next opportunity presented to me. Somehow the prospect of being stuck in an unhappy situation a year from now, regretting that I didn't make a real leap forward, isn't enough of a motivator to get off my ass and do something truly scary.

One would wonder why I'm not seeking some sort of accountability to get me moving. On occasion I've considered talking with a coach to get me working on some concrete goals. (I guess one could say I have accomplished some things by doing what I have with the tour stuff, but I think I've been resting on that for far too long, like an eight-year-old who keeps pointing to the fact she can tie her shoes.) BUT that would then require me to face a lot of tough things, and do stuff I don't really like doing, right? Maybe I'd actually not do so well on a few things, to boot. And isn't the point of this to just drift along without conflict? And to get all philosophical without having to actually do anything?

Uh, yeah, and how's that working for you?

I do this a lot in my life: drift, then get frustrated and build up enough moxie to move forward. The big problem here is that I'm not challenging myself. I'm just hanging out on an extended vacation, and feeling vaguely guilty about it.

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