I’m back from a 3 day work and play trip in Dublin.
The work is very interesting and I’m enjoying working in a team of consultants rather than alone. I love the divergent and convergent thinking that everyone brings to the table. I’m finding it relaxing and challenging not to lead a project. And I’m really loving working with bright and value driven people. A big hi to Anne, Mary and Billy.
You know the best thing about the work? It will make a difference. This work will directly influence policy and funding for youth arts in Ireland. Now, when I say it like that, it sounds a bit scarey – what if we get it wrong? what if we miss something? what if … what if … what if.
Firstly, nothing gets done or created if we wait for perfection.
Secondly, we can’t possibly gather ever speck of relevant information.
Thirdly, it’s not set in stone. The recommendations we make can be tested and changed. We build in an action evaluation process that tests and reflects and gives people the chance to experiment.
So, I’ll work away doing my research and thinking and creating mindmaps to ‘see’ all the complexity in this process. I’ll do my best to be part of creating something that works and benefits young people, artists and communities.
Why do I do this? Why this path?
Well folks, the reasons for being on this path become clearer as I get older but the choosing of this path over others is less clear. I think it’s part serendipity and part choosing. Opportunities presented themselves and I took them – as a result of that work – other opportunities presented themselves. That’s probably the story of my early career path.
When I turned 30 I began to more consciously reflect on my values, interests, beliefs – and what that meant in terms of the work I wanted to do. Throw into the mix my paradoxical fuzzy vision/impulsive leaping nature – and anything can happen – and it has.
As the years go by I’ve become much clearer about why I do this work – the kind of work I want to do – and the people I want to work with to make a difference. If you’re interested in knowing more just click on to Lizbiz at the right hand side of this blog.
So, does knowing why I do what I do mean that life is just one happy skip thru the daisies?
Yes & No.
Yes – because I’m able to focus and filter and clearly attract the kind of work I want to do.
No – because there’s always challenges even when your focus is clear. Knowing why I do this work does give me a sense of calm tho – even when the crocodiles are nibbling at my toes.
I played a game with some friends over dinner last Sunday in Dublin.
I said that I had been looking back on my life and the moments that clearly stand out as crossroads. Those times and situations where the choices I made took me down a path – and – closed off certain other paths as a result. Some of those paths are closed for ever – and some I may wander down before I die.
I asked my friends ‘if there were such things as next lives and you could choose some key paths – what would you be interested in exploring’. The paths could be as divergent as we wanted and didn’t have to have any logic.
The conversation that followed was at times poignant and at others had us roaring with laughter. I was curious about coming back as a man – to see what that was like. So was my female companion. We looked across at our male companion and he said ‘No way would I want to come back as a woman – you have it harder in so many ways than men’. We chatted about what kinds of work/play/loves we would have in these other lives. I would want to be a blues singing artist and architect/designer – and yeh, I know I can explore all these in this life.
I know what it’s like to wake up and wonder – what else could I have been/done? What else will I be and do in this life?
Sometimes the question excites me – sometimes it affirms me – and sometimes it just tires me.
So, what I go back to are my values – the drivers in my life. They don’t change, they are my constants. How I manifest and make them real in the world can and will change as I get older.
Who knows – in my fities and sixties I may explore design in more depth and go sing the blues – as well as continue to do the work I love. Some of the paths I didn’t take are still open and some are irrevocably closed. That’s life.
I have choices and options and at the core of it all – values that are my lodestone. I know why I do what I do.
I’m kind of looking forward to meeting the Liz in her later years – blues singing designer – social entrepreneur – bon vivant – blogger.