Thursday, November 29, 2007


Poor Ridge.

Poor Baxter.

Poor Elsie.

Poor Kenya.

(Pinot's oblivious.)

Daddy Don is hunting again. But now it's deer season (last week it was bear).

And these poor dogs only know that Dad put on his hunting cap and left them behind!

You've got to get the context here.

See, Don's hunting cap looks an awful lot like the baseball cap he puts on when he takes the dogs into the woods or out for a hike on the dirt roads around our house or over to the hunt club.

To the four big dogs, baseball cap = ohboyohboyohboyohboyIgettogoplaywithDad!

Ah, but this time, and last week, nobody got to go.

They don't understand that Labs don't retrieve black bear or white-tail deer. They don't get that it wouldn't be safe for them, particularly our yellows, and in particular Ridge, to roam the woods when other hunters (some, perhaps, less than careful about what they shoot at) are gunning for venison.

All they know is Dad left us behind! Aghast! How could he??? Such betrayal!

Pinot, of course, is oblivious. She's just a happy girl, trit-trotting through life right now. She hasn't made the connection between Don's hats and adventure.

But Baxter, Elsie, Ridge, and Kenya have, and they are all depressed because they couldn't go.


What they'll never understand is that not all activities are suited to Labs. Not all work, even in the field, is suited to retrievers.

The same goes for humans. It's a lesson I'm still learning.

But once learned, it's liberating.

For some time now (the last three years, actually), I've been working on retainer for a non-profit organization - a solid organization whose purpose, vision, and values I can absolutely support. The problem is, I've been doing things for them for which I'm really not well-suited (lots of admin, design, and IT stuff). And when I do write for them (I'm supposed to be their writer), I mostly put other people's ideas into words for them. I write their stuff, like a ghost-writer does. Not mine.

But I am a writer. And I've REALLY missed writing -- committing my ideas, my heart, my passion, my interests, to paper or computer screen in ways that are accessible and meaningful for my readers.

I'm also a speaker and teacher (something I curtailed to keep more time available for my retainer work), and I've missed speaking at conferences and retreats (though 2008 is filling up pretty quickly now that I'm back in the speaking arena again).

It may have taken a few years, but I've finally realized that I need to pursue work for which I was designed and created. I need to write.

Trying to do something that wasn't suited to me has been draining me dry, sucking the life from my soul. Like a Lab trying to retrieve a 300-pound black bear, I've been straining to do something I was never meant to do.

I may be dense, but the lightbulb finally switched on in my head. I need to do what I'm designed to do -- my gifts, my talents, my passions. I'll be miserable otherwise.

So I submitted my resignation just over a week ago, and as of December 7th, I'll be reentering full-time freelancing again.

I'm letting go of some good things (my retainer work) in order to pursue the best.

Now if only I could get the dogs to realize that birds, not bear or deer, are the best for them!

'Til next time,

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