On making decisions: learning, writing and living

Image from pixabay.com

I have definitely been decision-impaired at times in my life.  Paralysis by analysis is one term with which I have been intimately familiar.  I’ve also been known to research and research and research, thinking that if I have that one last strand of information, I can make a decision and feel confident about it. But I know what that is — it’s another form of procrastination, in disguise.  Because the thing is, sometimes you just have to make decisions in life and then go with it, dealing with the results or consequences as they may fall.

On Learning:

One thing I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, and I think I may have mentioned it in an earlier post, is to cease school after this semester.  I have loved the classes I have taken so far feel like I’ve learned a lot, and met some people with whom I’ve really connected, but it is a matter of $$$.   (I hate that money can have such an effect on our lives but feel it is inescapable sometimes.)

On Writing:

The courses I’ve taken over the past two semesters have taught me the value of language.  I am so much more cognizant of the words and tone I use now.  Through the animal protection classes, I have again experienced such physiological effects as I read through some assignments, that I know in my heart, I am meant to do something in my life where animals are concerned.

I also know in my heart that I am meant to use my writing skills for good.  I was born with them for some reason, and have realized I can really move people sometimes by the words I choose and subsequent images I create in their mind.  I’ve recently pictured myself traveling around to animal sanctuaries around the country, talking to their founders or workers in an effort to spread the word about their good deeds.

Having worked at an animal sanctuary for even only six months, I know how how much work it involves, and how exhausting it can be.  There is precious time available at the end of the day to self-promote or market or attempt to raise funds in order to continue doing such beneficial work.

Consequently, I’ve been thinking of ways to help those sanctuaries in a way that can be sustainable for myself, i.e., help to ultimately create an income. One thing I’ve mentioned in the past is grant writing and recently, conversations with my sister-in-law, Geneva (writer extraordinaire behind It’s Not a Slow Car, It’s a Fast House) have reminded me of that as an option.  In a way, grant writing is one form of marketing the positive qualities of an organization.

As with anything, every choice involves compromises. 

Grant proposals require the power of persuasion, writing and research skills.  One thing law school teaches you is how to construct an argument and to see situations from multiple angles, how to acknowledge your weaknesses but in the best, most positive light.  Being a reference librarian requires kick-ass research skills and a thirst for knowledge and learning.  Humane education also teaches you these similar skills but also provides you with a base of knowledge that law school and library work don’t encompass.

I’ve also thought of creating a directory of sorts for animal sanctuaries in the country as part of my dream of visiting and talking with many of them. (I need to see if something of the type already exists, and if so, what hasn’t been covered by such a resource.)

One reason why these ideas appeal to me is because they would allow me to spend more time with my animals.  It pains me to leave them every day that I have to go to work for 7-8 hours at a time.  They are my world!

On Living Choices:

Any occupation involving animals usually doesn’t pay well.  I’ve known this and have changed many of my habits and routines to accommodate this.   Moving forward, if I were to support myself with my writing, I would need to keep my living costs as low as possible.

My friend Dan has had conversations with me ad nauseum about what it’s like to live out of a small abode and with cats.  (Bless him, he’s still my friend!)  Geneva has also had many of those conversations with me.  I’ve gone back and forth between loving the small travel trailers like Scamps and Casitas, versus motorhomes such as a small Class C or a Class B like his Pleasureway or even a van that has been converted into a tiny mobile home.  I’ve also been considering what it would be like to buy something like a shuttle bus (14 passenger or so) and convert that into a mobile home.

I’ve decided that if I eventually turn nomadic in my living situation, a travel trailer won’t work.  Cats are creatures of routine and habit and really don’t like change.  To have to put them in carriers every time I go somewhere is not a great life for them. And if I am going to be a solo female traveling, a mobile living vehicle makes the most sense, both in terms of money as well as safety and convenience.  If a situation or location doesn’t feel right to me, being able to jump quickly into the driver’s seat will be important.  Having a space for the animals to call their own and have a cat tree of sorts will be necessary.

If I end up in a stationary setting for whatever occupation I ultimately find myself in, it will involve living tiny and simply.  Of that much, I am sure.   Until then, I find myself saving as much money as I can.

So what does this all mean and involve?

It means I will need to, again, embrace my fears and push through them.  It means I need to really focus myself on continuing to build skills and have the confidence in myself to start promoting them.  It means talking to a lot of people in Florida at the upcoming APHE Conference and finding out if my ideas are viable options to pursue. It means I need to put myself out there and quite possibly, face a lot of rejection.

But I also might find out a lot about myself in those processes and meet some really great people doing some highly valuable and beneficial work.

The saying, “Life is a journey” can be very overused, but in my case, it is certainly true.

Question for you, the reader:

thank you to those who have made it this far in my post!  Here is my question to you:

Do you know of animal organizations or sanctuaries that might benefit from having someone like me reach out to them and see if partnering up on a grant proposal or other form of marketing might be beneficial? 

A few readily spring to mind for me already but I am always interested in learning of others.

Thanks, as always, for reading. And remember, it’s good to share if you think someone can benefit from reading this post and/or connecting with me.

Little Things for Which I am Thankful

Oh my God, thank GOD it’s Friday, people. I am just exhausted this week. Could be the working of many jobs has caught up to me, or the 90-some degree heat we had this week, or the walking of my bike yesterday in the heat when it got a flat tire, or the fact that I have been leading tours to new LLM students all week, but I’m definitely a tired lady right now. But it’s been a good week too.

1. I paid $300 on my student loan and was rewarded with seeing that damn bastard LAL Loan balance go below $15K. Whooppee – that’s about $6K paid down on it in 11 months. While that may not seem like a lot, I’ve paid off a total of about $10K in debt over that time period while also saving a fair amount. When I add the two numbers together, it makes me really happy. It tells me that I am capable of really cutting my expenses and prioritizing, especially when the situation warrants it.

2. You read above that I got a flat tire on my bike this week. Yep, that kinda (ok, it really) sucked. It was really hot out I was not super close to a bus stop at the time. But I am thankful that (a) it was not out of the realm of reason to walk to a bus stop and (2) the fact that a bus was even an option. In a lot of other cities, I would have been royally screwed, and had to walk the bike for miles.  Also, something told me before I left to not worry about the extra weight that a bottle of water would give me – just to go ahead and fill it up. Thankfully I listened to my gut!

3. I’ve gained some new readers this week, and it’s definitely making me feel like I’m more and more part of a community out there. A community of people who have decided that maybe the “expected” way of life isn’t necessarily the only course you can choose. It helps to keep this in mind as you explain to others who know you in your regular “sticks and bricks” life that don’t quite necessarily grasp why living in any other way might be desirable. Not that I care what others think, mind you – if they don’t like the idea of living in a motorhome or think it’s “trashy” – well, they’re entitled to their opinion. Doesn’t mean I have to listen to it or allow it to have any effect on me. (It’s so freeing when you finally don’t care what others think!)

4. There have been a few very hot days this week but the others have been, well, just amazing. Very low humidity and such gorgeous breezes. I just sat down by the reservoir with Baby O on my lap yesterday and thought of how lucky I was to be able to enjoy it.  And, of course, she brought smiles to the faces of many people walking by. One person even said “thank you!” to me.

5. My Bonkers is feeling a thousand times better this week. Took him back to the animal hospital this week so a doctor of internal medicine could check him out, and they retested him for anemia. Luckily, the anemia he had last week seemed to be gone – his body had just slowed down making red blood cells while it was fighting everything else going on.

Not sure why, but I’m not questioning it but I woke up this morning in a really good mood, even though I’m working on the day before a long holiday weekend and am working this Sunday. Some people might hate to work, and I do love my free time, but every day I work now, I just keep telling myself, it’s money I can set aside for the future. For my new life, when I likely won’t make anything close to what I am making now, but will be more free to follow my heart. I can’t wait!  In the meantime, I will just be very envious of my older brother and sister in law – check out their blog – It’s Not a Slow Car, It’s a Fast House – they are going to be living in their van, Alta, starting in 35 days!!

By the way, in case you are curious – I’m going to be shopping for a scooter this weekend, and this is one of my possible choices (isn’t she pretty??!!):

Sym Fiddle II 125

Photo courtesy of Alliance Power Sports
Photo courtesy of Alliance Power Sports

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