Dear gentle readers,
Thank you for your patience while I was on my “life hiatus” and welcome to my new blog location.
A lot has happened since the Lone Grey Squirrel went off the internet “airwaves” about a month ago. That period could be called my period of metamorphosis. Following that analogy, hopefully the clumsy caterpillar has been transformed in the pupae state and what now emerges is a new and different entity. In many senses, today is the start of the rest of my life.
Today was my last day at work for the conservation organisation that has been very much my life focus for the last 15 years. Tomorrow I begin the romantic life of a bum. When someone has been invested in one thing for so long, it may be hard to let go of the familiar and risk the unknown. I do feel that at one level but mostly, I am looking forward for the freedom that sudden unemployment brings. Freedom to wake up late; freedom to watch the World Cup soccer at ridiculous times even if one is not much of a soccer fan; freedom to try new things; freedom to get in touch with one’s creative side; freedom to do what you want to do when you want to do it and finally freedom to starve to death when your savings run out.
Well, I guess I am fortunate as I can rely on immorally living off my wife’s hard earned income for the time being and so while I hope to slim down a size or two, I should not starve to death anytime soon.
What prompted this life re-construction? Well, it’s like it is half time and I wanted to take a break and look at options before deciding what I wanted to do for the second half of my life. My work over the last 15 years has been a lot of fun and there has been a strong sense of accomplishment and having contributed to something meaningful and lasting. On the other hand, the last 4 years has been less of the fun of field work and the intrigue of research and more of the mundane chores of management, administration and meetings with an unappetising seasoning of politics and personalities. However, I have not burned the proverbial bridges and I get to come back as a consultant and do more of the fun stuff and still earn some moulah to feed my “bum” lifestyle.
What am I going to do with this new found freedom? Well, I want to use this freedom to focus on four things.
- First of all, I’d like to concentrate on getting healthy. I have to reverse years of accumulated health problems brought about by stress and bad eating habits. So, priority one is to hit the gym regularly, plan for healthier eating and de-stress.
- Next, I want to get creative. I want to think less like a scientist and more as an artist. To do this, I have a number of projects in mind. One, I plan to help develop a bird-watching website (and I actually get paid for this); two, I plan to try out a career in writing by penning a novel and a children’s book (some of you have been encouraging be to try this, so it is probably your fault that I end up as an impoverished author keeping warm by burning all the rejection slips); three, I plan to blog more frequently.
- I want to do some greater good project but one in which we get to see results more quickly than in nature conservation (it takes us an average of 10 years to see a project succeed).
- Family. I intend to spend more time on family.
So I hope that you will follow me on my exciting “starving author bum” journey and please leave some nuts out for me.