Monday, November 9, 2015

The Morning After

As you might have expected, the sun rose in the East today.

The thing that's different is that for the first time since May 1987 I am no longer occupying a central role in FIC. At the close of yesterday's fall organizational meetings the torch was officially passed to my successor, Sky Blue. Oh, I still have a number of loose ends to wrap up, and I promised everyone that I wouldn't just start watching day time soap operas or reading vampire novels to while away my idle hours. 

Though I'm officially retired as FIC's main administrator, my days remain populated with compelling choices:

Concurrent with my time serving the Fellowship, I've been developing my career as a cooperative group process consultant. Both started in 1987. In that capacity I've never been busier and I'm happy to continue that work going forward. 

By way of illustration, I have four jobs between now and Thanksgiving, plus one more in December. It's my hope that this work will create the economic flow I need to make ends meet (now that my paid work with FIC will be drawing to a close), while at the same time providing a suitable platform for my ongoing social change work. 

It's wonderful being able to make a living doing heart work and I hope to continue that for a long while yet.

Paired with my consulting is teaching the art of facilitation in cooperative groups. I have a two-year program I started in 2003 and that I've delivered eight times (each iteration involves eight three-day weekends, spaced approximately three months apart). In 2016 I will be running three versions of this training concurrently: one in New England; one in Portland OR; and one in North Carolina.

I also offering a variety of one-day workshops related to various aspects of group process, including consensus, delegation, membership, conflict, and power dynamics.

I've been authoring this blog for nearly eight years now, and am also a regular contributor to Communities magazine (FIC's quarterly periodical). In addition, I write lengthy reports for all of my consulting gigs.

One of the things that I'm looking forward to in the months ahead is having the time to regularly devote to reviewing my writing and organizing it into one or more books about cooperative group dynamics. That should go a long ways toward keeping me off the streets.

Dancing with my Partner
I'm happily at the front end of a highly promising intimate relationship with Susan Anderson, and the shift in work load offers excellent chances to enjoy a good deal more time with her. Instead of seeing her once every six weeks, I'm going to try to reconfigure my life to have her be a regular part of it (instead of an exceptional part of it—exceptional though she is).

I'm thinking that some of that will be traveling together; some of it will translate to our being on the same couch together; some of that will be in the same kitchen together. I'm looking forward to all of it.

Cultivating Relationships
Over the course of my career as a community member and community networker I've met an incredible variety of people, a good number of whom have become friends. I'm hoping to create sufficient spaciousness in my life to make visiting friends more of a destination, rather than what I can squeeze in between work assignments and public appearances.

Building Community
In the last year I lost my community base in northeast Missouri. While that wasn't what I was hoping for or expecting, that shift also created an opening to build community elsewhere, and the good news is that community is needed everywhere—so you can hardly pick a bad spot.

When I explained to a friend recently that I was anticipating strengthening a sense of community in a neighborhood setting, she got all excited to see what I could do. I was touched by her faith in me. 

While it remains to be seen what I can deliver with respect to all this, I can promise you that "retirement" will not be dull.

1 comment:

vera said...

Good luck in your new phase! :-)