Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hazel Deduces and Pursues Her Passion

I'm going back to work! I'm embarking on a new venture! Are you excited? I am!

Let me begin by telling you about a little exercise I did several years ago. I think it was when I was starting my post-doc. Or maybe while I was finishing up my dissertation. I don't know, but it was a time of soul searching and existential crisis and wondering about how to find and have the guts to follow my true passion and whether self-actualization will be an unmet need of mine until I die. Amidst this angst, in church I heard a quote by Frederick Buechner, a 20th-century writer and theologian.
The kind of work God usually calls you to is the kind of work (a) that you need most to do and (b) that the world needs most to have done.....The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet.

Did somebody say "Worksheet"? So I made a column down the left side of a piece of paper listing things I can do, i.e., my abilities. I defined "ability" somewhat loosely. It didn't have to be directly marketable and I didn't have to be good at it if I at least enjoyed it, e.g., reading magazines and singing. I stopped when I got to the end of the page. Then I made 4 headings across the page for rating each ability on a scale of 1-10: a) does it bring me great gladness, b) does it help the world, c) how skilled am I at it (not one of the requirements from the quote, but I think it's at least mildly important), and d) the average of these three scores. I noted which abilities received an average score of 8 or more. These were: interior design, blogging/newsletters, arts and crafts, helping the environment, organization, internet/computers, yard sales, shopping, making people laugh, and travel.

So I thought, what career could I make out of these abilities which I find at the logically discovered magical place where my deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet? And I wrote at the bottom of the page, "Concl: Use internet, perhaps blogging, to communicate re: environment and perhaps market products and arts and thrifty solutions (e.g. yard sales)." This didn't encompass every high-scoring ability, so next to the ones that were left out (interior design, organization, shopping, and travel), I wrote "hobby".

Years passed.

Hazel had a baby.

And now she's going to follow her passion. This new venture is two-fold:

1. I'm starting an environmental blog about how to enjoy saving the world. My goal is to have as many readers as possible, so unlike Hazel's House Blog, which I only shared with certain family and friends, and any complete strangers that might happen across it (welcome!), I won't be keeping the new blog secret from anyone. My goal for the new blog is to discover how much I can do for the environment and to engage people in an effective, positive, and enjoyable mission to protect the planet. I want readers to use the blog as a place for daily inspiration, hope, mirth, and a greater appreciation of our incredible world. I've been doing a lot of research on how to make a blog successful, and I am excited about my plans and ideas. It will likely take months (at least) of consistent hard work to make it pay off, so while I'm starting out, guess what is my greatest asset? OR should I ask, who? That's right. It's You. Time's Person of the Year, 2006. I would be very grateful for your emotional support, your comments and participation in the blog as it starts out, and for any input you may have about this, right now or in the future.

2. I'm making and will sell upcycled clothes and toys for babies and children. By "upcycled" I mean recycling items to make something better out of them, which is contrasted with "downcycling", or recycling an item into something less valuable. I am still in the prototype stage but I'm loving where it's going. I've already blogged about several items of clothing I've altered, and the possibilities for future items are endless, but I don't think I've mentioned the toys. As you may know, babies love the crinkly sound. As you may also know, lots of unrecyclable materials make a crinkly sound. I've made some soft blocks and a soft book, both of which crinkle, and both of which Blueberry loves, and both of which saved trash from going into the landfill, and were made using second-hand materials. And I've got ideas for new designs. I will keep you posted, with photos and possibly videos.

So as of now, I've returned to work. I'm a work-at-home mom. It's great so far.


Louise said...

Oh, so exciting! Adele also loves the crinkles. You must let me know when you have a store or inventory or something - sign me us as your first customer!

Tanya Cothran said...

I love your deductive reasoning! I think you'll be a great blogger and I'll definitely help steer readers your way once you are up and blogging. Your sewing creations are wonderful and I know you'll do tons of research about eviron stuff so that you can present a good case for caring. "Kate"

Stacy LSC said...

That's GREAT! Looking forward to where it all goes...glad to be a stranger who just happened upon your blog. ;)