Saturday, September 29, 2012
the path of change
Yesterday's post about change afforded an opportunity to refer to the fact that I see a career change in the offing. There is a lot that I could say about what got me to this point of recognition, but rather than look back, let's look forward. Unlike true, magnetic north, there is no distinct destination point on which to set my compass. There are signposts, yes. But as my mother might venture to say about a trip we took together in Scotland many moons ago, just because there are an abundance of signs to Fort William doesn't mean you will ever get there. (On our travels Fort William was never the destination, but there were plenty of opportunities for it to become so!) Contemporary wisdom is that the destination isn't what is important, but the journey. While there is truth in that wisdom, a destination can be critical to being on a journey at all. Anyway...
I have been recognizing the consistency of some signposts for several weeks, and as I listen to my soul's response to them what I hear is the steady heartbeat of inner life and connection. I decided to pay close attention and explore what the signposts were telling me. Before sharing further, let me disclaim that what I am sharing here is what I have learned so far. As I noted yesterday, this is a process of listening and discerning, and it has already taken a couple of twists. Who knows how many more lie ahead?
Let me toss out the first bone to temper your curiosity. Even that is a clue! It has to do with dogs. "Ah..." I hear you say to yourself, and you're probably nodding. Yes? If you've been with me for any length of time then you know I have a big ol' heart for dogs.
You will also know that I have a tender place for veterans and our men and women serving in the military. I am indebted to a facebook page called Dog Bless You for making me aware of programs that provide, or pair, service dogs to disabled vets, many of whom suffer from PTSD. I've been following Dog Bless You for a while, and love the pictures they post showing the bond between these service dogs and their companions (two pictures accompanying this post come from DBY's stash). In recent months they've been sharing pictures and snippets from various other facebook groups around the country that do the actual training and pairing for these canine-vet duos. As a result of those posts I've begun following several of them, an act that is apparent to friends with whom I connect on facebook since I ultimately end up sharing photos or stories that move or humor me.
The combination of these two interests of mine are providing a very natural signpost for me to follow in terms of investing myself in finding answers to the question, "what now, or next?" I've been exploring, researching, networking and learning about service dogs and training, and programs that support providing these dogs to vets. It is a vehicle for a vocation that makes a lot of sense for me. It also carries some challenges, not the least of which is that I have no significant experience training dogs, and none training service dogs. As I see it, however, that isn't an obstacle, just information with which to work.
At this point in this process that really sums up where I am at the moment. I don't necessarily have answers, but I do have information. Every day I uncover an additional piece of information, either about a training/pairing program, or about myself. Ideas pop up and I spend some time considering them. Some have potential, some provide information that help me hone the process and make some choices. As the saying goes, it's all good.
I'll spare you the details of my cogitation, but at least now you have a glimpse of this first chapter of the story of where I believe I am headed. To borrow from the author of Following Atticus, Tom Ryan likes to say, "Onward, by all means." I'll keep you posted.