Sunday, June 30, 2013

Follow Your Passions

I have a unique excuse for running a bit late this morning, as I write this from our local MacDonald’s to take advantage of their Wi Fi, since the library is closed on Sundays during the summer. We were held hostage this morning by a German Shepherd. There’s a house around the corner with a dog known to charge people—he’s running loose this morning. Stupid me thought it was our next door neighbor’s dog and went out in my jammies saying “Kaiser, get your butt back home. I’m trying to sleep.” My daughter stuck her head out the window and said, “Mom, get your butt back in here. That’s not Kaiser—that’s Psychodog.” The cops are hunting him down now—our city has zero tolerance for mean dogs and has ordered 12 dogs put down in the last 4months. We’re extremely careful with our Chow, Abby, because she’s dog-aggressive (and not too crazy about strange men) and we’re always vigilant. Not everyone is—as this morning proved.

And that got me thinking. I'm a Chow advocate--anyone who's friends with me on Facebook knows this. My daughter is a pit bull advocate. We both believe in responsible, knowledgeable pet ownership--and now I'm in a position to act on it. 

I officially have no day job – my last day was Friday. It was a wake-up call for everyone involved to reassess what they really wanted to do with the rest of their lives. One of my coworkers got a job with another insurance company’s call center and when he was asked if he was excited he shrugged and said, “It’s a job.” I turned to my best friend and said, “I never want to have to say those words again—EVER.”

You have to follow your passions. I decided, since I have to cash in my 401K to live now, retirement is a bad joke. And if I’m going to be working when I’m ninety, I darn well will be doing something that I LOVE this time around! And that means getting back into critters. I have a rusty vet tech degree. I just got a confirmation email yesterday from the Marathon County Humane Society that volunteer orientation is Thursday 7/18/13 from 5-7 PM. Yes, it’s unpaid—but it’s critter experience, a name on a resume and foot in the door. I’ll volunteer until my severance runs out, work part time (I’m aiming for PetsMart or Petco) and collect unemployment after that, and WRITE. Ultimately I’d like to be a receptionist at a vet clinic, but the market’s pretty glutted right now, with Globe University cranking out new graduates every six months. One vet tech I know is working at Lens Crafters!

Life is all about versatility and change—making choices and adapting. These are qualities you can channel in your writing. Have your characters roll with the punches, adapt to new situations, meet challenges head-on. “Close-a-door-and-open-a-window” philosophy. Don’t make them afraid to  ask for help, work as a team. There’s a lot of ourselves in our characters—they’re the brave, funny, sexy bits of US. People read our books to escape their own everyday lives—give them something to look forward to, maybe inspire them to make a leap of faith for themselves.



Tina Donahue said...

I've been where you are, Renee - it isn't easy and it's often scary. Unfortunately, we all need $$ to live. I hope you're able to make a good living someday working with animals. That would be a dream job for me. I love dogs, cat, birds, you name it. The only things that upset me are insects (ugh).

Good luck to you. Hope everything works out fabulously well. :)

jean hart stewart said...

Lots of luck and admiration for you new plan. Hoping it all works out,
and let us know.

Renee Wildes said...

PetsMart is looking for a bather, a trainer and animal care people, so there's a few options there. Took Abby there for grooming - she's all gorgeous now. Hanging out at B&N w/my daughter now.

Fiona McGier said...

There's a whole lot of us who won't be able to retire...ever. Since the interest rates on the student loans are not considered important enough by our dickless wimps in DC, they've doubled for those of us too poor to be able to pay cash. So we'll be helping our kids by paying off what we've borrowed for their degrees until we drop dead. I just hope I never have to put on a paper hat and ask if you want fries with that.

Hope you can find employment somehow at a passion. Bread-money jobs suck! The pay stinks, the work is boring and unimaginative, and the hours are never convenient.