Pivotal Times

It was the best of years. It was the worst of years. How can anyone say that? The Top Ten lists are out, and the optimist in me keeps saying, “But, wait. So many things are changing that maybe something incredibly marvelous will happen.” We still have a couple of days left. Anything could happen.  For me, the ending and the of beginning of the year is on the Winter Solstice, but almost everyone else fixes that date at 12/31. Regardless of the holidays or the choice of the year’s beginning, these last few weeks have felt different, and I get the impression from facebook feeds that I’m not the only one noticing and wondering. Things are pivoting.

There’s good news since Wednesday’s post about my job search.
I enjoyed the job interview at the bank on Thursday. I hope they enjoyed it too. They sounded encouraging. That’s good. In so many things corporate though, processes must be followed and it will be weeks before I hear more. The possibility of having a car-less commute and getting to work on the island definitely has an appeal, and the job is in downtown Langley. I’ve lived in downtown Langley. Downtown Langley has almost everything people need.

(Real time interruption: The mortgage company called as usual. Their record is four calls in one day. Without a doubt, there are days when I receive more calls from the mortgage company than I do from friends, family, business, and telemarketers combined. And for a first, and I guess a sign of a pivot in our relationship, they had someone drive an hour and a half to verify that I am still in the house. They certainly are spending a lot of money trying to get money from me. As I’ve told them, when I have sufficient funds, I’ll deliver them. What else can I do? Sell the house? Oh yeah, it is for sale, and has been for months. Stay tuned.)
Home For Sale
Where was I? Oh yeah, downtown Langley, a downtown small enough to fit inside one of the mainland shopping malls. But, it is much more pleasant and quieter. Working there has significant advantages and would be a significant change from working from home. Working in the bank would be working with the community. I like it!

Another bit of good news involves me working from home, but in a different sense. I’m actually getting paid. (Though not enough to appease the mortgage company.) Entrepreneurs are familiar with the scenario. Work hard until you get paid. We get to set our own hours, which are usually too long; and work on whatever we want, without knowing if any of it will succeed. Eventually something clicks. Whether because of my efforts or not, I’ve been hired as a contractor to produce a program plan for an online museum that is under construction. Working with the History of Computing for Learning and Education (HCLE) means working at something I enjoy, with people I know, about a topic I’ve lived. (That makes me sound old, and within the world of computers, maybe I am.) The goal of the museum is to be an education and research resource, as well as being entertaining for regular visitors. The pivotal decades of the 1970’s through the 1990’s changed many aspects of education: what was taught, who learned it, and how it was taught. The people that lived that era and defined those trends will get the opportunity to have their experiences and insights recorded and made available to researchers and the inquisitive. How did we get to where we are now? As a writer, I also know there will be stories in there. Intriguing.

Extend that work a bit and maybe I’ll be profitably compensated for ongoing efforts. I’d have a job with a virtual commute.

More good news? Sure! One friend continues to exert herculean efforts at getting my resume ready and then shepherding my application through her company. That job would pay the most, have the longest commute, but the work wouldn’t be much of a stretch. I’ve never had the title Program Manager, but I’ve managed programs and projects that exceed the yearly revenues of some small companies. It’s all about the relationships with the people and getting the job done. Maybe you remember my motto, “My passion is for people and ideas.” Helping people act on their ideas, while maybe throwing in some of my own, is fascinating, and can be fun. I’ve done it before, but the pivotal aspect would be the culture shift from the quiet island to the frantic cubicles. It can be done, again!

Other major pivots in my life:

  • In 2012, I finished the five year photo essay of Whidbey Island. February Reflects FebruaryI caught my breath a bit, and now step into 2013 when the task is the exhibiting, sales, and distribution of the work. I’ve scheduled a few events, and have many more to add to the calendar. Want to add me to your list? I’m also porting my photos over to another online gallery. (The previous gallery had nice traffic, but too many people were confused by the shopping process. That’s rather key to the whole idea.)
  • In 2012, I published Walking Thinking Drinking Across Scotland (available on kindle). I caught my breath a bit, and now step into – hey, this sounds familiar. I’m scheduling events based on those words and photos as well. “One man’s search for joy, and at least his evening Guinness.”Walking Thinking Drinking Across Scotland
  • There are changes for my classes in 2013. The Madrona self-publishing workshops continue, but with a few tweaks. I’ve reformatted my social media workshops into a series of classes on the third Saturday of every month. One bite at a time, instead of everything in  a day. So, the self-publishing classes work better as weekend-long intensives, and the Social Media intensives were too intense so I’ve eased them back into a simpler format.
  • The biggest pivot may be the slowest, as if it embodies the most inertia and will effect the greatest change. Regardless of whether I’ve been paid or not, I have developed some level of recognition for my skills, talents, enthusiasm, energy, and even some insights. I’m being recognized as a consultant worth referring people to. Glad to be of service. According to Klout, one measure of a person’s impact at least via social media, I’m known for my perspectives on personal finance, Scotland, and self-publishing. I’ve even seen significant traffic from nasdaq.com. Investors are finding me there when they are looking for information or commentary about particular stocks. MVIS is popular, despite its price and performance. From such goodwill, marvelous things can happen.

Pivots outside of my control:

  • Have you heard about the fiscal cliff? There’s news that will happen in the next few days, whichever way it goes.
  • Have you heard that the estimates for climate change, that some debunked as extremist, were actually conservative and that we’re warming faster than we predicted? Talk to folks with sea level housing. The debate isn’t academic. Sandbags happen.
  • The list of major shifts is longer than a post. You’re welcome to go back and visit my post called, “Everything Changes” for a short list with a bit more detail. The things on the list are closer by the number of days since I published that bit of writing.

Many people seek stability. If they have it, they hang on tight, sometimes to their detriment. They may pivot around a point, but they don’t move; and when they do, the change is more dramatic. I expected more stability through the diversity in my life and efforts, and found I had painfully less. Pivotal change and motion are necessary if I am going to live long and prosper. Standing still is not a permanent option.  And change is happening. I don’t know where it’s heading, how long it’s going to take, or what it will be like along the way, but I know I must embrace change. Change has always been the only constant. Pivot to a new direction and go. Now’s the time.

About Tom Trimbath

real estate broker / consultant / entrepreneur / writer / photographer / speaker / aerospace engineer / semi-semi-retired More info at: https://trimbathcreative.net/about/ and at my amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B0035XVXAA
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2 Responses to Pivotal Times

  1. Susan Averett says:

    It’s so true … the only thing we can really count on is change, eh? On that note, it sounds like 2013 is bound to be a fruitful year for you in many ways, Tom. A job, or combination of jobs, is now manifesting and will be a new adventure. I’m sure you will embrace it with that big smile of yours. Happy that the tide is turning!!

  2. So nice to see that as the year ends you are now positioned for great things as soon as we enter the auspicious year of 2013. I see your problem shifting from reaching out for opportunities to figuring out which to accept. The right problem to have…

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