Thursday, March 31, 2011

Why am I here? (3 of 4) and What's Next?

 You should have read Part 1 and Part 2 (scroll down) of this before going further, you may decide you have better things to do with your time.
 I said at the beginning that I really didn't know where this was going to lead me and I still don't. It occurred to me that this whole series must seem like I am infatuated with myself and my problems. One of the big gun bloggers wrote just a few months ago that one should never write about themselves because 'nobody cares'. I suspect this is true, but on the other hand, the most predictable way to draw comments on the blog is by writing about something that may have caused oneself harm. I almost always get comments when somebody thinks I've been hurt, either physically or psychologically. It tells me that some folks do care. Anyway, I am not writing this because I think you want to know about me, I am writing this FOR ME, to work through the issues I face, and come up with a plan. There is a chance that some of you reading it will see something I don't and set me straight, or give me a clue to a new path. You folks are smarter than you might think, I've seen what you write.
 So let's move on, shall we?
 The final point about where I am now is that I feel like I am pushing too hard because I sense that I am running short on meaningful time. I teach regularly for the County from Fall to Spring each year (one class left this year) and I could teach more if I wanted. But between that, my responsibilities with my Fire Company (I am over at the station about 6 times a week making sure we stay combat ready), my responsibilities supporting the new Officers in the Rescue Company I recently left as Captain (they get about 2-8 hours a week from me), and my assignments from the Chief to support Department operations (another 2-8 hours a week) I am a pretty busy guy. Keep in mind that I hold down a 50hr/week on the paying job which also has responsibilities outside of the normal business hours from time to time. I get paid to get the job done, not just put in hours. So I guess you could see why I am tried a lot of the time when the pager goes off for the REAL REASON I do all this stuff. I didn't realize how tired I was until I left the Rescue Squad job and had more time on my hands (which I quickly filled). Finally, there is the time I spend on this blog either writing, or thinking about posts to write, or reading other blogs. I probably waste spend about 15 hours a week just reading whats out there.
 To summarize a little:  I am old. I am out of time to do what I had hoped to do. I believe I still have many contributions to make. I am wondering what the 'end game' is going to look like so that I can work toward that gracefully. I may be doing a little bit more than I can handle and I can't say "NO" very well, if ever.
 I have re-read what I've written up to this point and the easy answer I had hoped for it not presenting itself to me.
 I have contemplated leaving it up to you, the readers, to chime in with your thoughts, but I fully expect that it would only draw one or two comments, and that possibility would provide me with a very negative out look.  On the other hand, if you could spare a minute to leave a comment, that would probably be helpful and to be honest, I really am looking for some feedback here. I'm just not getting my hopes up, or hanging my hat on that.
 I am going to close this post out with an answer to the question I expect many of you are asking. You want to know what it is that I want. What do I need? Well, I suppose I already mentioned it either directly or not, but perhaps I wasn't specific. Perhaps I wasn't thinking about that myself. I usually think about what other folks expect from me first, and what I want second, then try to find a compromise in the middle. Usually this means I get a piece of what I wanted, and the others get what they asked for. Most times, I am good with that, I like making people happy. That makes me happy.
 But what I think I want is basically this: I want to to remain a valuable member of the team. I want to continue to provide front line service. I want to continue to teach the youngsters and help shape their ATTITUDES, if not their skills. I want to spend more time on the Fire Side, than EMS. I want to get out there and meet some of those big names whose books I have read. I would really like to see if I can get my teaching up to a higher level and provide a worthwhile experience to a larger audience. I want to end up being respected for the value I brought in, and lasted after I am gone. And yes, as a final detail, I want to find a way to get to FDIC before the clock runs out any further.
 So I think I will do this: I will close this post here and leave time for some comments that I hope will come. Whether they do or not, 48 hours after this post, I will put up my final post in the series with my plan going forward.

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