I’m taking some time out of my insanity schedule to pop in and say hi. I find I miss blogging. It’s always been a place where I can think as I write. Still, making money again and contributing to my family’s income after 18 months of unemployment also feels pretty darn good. I’ve been at it for nearly four weeks now, and I’ve spent a lot of time with my butt firmly planted in this chair writing about a range of topics. It’s all good. I’m learning new things as I write. I’m making money again. I feel productive and not on the edge of financial destruction. And yet, I find, I miss my passions.
Writing, certainly, is one of my passions. I know how lucky I am to be doing it for a living – especially since I can do it from home with a dog in my lap and a GoGirl energy drink on the table beside me, all while wearing comfy pajamas. I get to be here when my son leaves for school and when he gets home. I can structure my hours according to my own schedule and rhythms. I truly am blessed.
But I’m also not balanced. Eighteen months is a long time to be without work, and we’ve got some catching up to do around here. I’ve been putting in extra effort in order to make extra money so that we can catch up as quickly as humanly possible. Some days, I’ve spent 12 hours with few breaks, writing piece after piece in order to pad my paychecks as much as I can.
Slowly, balance is finding its way back, however. I took last Friday off to bake cookies. Today, I’m writing a blog in the middle of the day. I’ve realized that I don’t have to make as much money as I possibly can. Instead I can make enough and still make some time to do what I love. I’m starting to remember how to balance work, family and passions in a way that feels healthy, makes me happy, and keeps us from losing our home.
In an abrupt change of subject and because I haven’t blogged for a while, I’m going to talk about something else. Or, as they would say on Monty Python, “And now for something completely different.” I’ve been pleased on weekends and in my spare time, to be spending a lot of time networking with other paranormal enthusiasts and investigators from the Pacific Northwest. Early interactions with other groups left me thinking that the paranormal community was all about drama, but recently I’ve discovered that there are many wonderful people who are working on pulling teams together in order to share information and ideas, or to just enjoy one another’s company. The networking is terrific and getting to know teams from all around the region has been a joy.
I think a lot is owed to the networking site, West Coast Ghosthunters, and its affiliate site, East Coast Ghosthunters. Both sites have allowed regional investigation teams to come together and share ideas in a positive way. The sites are both a fine example of how social networking can actually enhance communication instead of being used as a platform for cyberbullying, harassment and hissy fits.
Jim and I have also started attending paranormal networking events in the area. We attended the Mt. Hood Ghost Conference in Oregon last spring, and we recently attended the Yakima Paranormal Conference in Washington State. We’ve been lucky enough to join NWPIA for joint investigations of Wellington with teams like West Coast Ghost Hunters, RIP Paranormal, and Bridgetown Ghost Hunters. Last weekend, NWPIA held a big paranormal BBQ up at Wellington that was well-attended by teams around the region. I think I can safely say that a good time was had by all, and positive things came out of all of the gatherings I’ve just mentioned.
We get so caught up in the drama that we see play out before us in the paranormal, I sometimes think we forget that there are people out there who are doing good work. They aren’t looking for personal recognition, to build an empire, or to get as much attention as their little attention-whore egos can handle. Instead, they are quietly going about investigating the paranormal. And those people are starting to come together. Like me, they are sick of the attention seekers and the drama mongers. What they want is to find others with like minds who want to share information, network in a positive fashion, and learn as much as they can about the field. Those groups are starting to find one another, and it’s a wonderful thing to see. After all, drama is not only unnecessary, but it also serves as a distraction from our true goal of learning more about this field that fascinates us all so much.