On My Way
So on Wednesday night, I'm actually headed to Zurich for two weeks. Which still sounds unbelievable and little pretentious, to me anyway, every time I say it. I've never been to Switzerland before, although I have been to France, almost 20 years ago, as part of my work with the international anti-poverty group, ATD Quart Monde, known as the Fourth World Movement in the US.
I don't have a specific role at the international meetings. I'm just going as an observer and a chance to meet in person some of the people I'll be working with in the future. I'll probably come away with plenty of responsibilities for next year, but I don't know what they are yet.
Just in the last few days I've started to deal with the practical aspects of international travel. Like, I need to change some money, and my cell phone won't work in Europe, and I need a special plug adapter for my computer. The last time I went to Europe, the most advanced technology I took was a hairdryer that converted to 110 or 220 current. This time I don't need that but I do want to be able to communicate with my family. We'll use Skype some, but I'm taking recommendations for a global cell phone and an international calling plan that works great in Latin America. Leave me a comment or send me an email if you have suggestions or cautions.
This will be the longest time I've ever been away from my kids. And the longest I've been away from my husband since we got married 17 years ago. Fortunately, my kids are old enough now to be a lot easier to take care of. But there was still grocery shopping and scheduling playdates and team practices, etc.
I finished my work at my old job last week. It was a mixed experience, as so many jobs are, but I learned a lot. About myself, about organizational politics, about succession planning, about social media and the new technology of fundraising.
I'm still thinking about the possibility of starting a new blog for just my FWCC work, but I'm not sure if it's a good idea of not. Will I have time to post regularly in two places? That's a big question. Do I have enough to say to be worth two blogs? And is it really possible to separate my personal life from my public/professional life? Do I want to? I don't really think that people pay attention to the disclaimers like the one at the bottom of this page, that says I don't speak for any organization. I think this is one of the lessons of integrity in the post-Facebook world. I have one life and I have to conduct myself in all parts of it as if all the other parts are watching.
I started this blog for two reasons. First, I wanted to share with my friends what I was reading on other Quaker blogs and what I was thinking about all that. Second, I had all these essays composing themselves in my head and I needed an outlet for them. I used to picture them as lectures in a college classroom. But then I found that a blog was about the right length and frequency for my writing, and came with more feedback/instant gratification than writing magazine articles and made me less likely to harangue my personal friends with my soapbox speeches. Both of those reasons are still true, so don't think I won't keep at least one blog going. Have you had experience writing more than one blog? Does it ever work?
In any case, today is the first day of the rest of my life, as the saying goes. I'm doing the best I can. Deep breath. Everything is going to be all right. I am not in charge. I am not alone. It's not about me. Please, God. Thank you.
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