Bona Fide

I have the pin. I have the shirt. I have the badge. I got the certificate. I’m bona fide!

The coursework and advanced training done a month ago, the volunteer hours in the bag weeks ago, and as of last night’s graduation ceremony, my classmates and I are 100% state-certified Master Naturalists.

Warm feelings, good talk, wine, congratulatory and inspiring speeches, and shared vision made for a wonderful night. We listened again to the story of the wolf and the mountain and we rededicated ourselves to the tasks ahead of us, to take to heart “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

Thinking back to where I was eight months ago at the start of the class, I was struck again by what a damn good decision I’d made. And that at a time when I was having a difficult time deciding whether I should get out of bed, much less whether I should take on a huge goal that would involve hard work, meeting new people, and shouldering a huge obligation. But I managed to make the decision and do the follow through, and I’m not the same person I was then. There have been times this past year I felt, like Ellsworth, that maybe I’d “fucked up my life flatter than hammered shit,” but that putting-one-foot-in-front-of-the-other thing does work and I had a handful of things for which I was truly grateful. This was one.

And that’s what this post is really about. If you’re currently straddling the chasm of trying to decide to do something- anything- that’s going to make you a bigger and better person, or the world a little bit better, or help someone out with just one little thing, do it.

That voice telling you that it’s not prudent, that you’re over-committed, that no one will make the kids’ dinner on Tuesday nights, that it will cost too much, that you need to fix the car first, etc? That voice will find something else to do, so don’t worry about listening to it.

Go ahead, take a chance. Change.

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2 Responses

  1. My sincere congratulations on your achievement…

    That voice that holds me back? It’s a real fucker.

    I thought I could just smother that little voice with a pillow. But that wound up just making me sleep 12+ hours on my day off.

    And no matter how many times you click a mouse to make the voice go away, wherever you perceive the mouse click to be, it is still on a computer screen in front of you in your house… and change isn’t going to happen staying in the house, clicking a mouse.

    Ignore the voice…sounds… like a sound choice.

    Well… what’s your NEXT big project? ( *Racy ducks and runs*)

  2. “you’re blind from the wine
    you shine the buttons on your blouse
    you say you’re looking for something
    you know, it helps to leave the house…”
    ****

    well, racy is the only expert on the racy situation, but is there a chance that just maybe a certain busy blogger/activist/nurse/attorney needed that extra sleep?

    as to change-making, I too felt/feel the need for something hands-on, which was why I took a stab at the naturalist gig. I hear countless lib/progressives talking about saving the environment and talking about global warming, but stop one of them and ask them about their own immediate environment – what watershed are they in, what’s the average rainfall in their county, are they in an aquifer recharge zone, what are the endangered species in their area, what invasive species are a threat there, who are the major polluters, the regional regulatory agencies, etc, and few of them will know or believe they can make a difference.

    As for next big thing for me, the naturalist thing is ongoing. In Jan, I’ll be participating in a Watershed Stewardship training program. Water, vegetation, and wildlife are the areas I’m most interested in.

    ****(yet another great song from my as-yet ongoing musical obsession, The Mendoza Line.)

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