Monday, February 16, 2009

Following a Dream

I had a meeting this morning with one of the people I support (work-wise) at IBM. He's a guy who's "in the know" about what's going on in our department and what options may be available for me and continued employment there. At this time, nothing's been finalized, so it's for sure that I need to start cleaning my desk out. As in any big business, the decision-making wheels turn pretty slow--especially when budgeting for additional personnel is being considered. He seemed fairly optimistic that he (and some others) would be able to convince the decision-makers to keep me on staff in a similar support capacity, but more than likely it will only be in a part-time situation.

On a totally unrelated note, last week I was talking to another person at IBM who I got to know through Mr. Johnson (after 30 years, Mr. Johnson knows almost everyone at the plant). Gary had seen my birding story on KTTC and wanted to talk about the birds at his place and also share with me that he was now finding great enjoyment spending time outdoors again as he's getting closer to retirement. For some reason, I happened to remember something about the Minnesota DNR's Master Naturalist Program and I sent Gary the link to those program listings this morning in an e-mail. And then the lightbulb went on over MY head! Sure enough, there's a class starting here in Rochester on March 18th. Ever since I heard about this program a couple years ago, I wanted to become part of it and now I'm going to!

My first class towards becoming a volunteer Minnesota Master Naturalist will be Big Woods, Big River.

Basing out of Rochester's Quarry Hill Nature Center and a surrounding 320 acre park- we will explore the Big Woods-Big Rivers biome here in southeast Minnesota. We will meet for eleven consecutive Wednesday evenings from 6:30 - 9 pm beginning March 18 (excluding April 1) and ending June 3, 2009. Required all day field trips on Saturdays (May 9 and May 30) will take us to regional state parks like Nerstrand Big Woods and out onto the Mississippi river. Field experiences will involve some hiking and canoeing with all basic equipment provided. Join us for some great adult comaradarie as we grow together as naturalists and inspire one another to become more involved as volunteers in support of our communities and the environment.

Sounds pretty cool, don't you think? I think I'm going to enjoy being a student again.

My other assignment for today is filling out my application to apply for part-time work in the seasonal garden center at my local Mills Fleet Farm store.

I guess the saying is true that when God closes a door, he also opens a window. I will be sad to close the door on a job I've enjoyed for over 3 years, but I'm excited about crawling through that window and following my dream.


Anonymous said...

Well anything that is outdoors is for you. A Naturalist, classes and such, that's a WOW factor, even Fleet Farm Garden Center, lots of windows opened for you. Of course there is always the fast food industry, LOL!!!!!


Mama Pea said...

Ruthie, the excitement is just beginning! The master naturalist program sounds so perfect for you. And who knows what THAT will lead to? Doesn't it seem like everything is happening for you just at the right time starting with your birding story on TV?

If your present company offered you part-time employment, would you consider it? (It just might cramp your style for all the opportunities that are opening up for you!)

I'm so happy for you!

Chicken Mama said...

Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!!

"Apply for part-time work in the seasonal garden center?" Hahahahaha! You'll spend all your income on plants & bird feeders . . . at least I would! ;)

Red said...

Sounds like a great plan! I think you'll enjoy being an official Master Naturalist.

Hope something PT opens up at IBM... then you can still work with Mr. J.

Blog Administrator said...

these new endeavors sound so much closer to your heart, and you know that is when people find their bliss, then the money follows, so they say!

I think it is a grand idea!

Kallen305 said...

Amen on your last paragraph Ruthie!! I believe this is exactly what you need and you will be excellent at it. It sounds fantastic and can't wait to read all about it once you start.

Very cool

Gaelyn said...

How cool is that! Good to follow your dreams. Being a naturalist is so rewarding for self and others. And a part-time job should allow you to do this. Go Girl!

Lynne said...

Ruthie- I'm just beaming about your plan. It suits you perfectly. I have to say that I really admire you and your attitude. I know alot of people who would be immobilized by the worry and uncertainty. You move on through with a plan and vision for what you want.

I cannot WAIT to hear about your class.

KGMom said...

Oh good for you, Ruthie. Keep a goal of personal enrichment in front of you. No one can ever take away something like that.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Mom,
I hope Fleet Farm at least gives me a call to interview--McD's is always the last desperate resort!

Hi Mama Pea,
I'm hoping if I can still get the PT @ IBM, then I can supplement that with PT at Fleet Farm; at least there will be unemployment and my Master Naturalist class for sure.

Oh yeah, Chicken Mama, I'm already imagining the perennials and trees that I could bring home!

Thanks Red, I think everything's going to work out fine.

Hi Blog Administrator and welcome to my blog. Thanks for your positive words. I'm learning to live with a lot less money and still be happy.

Thanks Kallen. A lot of changes ahead in the next month, but I think I'm ready for them.

Thanks Gaelyn. At least with the Master Naturalist credentials, people will think I'm more than just a know-it-all (hopefully)! ;-)

Thanks Lynne. I'm ready for some new adventures and I will definitely be sharing class stories. I can't wait to see who the other students are and whether there will be anyone I know in the class.

Thanks Donna. I'm excited about doing something totally new and different--especially at the age of 50!

Shellmo said...

Ruthie - a master naturalist sounds wonderful! Perfect for you!! (But of course if the part time position works out at IBM and if that's what you want - I pray that you get it!) But wow - I'm very envious of this class! I believe a window has been pushed wide open!

dAwN said...

How exciting for you! Have fun exploring your new opportunities...I look forward to reading about these new adventures.

mon@rch said...

Sounds like the perfect opportunity for you!

Susan Gets Native said...

A naturalist? Well, Hell to the Yeah!

And I love that you haven't curled up into a ball. You are taking it on the chin and moving on. I LOVE THAT!

Kelly said...

That is so exciting! I would love to be able to do a program like that. Have fun following your dream!

Jayne said...

Oh Ruthie! How very perfect for you!!! I wondered if you might be able to find something that involved your love and vast knowledge of nature, and there you go... the window opened. Can't wait to hear about it as you progress. Hugs to you friend!

Jayne said...

P.S. I'll be putting your "Blogger Flock" button in the mail this week, and I'll send one for your friend too. :c)

beegirl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
beegirl said...

Hi Ruthie,

I did the Master Naturalist training and if you want to talk about it off-line, email me. So glad there are possibilities for you at IBM, even temporarily or PT. Meantime, the COBRA benefit in the stimulus package should be a big help if that 's where your health insurance comes from!

Mary C said...

Way to go, Ruthie! Your excitement and enthusiasm are quite evident in your post. Master Naturalist sounds so suited to you. And we'll still keep praying for the "right" employment to be offered to you.

Anonymous said...

OK, you worked at Herrings and your house is full of beautiful artwork; you worked at WBU and your yard AND house are full of wonderful things from there. Now if you get a job at the garden center, I can just see your place....overflowing with flowers, plants, and trees! Then you'll get some honeybees and then you'll HAVE TO get a hive and then they'll start making honey and you'll start selling honey at the Farmers Market.....the possibilities are ENDLESS!!!!
OK, I've calmed myself now.
BTW, I had a great time in Duluth. Did pretty well bowling too :)
Your Sissy

Larry said...

That sounds like a cool program!Some times it does take a closed door before I'm willing to take a chance on somethng new. It never feels good to have a door closed on you though.I hope your open windows lead to some nice rooms.

Meggie said...

Sure sounds like you have the right attitude about the job, Ruthie! The naturalist program sounds fascinating and right up your alley. Good luck! Nice photos on your previous post!

Ruth said...

Your future does look promising. Your blog and your TV appearance will make you a celebrity yet!

RuthieJ said...

Hi Shelley,
I'm looking forward to the class for sure. Until I know for sure how much my unemployment is going to be, I have to think about working somewhere to pay my bills (since "someone" isn't willing to assume any additional household expenses.....major hot button right now!)

Hi Dawn,
I'm looking forward to the naturalist class and learning more about this area of Minnesota.

Thanks Mon@rch, I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Thanks Susan. I'm really looking forward to the field trip in the class where we go canoeing on the Mighty Mississippi!

Thanks Kelly. I think it will be a fun class.

Thanks Jayne. I have a pretty minimal knowledge of the Big Woods in this area of Minnesota, so I'm looking forward to learning more about it. I hope the class will talk about birds and wildlife a little bit too.
(I'll be watching the mailbox later this week--thanks girlfriend!)

Thanks Kathy. I do have a few questions about the class, so I'll get an e-mail to you one of these days if you don't mind.

Thanks Mary C.

Hi Sissy,
Well, I could maybe use a few more trees and perennials in the backyard.....
Glad you had fun in Duluth!

Thanks Larry. I agree it's sometimes hard to know what to do, but it seemed like all the pieces kind of fell right into place here, so I decided to just "go with the flow" and hope everything works out.

Thanks Meggie.

Thanks Ruth, I don't know if I'm celebrity material, but at least I'm enjoying myself!

Priscilla said...

That sounds like such a great program! Soon you can be a know-it-all with master naturalist cred. ;-)

Marsha said...

What a great positive outlook you have (God closing a door and opening a window) and hopefully something will come up at IBM that will allow you to stay. There are still a couple of weeks to go! I can definitely see you as the Master Naturalist, I'll ask my questions too :-) Good luck with all the job interviews I know will be coming your way!

RuthieJ said...

Thanks Priscilla. I hope it's a fun program and I learn a lot of new things.

Thanks Marsha. I'm looking forward to starting a new chapter in my life.

GoWildMarie said...

Hello Ruthie. Talk about Fate and turning a corner in life! I can totally relate to you. I wish you the best and I'm hoping that life shows you some sweet gems on this new path. Looks like you'll have some time to smell the roses, see new sights, experience new vistas.
You go girl!

Windyridge said...

Good luck, sounds wonderful.
I just got laid off but then I was only working for the company a whopping 3 months.

Mel said...

Great news Ruthie!!
Enjoy those classes and learn a lot, you'll have to teach me when I visit you (sometime in this lifetime!!)
Also, good luck with the new 'windows' ;)

Mary said...

Ruthie, your last line made my smile. You go, girl. Find somethiong to do other than waking at 3:45 and sitting at a desk all day. If I could find something similar, I would...

Sounds like you're all about keeping busy. Everything will be alright.


Heather said...

Hi Ruthie. Wow, this sounds like a great opportunity for you. I've heard of Master Gardeners, but never Master Naturalists. I'm glad you'll get a chance to do something that you've been thinking about doing for a couple of years. It's always nice to make a dream come true. Have fun!