A female Paul Revere on the open range
“You can’t always get what you want . . . but you just might find . . . you get what you need.” The Rolling Stones
When people ask me what I do for a living, I used to say I was retired. A couple of days ago it dawned on me that I am working . . . and hard.
It just feels like I am retired because the work I am doing is exactly what I want to be doing.
So what DO I do?
I have a social media consulting business where I create websites, blogs, newsletters, Facebook Pages, Twitter accounts and LinkedIn profiles for small businesses and nonprofits. Along with this goes coaching, tutoring and thinking up social media marketing strategies (good ideas) for getting the word out about my clients’ businesses.
I love my constantly changing dynamic job.
I love my clients too. Almost all of us are “of a certain age.” Some of my clients take to social media like ducks to water. Others I have to drag kicking and screaming (with their permission) into the whole social thing. I don’t mind. I have a lot of patience, and I hate to see a good business, nonprofit or creative endeavor not getting the attention it deserves. (And social media is the way to do it, by the way.)
I am also “walking the talk” and “talking the walk” by setting out on my own walkabout. Along the way I am creating art and writing about my adventures for The Walkabout Woman Blog. I am also beginning to build The Walkabout Woman Project which I envision supporting other women as they also take steps toward “living their longings.”
Everything I am doing – call it work or fun – is about healing – about finding my truth, giving it a voice, and helping others find the means to have their truth-telling voices heard also.
By some twist of fate, I have an internet based job I can do while I am traveling. Also by some other twist of fate, I have chosen the worst possible circumstances for doing this work on the road — at the best possible place – the Imnaha Writer’s Retreat. I am currently finishing up my last week of a three week retreat.
The writer’s retreat has no internet or cell phone service, a condition that would send most social media marketers running, but not me. I had a plan. To keep up with my internet I would drive down the 12 mile gravel road from the retreat to the library of the tiny town of Imnaha. Unfortunately, by the time I arrived, the library had just discontinued their patron Wi-Fi service and had only one available working computer and no cell phone service.
So I ended up having to go one or two times a week to Joseph, the next largest town. To get there I drive the 12 mile gravel road which takes me about 50 minutes – because I drive ridiculously slow — avoiding pot holes, wash boards, deer and cows.
Then I drive 30 miles on a 45 mph paved road through “open range” which means that, while you think you have it made and are finally clipping along at a good pace — you could at any moment turn a corner and find a cow or cows in your path.
This adds a little extra edge to the trip.
At the end of this journey, however, I am rewarded with the delightful town of Joseph, where I spend the next 6 to 8 hours bopping around between coffee houses and bars with free Wi-Fi.
(I recommend Joseph’s Red Horse Coffee Trader’s breakfast burritos. I can drink their Ethiopian coffee all day (and very nearly have.) Arrowhead Chocolates is another colorful Wi-Fi spot. They have an enormous selection of chocolates they create in small batches by hand. I have never had a better cup of Mexican chocolate. The very friendly Embers Bar has also “hosted” me a couple times, but I decline to drink anything alcoholic as it is usually my last stop before the adventure of my drive back to the retreat.)
Needless to say, my consumption of coffee, burritos, chocolate etc. has been literally “eating” into my profit.
Come the first of November I will be taking my walkabout to the heart of the city of Portland. In stark contrast to my current living situation — in Portland I will reside in a 475 sq. ft. studio on the 5th floor of a high rise apartment building — in the part of town whimsically called “Goose Hollow.”
But for now, I feel quite the wilderness adventurer – even a bit like a female Paul Revere – racing the extra mile, making heroic journeys to get the critical messages out to and for my clients.
I only hope that they see it that way . . .