I have done a lot of thinking in the past few weeks. Back in October I was informed there was a chance I was going to lose my job. I was heart broken, because I was finally doing what I have dreamed of doing for years–communications for a nonprofit organization. True it was not an animal rescue organization, but it was something I still cared deeply about. Over the seven weeks I nervously waited to hear my fate I did a lot of thinking. To summarize I realized just how much I miss rescue work. Not just the physically being out there trapping cats (because that can get super frustrating, I actually kinda hate trapping…) but being in the field in general.
I miss helping cats. I miss making their lives better. I miss having dozens of cats around me at all times (though that will change when I start back at the vet’s office). To a certain extent I miss being in the trenches too, because when you are in the trenches you can see the results of your hardwork immediately. Of course it starts all over with the next cat or the next situation, but there is still that feeling of accomplishment. I am not sure I am meant to be in the trenches but I know I am meant to be rescuing animals. I also know I am meant to write. Since childhood I have had two strong passions–animals and the written word. What better than to combine my two true loves?
Last night I was at a planning meeting for a small rescue group I am involved with called Virtually Home. Unlike many resuces in the city, Virtually Home has no shelter building. They are a series of foster homes where the cats live until they are adopted out. Many of the cats are pulled from high kill shelters throughout Illinois or Indiana. It is a great organization and I am relishing the opportunity to use my gift of writing to help them share their message with the rest of Chicago. I can’t wait to get started!
I also signed up to be volunteer at my favorite shelter doing development work again. I have this nagging sense that I jumped in too deep already. But it will be great to be back at the shelter. Of course the trick will be not taking on too much and avoiding the evil known as compassion fatigue. Which means finding a balance in my life between rescue work and something else. Let’s see how this goes.