Flashback to Thanksgiving 2 years ago and the scene at my in-laws played out like an episode of Friends. I was surrounded by family drinking my mother-in-laws eggnog about to endure a present opening free-for-all... and I completely lost it. I remember asking myself, "What am I doing?" One month later, I left the front office, plaque-on-the-wall, full-benefit eligible, profit sharing, suit adorned existence I had been living even before my kids had been born. Turns out it was the best decision I've ever made.
I recently was conducting a workshop at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and I looked at a room full of young eager minded students and said, "If you ever say to yourself this isn't fun.... then stop what you are doing and find your passion." It sounds easy but it took me years to listen to my inner voice. More honestly it was my moral and ethical compass finally pointing me into the direction I was intended to travel.
The last year of my life I have listened to my heart, wife and 4 beautiful kiddos and plotted a new course in my professional career. I know presently work as the Executive Director of a non-profit arts center in Marshfield, WI and find myself covered in mud nearly everyday. My forms are confident, well-constructed, thought-through and contain an inner peace that was absent in years past.
With my wife's incredible support we are planning to create a destination devoted to the arts in central Wisconsin. Our studio and current residence will be turned into housing for visiting artists and apprentices to provide opportunities to expand the enrichment of our local communities through the arts.
All of this sparked when my wife ordered a box of clay that was delivered to our home and said, "Find the time... you'll be a better person."