How I Can’t Lose What I Don’t Want

Success Morphs As We Change

Jan 11, 2012 by

“Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose.”  Kris Kristofferson, “Me and Bobby McGee

Here we are again, at the start of a new year.  Last year at this time, I was contemplating quitting my corporate job to find my way in the world of being an entrepreneur.  Self-determination and freedom to grow the creative part of myself beckoned.  Terror tried to bar the way, but it lost its power to imprison me when Dave died.  Sorry, Terror.  You have to come up with something scarier than a balance sheet to stop me now.

This year I can easily count what I’ve gained.  I got a rough and tumble education in the ways of small businesses.  I made a whole new community’s worth of friends.  I learned to read a balance sheet, plan a marketing campaign and even milk a goat!

Chickens in the Kitchen has been a productive experiment, but definitely an experiment with a beginning and an end.  I’m contemplating whether I’ve reached the point of diminishing returns.

When I talk about this people say, “Don’t give up on your dream!” I don’t know that I have what people think of as a “dream” though.  It’s not as if I have an aspiration to be a famous writer or a world renowned expert on fermented pickles.  My dreams are so simple and ordinary that they hardly seem like dreams at all.

When I give it careful thought, what I really want is a simple, calm, creative life.  I want to be surrounded by the friends and the animals I love.  I want to contribute my best talents to my community.  I want a stable, warm home; food growing in the backyard and a sanctuary of happy people and pets.

That’s it.  Note the absence of fame and fortune.

Middle age has brought the blessing of clarity.  As a young woman, I felt an obligation to take on the world.  Somehow, I was compelled to prove myself.  I tried to be extraordinary in everything from my career to my looks.  Thank goodness I never met those limiting expectations!  How much more difficult it would have been to give up what looked like success.

I don’t know yet what I’ll do.  I only know I don’t want to trade in that creative freedom and self-determination for diminishing returns.  The journey from the corporate world to the entrepreneurial world involves a surprising amount of reflection, doesn’t it?  The central economic question of my life has changed from, “What can I do for a living?” to “What do I want to do for a living?”.

Of course, I still have to consider what the market wants, but without the demands of “success”, I have far less to lose.


About the Author

Bonnie Simon Has Written 35 Articles For Us!

I am an urban homesteader in Colorado Springs, CO where I raise chickens, make my own yogurt and am learning to grow some food, all within sight of downtown in a 1950s era neighborhood. I am starting a small business designed to fill the gap between local farms and local dinner tables.
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