If Not Now, When?

My note to myself – “If not now, when?” this morning consisted of admonishments to be kind to myself as I make this next transition.


This midlife crisis (my tenth) opened a door to an old love – sculpture. I’ve already taken my first steps through that door with some stone carving and sculpture work.

At its heart, sculpture is another form of storytelling and I’m excited to explore my options.

Why Be Kind?

Well…. My first attempts the other day with clay were, at best, bad.  Great if I was in grade one but….

female torso sculpture

“Torso” 1985. Douglas Green. Mortar.

I quickly understood that I needed to:

  • Retrain my hands
  • Pick projects suited to my skill level (or slightly higher but not the mountain top)
  • Garbage anything that truly sucks and recycle the clay
  • Be kind to myself in this transition.

But… Damn, it felt good to see a shape emerging beneath my hands again.

So the answer to “if not now, when?” is coming down to “soon.”

What I’m Reading

Great Book of Celtic Patterns.  L.S. Irish.

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Implementing Doug 7.3

A public service announcement

Doug 7.0 has been available for a few years now but bugs in the delivery system disrupted the full launch and implementation on the network.

I have worked diligently behind the scenes adjusting attitudes, parsing sentences, exploring images in countless pages and journals. Many gallons of black ink were sacrificed.

I refer you to Creator Rule #4: Stop digging your own hole.

I also suggest Creator Rule #3 is in play: “Leap and the net will appear.”

The creative rules can be found here

Five Steps To Dream A Creative Retirement

I’ve never taken a “How to retire” course or even read anything about retiring. I’ve just never seriously thought about it. Retire to what? Do something different other than tell stories? Seriously? I want to tell more stories….. (Oh, there’s a retirement project – tell more stories. Didn’t take long did it? What’s so hard about that?)

I’m a storyteller.

If I stopped doing that, what would I do? Frankly, I can’t stop telling stories – as my friends will tell you. (Give that man a beer or glass of scotch and stand back – his whole conversation is one giant story. Good friends say there’s a healthy dose of B.S. in those stories but that’s what good friends are for.)

Is There A Process To Discover Your Retirement Dream?

My “process” for this next phase of my creative career started with my fountain pens and several blank (really, really inexpensive) 250 page notebooks. And yes, it was harder than it looks and I killed a lot of trees in the process.

My creative muse – that voice in the back of my head which we may talk more about in future posts – asks, “Aren’t you going to tell them about the gallons of coffee and those forty-ouncers of scotch whisky?”

OK- lots of morning coffee and ending my day with an ounce of really good whiskey. Happy now?


I arrived at these five steps.

Every step along the way – every tiny step towards each of the five big steps – gets written down in morning notes.

The Five Steps

#1 Reimagine myself – dream wildly with zero limitations.

#2 Reinvent myself to those dreams. Who is it I must become? How must I behave?

#3 Re-educate myself – it isn’t going to happen without work of some kind.

#4 Rebuild based on #1, #2 and #3

#5 Relaunch and do those things or be that person (one small step at a time)

A sixth step – but you’ve figured this out already- is to constantly check and recheck and evaluate. This is a two steps forward, one step backwards kind of change.

And My Retirement?

Stay tuned, it’s already in progress.

You can follow along by subscribing here. (And yeah, there’s a link at the bottom of every note.)

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