Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Larger Debt


On certain Facebook pages you have to enter randomly-selected words to prove that you’re a human being. This morning I was faced with the stark words “LARGER” and “DEBT” – not a happy combination, and a reminder that with less than 4 months to go until launch date the expedition coffers are empty.

And today has continued to be, well, just one of those days when I feel like crawling back under the covers and waiting for better times to arrive.

Indulge me a moment while I share my pity party. Despite dozens of inquiries, I still have nowhere under cover to store my boat. I want to work on the boat today, but it’s pouring with rain here in Hawaii. Several projects are running behind schedule. Various technological questions are still to be answered. And there is no money to throw at the problem.

And then somebody posts an ill-informed comment suggesting that I should give it all up. I can’t blame them for being ill-informed – I haven’t yet announced my big, exciting environmental initiative for this year - but although I know that “it is not the critic who counts” it was unfortunate timing and it hurts to be kicked when I am already down.

So how to deal with these days of gloom and grey? I have retreated to the Kalapawei Café for some coffee shop therapy with my journal and a latte. I’ll share part of today’s entry:

“It’s one of those frustrating periods of stuckness when it seems nothing can possibly be finished in time…. Until the stuckness ends and is succeeded by a period of rapid progress and dizzying change. I haven’t yet figured out a way to trigger that transition, apart from just to keep plugging away until things start to flow again. If it was easy, everybody would be doing it. Keep doing the right things for the right reasons. Know that I feel a calling to do this - and that there is nothing else that I can do but to keep faith in the process, and know that it will all be worthwhile – eventually.”

And so I turn to my To Do list, and pick up the phone… (sigh).

Other stuff:

Today Oliver Hicks set out from Tasmania on his bid to be the first person to row solo around the world. His voyage around the Southern Ocean is slated to take 500 days. “New Zealand safety authorities said Hicks was exposing himself to extreme risk and the likelihood of a rescue being needed was significant.” Good luck, Ollie – you know more than most about rowing in the colder latitudes, and I wish you all the very best. You can follow Ollie's adventure here.

Since arriving in Hawaii I have been busy networking, picking up contacts from previous visits, and making many new friends, notably at Sunday’s Ala Wai Challenge. Thanks to Jeff Apaka for inviting me to appear at the event, and thanks to all who showed such interest in my adventures both past and future. I am looking forward to working with all my Hawaiian friends in the run-up to my launch on May 15.

If you’d like to cheer me up, a few dollars would help brighten my day. Every $ counts – as does the knowledge that you care enough to share. Donations can be made here via PayPal.

A couple of new podcasts have gone live in the last few days, so by way of apology for not having blogged for a week, here is more than enough Savage Verbiage to keep you going! Me in conversation with my friend and Podcast Sister Anna Farmery...

The Engaging Brand - Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway (Part 1)
The Engaging Brand - Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway (Part 2)

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16 comments:

  1. John Kay10:09 pm GMT

    Roz: Ignore any gainsayers and Do Not Give Up. You have been up against this kind of problem in the past and pulled through. If somehow the solution turned up a couple of weeks after you had committed to giving up, then you would never forgive yourself. If the worst comes to the worst then a postponement might be appropriate, but never, ever even think about "giving up".

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  2. Geraldine Gray10:18 pm GMT

    "I want to work on the boat today, but it’s pouring with rain here in Hawaii." You had me right until then. Don't worry - it will all work out.

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  3. Who said anything about giving up?! That is most definitely NOT an option, and never even crossed my mind! Even on my worst days on the Atlantic, I always knew that much...

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  4. If in doubt, DO SOMETHING! A few phone calls and emails have resulted in some slight progress in the right direction. The truck that was stuck has started to move...

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  5. John Capthorne10:58 pm GMT

    "And then somebody posts an ill-informed comment suggesting that I should give it all up."
    Giving up is never an option.

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  7. Roz - I drop by every now and then to see where you are and what's the haps. I like the countdown clock by the way. I have one for St. Patrick's Day! As to the negatory a**hole, let them fall by the wayside, they are not worth the bother. Stay the course. Important words when you have a goal which I know you have. Your efforts are making more people aware everyday of the need to literally clean up their act. Trouble is, evolution takes a long time. But what you're doing is extremely important. I say again, Stay the Course.

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  8. Sarah Watson3:03 am GMT

    Hi there Roz!

    Dropping in to say hello. A big hug from me, Jack and a toothy Grace. Keep pushing that truck...

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  9. Anonymous7:50 am GMT

    Roz,
    I sent a check earlier in the month. It's probably not there yet because of the way your mail is routed. -Eric

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  10. First, let me state that I am not "Anonymous" from the last post.

    But I would like to say that for an activist with my own (compulsive) personality type, it is important to have supporters like him who give me "permission" to abandon a project if, down the road, it proves infeasible.

    For years I felt sick in my heart that my movement was making no progress --indeed losing ground-- despite my sacrificing much of my time and personal happiness for it.

    Having solicited donations for the cause for years, I felt morally obligated to "stay the course".

    Finally, at a meeting one evening, I mentioned in passing a special family dinner I was missing to be there, and several supporters present said to me "Dude, I would have gone to that dinner." and (coincidentally) "It's not your job to save the world."

    With "permission" to fail I've been a much happier person. I don't think "Anonymous" was being a "negatory a**hole".

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  11. Anonymous4:28 pm GMT

    Thank you, CVASchmidt! You got it right on the head! I'm the negatory a**hole, I knew it wasn't going to be accepted very well, but I felt someone had to say something. It was very hard to post that, to be honest, because I don't want to discourage people from acheiving their dreams. I'm very sorry Roz, if you felt I kicked you when you were down, that wasn't my intent. I just wanted to tell you how I felt, as a sincere fan, who has changed his mind on this Big Plan to save the world as a good idea.

    That said, I'm not suggesting to "just Give Up", just to think about, maybe, giving it a little more thought, and open the mind to maybe postponing. Think about the middle ground, perhaps, postponing isn't such a bad idea? Or merely opening the mind to what it would be like to actually give it up. If the idea is so repulsive because you'd be disappointing sponsors and supporters, I think you should examine that.

    Did you not "just Give Up" your lucrative job, and society's successful life? Now you've plopped the fate of the world's oceans on your shoulders and feel responsible for the welfare of the entire planet ! I'm suggesting that it's ok for you to not save the world, or take some time off from it. You're in Hawaii, go and play for a little while!

    Like I said I have many reasons I think this not good idea... now you have mounting debt, that's a pretty serious problem! There is a global credit crisis! No exaggeration! So, let's say you do it, you've rowed solo across the pacific, and all the fan fare has died down, and you've sent your environmental message, and you've accumulated a debt that you simply can't pay off. How is that going to feel? How is going to feel while you're alone out there with nothing but your thoughts to keep you company?

    It's OK if you can't do it now because the money isn't there, I think everyone would understand that you don't want too much debt.

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  12. John Kay4:44 pm GMT

    Roz did not "just give up her lucrative job", she left it deliberately in order to do something more useful and personally fulfilling. Giving up her present project just because of a temporary difficulty (which she has faced before) would be very different. If she decides to suspend her project because of the current financial downturn that is affecting everyone else then so be it, but that is not the same as "giving up".

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  13. Hey Roz, I just noticed that Ollie, the other rower has Google and Virgin sponsoring his journey, and he's not even doing it for the environment. Have you asked Google and Virgin? I bet they'd be very willing to sponsor you. (You've probably thought of that) already. Good luck, and keep plugging on, you just never know what's going to happen tomorrow, maybe someone with deep pockets and a good heart will hear you and want to help.

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  14. I read your last blog post, and I must say that I know EXACTLY what you mean! you need to remember that if it wasn't for these difficult times - you know, the one step forward, two steps back deal - that the journey wouldn't be nearly as epic as I know it WILL be once you get back on the water again. I find that during these times it is helpful to focus on your NEXT STEP rather than the large picture which can sometimes be quite overwhelming.

    You know that when you run a marathon you never think about the 26.2 miles - you focus on your FIRST step, then your first mile, then your next mile. Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe said:
    "What you can do or dream you can do, begin it. For boldness has genius, power and magic in it"

    I believe that being bold is to "BEGIN IT". And we are ALWAYS BEGINNING IT! Even in the middle of a project (like where you are currently) we are really STARTING the rest of the journey. So focus on BEGINNING your journey from this point on, and think about your NEXT step. Don't stress about the big picture too much. You will make it through these "what was I thinking" moments just like you always have.

    Keep pushing. And keep BEGINNING.

    Cheers - mahalo,
    Greg Kolodziejzyk
    http://www.human-power.com

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  15. I think Roz's occasional expressions of difficultly are to be commended. They put a real face on what are the biggest issues for most, whether finances, health or motivation. The thing is, I suspect Roz is fine with anything she has some control over. When the weather is very bad, she battens down the hatch and bears through it somehow. When equipment breaks, she adapts. But like any wandering citizen of the Earth she must be replenished by the aid of others with only her story to offer in return. What is interesting though is that her story is as much one of replenishment as it is accomplishment. For every power stroke of the oars there is required a refractory motion. A motion which is not getting you anywhere. Our hearts and breath do this dance for a lifetime. To me, Roz is doing such a dance, sometimes it's habitual, sometimes delightful. And it's not about saving the planet, after all we are the planet too. You see, if Roz, who is like a rabbit in a tortises shell of her boat or bank account, ever finds an understanding that satiates her. I want to know all about it.

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  16. Hey Roz - I get middle aged and weight loss ads which is even worse, I tell you not great ads to put on my page as they disengage me with Facebook and the companies showing them...what do they say truth hurts! Just wanted to say thanks for a brill interview, many guests stay very factual but not you, you let us inside your head, your heart...your soul :) ....now that is what I call an Engaging personal brand.
    And remember what they say, you need the down days, the obstables to really love the those magic moments. Problems are there for one reason - as opportunities for people like you who want to change the world. Convinced matey?
    Anyway the alternative is sitting in a freezing cold bradford in an office....now that must have convinced you :)

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