Years ago (and when I look back on it, it WAS years ago), when I signed onto what was then a fledgling internet forum on fire service issues, I imagined a place on line similar to some of the think-tank type collaborations I have at times, found myself participating in. You know, or maybe you don't: beer, talk about deeper issues of the business, stimulating thought, laughter, and long-term friendships. I have seen some pretty crazy ideas come out of some of those live skull sessions and revolutionize the way we operate emergency services in this nation.
I remember joining with some of the other internet monsters at the time to discuss a certain firefighter training fatality that didn't have to happen. And while the discussions got hot sometimes, we were forging into uncharted territory. As a result, I have "met" people on the internet who have inspired me and kept me going on some of my ventures, as I hope I have done the same for. Some of you may even recall those days, in the early days of the International Association of Crusty Old Jakes. I wasn't a plank holder, but they quickly welcomed me in and I was humbled to be allowed to come join in their side conversations.
A recent project I am working on has brought me together with some principals in the business and we are spinning an idea we had into something that could be so, so cool. And we're playing with it. And the conversation is light, thoughtful, and insightful. It's really what I want, it is really what I thought this all would really be about. I enjoy having insightful conversation with people who get it. I know not everyone does, so I am also happy to talk to those people. But when the party gets crashed by the loud, the obnoxious, the pretenders, and the wannabes, it is then that I move along. But that's the beauty of this place here, Firehouse Zen, I guess. We haven't drawn interest from that crowd, so it's comfortable, it's entertaining, and I like the people I'm hanging with. And a few of the projects I am working on right now seem to be moving in the same direction.
If you want to recharge your batteries, hang out with those who engage you and challenge you, but enjoy being with them. It's enjoying these people that gives you the energy to create.