No longer an academic in practice in a university but still clinging on to my academic identity and investing time and effort into maintaining it, but nevertheless uncertain of where my journey is taking me.
Perhaps because of this uncertain and sometimes ambiguous mental, physical and virtual space I inhabit, I have become more conscious that it is essentially down to me to decide how I am going to spend my time and what I am going to do and try and achieve, at least in my professional domain. Of course my wife and children also have a big say in what I do in the family domain!
The absence of anyone telling me what to do or expecting me to fulfill a particular role, and the continuous challenge of motivating myself and constructing my own trajectory for learning, development and achievement, has made me more aware of the 'ecological' relationships I have with my world. By that I mean that what and how I learn and develop in all the different contexts and situations in my everyday life, feels more like a living, emergent, organic process involving me, my purposes and goals, and my relationships with the physical, virtual and social worlds I inhabit, rather than something that I plan, design and implement according to my plan. I feel I, and my learning, are part of an ecosystem which I help create and maintain but do not control and sometimes I'm pushed and pulled in all sorts of unforeseen directions. The idea that I am part of an ecology and I help create my own ecology intuitively feels right so over the last few years I have thought about it in the context of my own life and also tried to find out how others have thought about it.
Being an academic I realise that for these ideas and feelings to have any academic credibility and educational value they need to be explored, codified and opened to critical peer review, so a week ago I decided to commit to producing a book.