Life as a Work in Progress: An Interview with Lucy Patterson

Lucy PattersonLife is a work in progress. Explore. Excite. Experience.” — Lucy Patterson

2011 has been a year of change for Lucy Patterson. Both she and her partner were “made redundant” and left “everything and everyone they knew and love behind” to move across the UK to a quaint village in the countryside of Southern England where her partner was offered a new job. She took advantage of the opportunity to make a change in her life. “It was time for me to take my destiny into my own hands and create a role that offers that elusive balance between home and work,” Lucy explains. “A job where even the hard graft is enjoyable because I’m dancing to the beat of my own drum, am at my own beck and call, working to principles and morals that I choose to live by.”

Check out this video clip of Lucy visiting Rawinala, a children’s charity in Jakarta, Indonesia, which would change the direction of her life:

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Take Life as It Comes

By March, Lucy’s neighbors were Muntjac deer and grouse, and she found herself walking six miles to pick up the newspaper in the next village, hanging clothes to dry on the washing line, pruning shrubs and chitting potatoes. It was a far cry from the years she spent living from a backpack as she travelled across the globe and living the big-city life in New York City.

Lucy’s knowledge and experiences never follow any trends. “My ambition as a child was to be a journalist. Kate Adie to be precise. Journalist, war correspondent and strong, assertive female,” she says. The degree she actually completed in university was in cultural studies and sociology, which she followed up with a postgraduate certificate in enterprise management over 10 years later.

And has Lucy now solidified the direction she wants to take in life? She answers at 35 years of age, “I still have no idea what I want to be when I grow up,” but she does know this: “I fully believe that if you want to make changes in your life, you have to be your own catalyst. I am going to be the change I want to see in this world. Thanks for the advice, Gandhi!”

Lucy Patterson Indonesia

Life-Changing Experiences

Last year, Lucy and her fellow Company Director traveled to Indonesia and Cambodia. They visited two children’s charities that support and educate underprivileged, disabled children, so they can live as independently as possible while increasing disability awareness in the local communities. Lucy describes what the experience meant to her:

“It was a truly humbling experience.

Never have I been so welcomed by people with whom I don’t even share the same first language. Never have I felt so much love as was apparent between these children and the staff and volunteers caring for them. Never have I seen such productive and entrepreneurial thinking as was displayed by the staff and volunteers as they interacted and taught these children with little or no resources.

It was an experience that changed my life. I am not a mother, so there were no maternal heartstrings to tug. It was the pure selfless attitude displayed by the staff and volunteers and the wonderment etched onto the faces of the children that hooked me and then reeled me in.

I remember thinking that if people in England were as dedicated and passionate about their jobs as these charity workers and volunteers were about theirs, that the world would be a better place.”

Jigsaw Care Services Plus (JCSP)

Dreams in Action

Lucy’s experiences abroad instigated a vision that she would see into fruition:

“I returned home and maintained contact with the charities, volunteering and fundraising, albeit in a limited capacity, from my home in England. I continued in my job, but realised that I felt a distinct lack of fulfilment in what I was doing. I was paying bills, paying my mortgage and living comfortably, but I had no real sense of achievement.

Everything changed on New Year’s Eve December 2010 when I chose to accept redundancy from my job rather than move to one of the alternate short-term roles on offer. What better time would there be to give my life a kick-start? My partner had been offered a new role in the South of England; so we moved. New year. New life. New start.

It took months of planning and finances have been tight, but Jigsaw Care Services Plus (JCSP) is now up and running. We offer an introductory nanny/childcare recruitment service, specializing in provision for children with special/additional needs and we donate a percentage of the profits we make to the children’s charities we visited previously.

It’s not much and I’ll never be a millionaire, but the feeling that my hard work benefits both myself and a group of children (whom I may never meet again) is absolutely priceless.

My passion is reignited each morning when I start work. The fire in my belly continues to blaze.”

Check out JCSP’s Facebook Fan Page and Twitter feed for updates, and follow Lucy’s “thoughts, feelings, wit and wisdom” at her blog, Life Through Lucylastica’s Lense.

What ignites the fire in your belly? Tell us in the comments below!

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22 Comments

  1. Posted August 24, 2011 at 5:11 am | Permalink

    Another great article Samantha, thanks so much!
    I must say, Lucy Patterson, you are one inspired and determined person! I am moved by your passion for what you believe and how you have acted on this, for the betterment of many – an inspiration for the rest of us!
    To answer the question, “What ignites the fire in your belly”? – Creativity and imagination through art is my greatest ‘kindling’ to get that fire burning bright. I am at my height of joy when I am creating works of art, to share, inspire and make a statement at times.

    I wish you all success Lucy! With your heart and drive in the right place, your passion is sure to blaze the trail – well done!

    Best Wishes,
    Barbara

    • Posted August 25, 2011 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

      No, thank *you,* Barbara! You have truly made me feel like a real writer with all of your warm comments and your support! =)

      What a beautiful image of joy expressed in “creativity and imagination through art.” I have always admired artists and how they can create wonders so naturally! Barbara, *you* inspire me with your passion! =)

    • Posted August 29, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Barbara – though I don’t think of myself as an inspiration, more someone trying to make something better in the only way I know how…Samantha’s words were simply so well written that I came across in a such a positive light. :-)
      To me your creativity is much more inspirational.

  2. Posted August 24, 2011 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    I never know so much about Lucy! Thanks for sharing this with us. Within each of us, lies a strong fierce volcano just waiting to burst out and do the things we want to do and that actually make us happy. So glad to meet such people amongst us!

    • Posted August 25, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

      I know what you mean, Hajra! It was such a joy to learn more about Lucy through the interview process! Wow! And to imagine that I may have a fierce volcano inside of me too. =P

    • Posted August 29, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

      Hajra – Glad you enjoyed Sam’s piece. I think it’s fair to say that all of us in the PBAU group have a volcano in our belly!

  3. Abe
    Posted August 24, 2011 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    Often to maintain the day in day out stuggles in life we are forced to utilize multipule motivators in our ongoing pursuit for happiness. Some of these motivators may come in a physical, monitary or scocial status sence. Others may be Spiritual or through Service to others. What ever the motivator is, how does it effect us in doing what we do. I love how Lucy said ” she was living comfortably but had no sence of achievement”. Lucy moved past having a motivator at that point to a realization of a basic need for fullfilment. In doing so she was able to help so many children in need of someones help. If only more people could become that committed to their passions.

    • Posted August 25, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

      Wow! Well said, Abe! =) It has me reassessing what my motivators are and whether they are truly fulfilling me.

      When you talk about commitment to passions, it reminds me of how Lucy says she was amazed at the dedication of the people at Rawinala. That’s how committed I want to be to my passions and dreams! =)

    • Posted August 29, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

      Wow Abe! Such powerful and well put words. I think the hard part is for people to find something that holds their passion and motivation, as often passion is transient.

  4. Posted August 25, 2011 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    What a great post! I admire Lucy’s courage. All the best for the new business then. And Lucy, please keep us posted!

    • Posted August 25, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

      Same here, Muriel! It’s courage I see in Lucy too!

    • Posted August 29, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

      Thanks as ever for your support Muriel. Best of luck to you as you move into the next chapter of your life too. x

  5. Posted August 27, 2011 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    I was fascinated to learn more about Lucy’s life – its most recent twist – and her goals, particularly as related to helping people abroad. She has certainly learned/adapted to make the best of things and find motivation through JCSP.

    What fire ignites the passion in my belly? I suppose it would be the fire to fulfill my commitment to myself and to the many others who have believed in me as a writer.

    • Posted August 27, 2011 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

      I know eh? =) The idea of connecting her organization with charities is a beautiful one! =)

      I absolutely love how you speak of your fire, Pennie. I only wish I had a motivation as powerful as yours! Thank you for sharing that!

    • Posted August 29, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

      I think your passion is very evident in your writing Pennie and as for you Sam; don’t sell yourself short, your passion and penmanship is evident here and beyond. Without you writing such a beautiful piece, many of these discussions would not be taking place.

  6. Mariam Carter
    Posted August 29, 2011 at 12:49 am | Permalink

    Was loving the blog and wanted to know more about Lucy and JCSP I too work overseas helping others and was so excited to see another overseas advocate now I am getting a bit long in the tooth and my next trip will be my last (15 years) but the fire Lucy showed made me think I could support others in a different way and was a spirit I saw in my much younger self. Now here is where I am confused?? – when I searched jcsp it did not show in Yahoo so I searched Lucy and there is a blog almost identical detailing Lucy and 3 others trip to Cambodia but with another company almost identical to this whom looked to have sponsored the trip so are the two linked?? Sorry for bringing a negative aura onto such a wow piece but something does not sit right, either the two companies are linked, or waves are been ridden off the backs of others??

    • Posted August 29, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

      Hi Mariam. First of all ‘Wow!’ 15 years of selflessly helping others overseas is quite an achievement. Even if you feel ‘too long in the tooth to be able to continue overseas, I am quite sure someone with your passion will continue to find more local worthwhile causes to engage with.
      Jigsaw Care’s website is http://www.jcsp.org.uk it is unlikely to have shown in the Yahoo search as it is due to be launched officially (Currently it’s just a holding page.) tomorrow. Please do pop over and let me know your thoughts.
      With regard to the other company you mention, I did indeed do some international work with them prior to forming jcsp. Prior to my leaving that company none of the charities we visited had received the agreed donations; so were left out of pocket following our trip. This did not sit comfortably with me, so I continued to self finance my support to them, which as you know from the article, ultimately led to the inception of Jigsaw Care.
      I’d love to hear more about your work and chat through the concept and objectives of jcsp with you if you’d like. Feel free to email me at [email protected]

      • Posted September 1, 2011 at 12:23 am | Permalink

        Wow, Mariam! I really admire your commitment to your overseas work! And thanks so much for giving the opportunity to Lucy to give us more details behind her work! =) And thank *you,* Lucy, for taking the time to respond! =)

        Wishing you gals a beautiful week!

  7. Posted September 20, 2011 at 2:54 am | Permalink

    ‘The fire in my belly continues to blaze’….Oh I can only imagine how that must feel!! Thank you for sharing your wonderful story, Lucy, and thanks Sam for the opportunity! To do something with meaning is truly priceless!

  8. Posted September 22, 2011 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Thanks to you all for your support. I really do appreciate it. x

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