Sometimes I think WordPress has a surveillance camera on my life! How else would they know that my world is entirely chaos at the moment while I, in my natural state, am an extremely organized person? It so happens that I’ve just moved home and home business 35 miles away into a new rental. A normal move is somewhat chaotic. Add to that the fact that our home business is an online used book (and music and whatnot) store called Scholar and Poet Books. (Find us on Facebook or Ebay!) In our inventory and in our rental home, we have AT LEAST 25,000 books. Being quite the ambitious, self-sufficient types, we thought we could move those ourselves over a two-month period. We’re also over 50, both of us. And most of those books were in the attic, 3 flights of stairs up from the curb. Long story short, we had to hire professionals to help us pack up and move the last 285 boxes of books, each weighing roughly 50 lbs. Now all of that is in our new home, and we’re unpacking and organizing. Another yuuuuge task. *sigh* But our new place is gorgeous, a ranch-style house with only one flight of stairs (down to the basement), on land owned by the Conservation Foundation for which I work. I am not complaining! I’m just sharing what a bit of chaos is like — interesting, challenging, exhausting, stimulating. Here’s a gallery of our old place:
The cards float down onto the screen from a magical heaven, and there they are, all laid out before you in orderly disarray, just waiting for you to sort deftly and arrange with a crisp CLICK from your mouse. You start to work, matching and categorizing, strategizing and prioritizing like an executive assistant. Your attention to detail is keen. Your task is accomplished in a matter of minutes. You are a Free Cell goddess! One additional click, and you can begin the process anew, amassing an empire of ‘wins’ and improving your statistics.
Inevitably, your mind starts to wander. “I’m supposed to be finding a job. I’m supposed to be updating my resume. I’m supposed to be generating income.” CLICK. CLICK. Drag….CLICK. Minutes tick by. You are mesmerized by a brilliant shower of red and black and white, diamonds in spades. Fireworks follow. Then you ask yourself, “Have I accomplished anything?”
I am becoming aware of myself. Of my work ethic, my motivation, my skill set. I find routine incredibly easy. I find detail work effortless. And I find them both supremely boring, but somehow, not boring enough to get me angry in the moment. I become perturbed after the fact.
I want to be productive. I want to be useful, informative, inspirational. I want to be honest, authentic, and open. I want good and meaningful engagement with the world. And I keep sucking away my life at things like computer games.
Why am I stuck? Why don’t I begin something BIG?
I am afraid of failure. I shame myself constantly by mental audiotape. “You’re not qualified. You don’t have the expertise. You don’t have the style they want. You won’t follow through. It’ll be too difficult. It won’t happen.” Buzz words from the samples you just read ring in your ears.
“Go-getter. Self-starter. Highly motivated (fill in the blank) SEEKS…”
Is everyone more hard-working than I am? Or just more eager to appear so? Am I highly motivated to help Consolidated So-And-So get ahead? No, I’m not. I’m not philosophically supportive of this capitalistic system at all. I would like to earn an honest wage, live simply (at least by American standards) and physically, and keep contributing to something important until the day I die. Pay me $15,000/year to write passionately about the environment, to teach and inspire a visitor, to file and proofread and make coffee and encouraging remarks, and I will die happy. Each day would be an adventure, and I might leave for serial adventures in other employs, but I think that would be a fine life for me.
Right now, I’m in this dialogue. Free/Cell. Am I free? A jack-of-no-trades? How do I stop playing the game and start living the life?
This week’s photo challenge, A Day in My Life, is a great opportunity for me to tell my readers about my New JOB! I have completed two days of training at Discovery World in Milwaukee, and although I haven’t taken any of my own pictures, you can see some on their website. In addition to my job in Guest Services at this museum, I will also begin working two days a week at Old World Wisconsin at the end of next month as a Costumed Historic Interpreter. This means that I get to do weekly time travel, from the 19th Century into the Future, and talk to folks of all ages about how things work, how we work, what we do with what we know, and what wonderful things are all around us! I think it’s pretty cool that someone’s willing to pay me to do that. And when I get home, I photograph, describe, list and sell all kinds of old and new stuff on eBay.
Favorite elements of my new job: hearing the screech of seagulls on the Lake, matching my breathing to the pace of fish in the aquarium (ever notice how flying ducks are always in a hurry and fish rarely seem to be?), watching a 5-yr-old stroke a Pencil Urchin with 2 small fingers, and seeing a kid’s face light up when he lands his plane in the Flight Simulator. I am looking forward to getting a deck tour and cruise on the SV Denis Sullivan when the ship returns from the Caribbean and taking in a film at the outside amphitheater at dusk during the summer.
Ugly Remnants: SOLD on eBay…this just about describes how one man’s trash is another’s treasure!
Hopalong Cassidy Bank, vintage 50s collector’s item: SOLD!
What do you think about on the drive home? (What can I make for dinner out of what’s left in the ‘fridge?) How do you get comfortable? (I take off my corset as soon as possible!) Do you eat first or relax first? (I eat and have a glass of wine. Then I put my feet up.) How long can you go before you fall asleep? (Not very long. I often nod off by 8pm, and then I have to wake up to brush my teeth and REALLY go to bed at 10pm.) Man! Do I sound OLD!?!
I have to be at work again by 8am tomorrow for an All Staff Meeting. It’s gonna take me 45 min. to get there, too. No boogieing for me tonight!
My prayers to the Universe tonight include appreciation for the cooler weather today (a fleeting phenomenon…in the 90s again tomorrow) and a deep grief over the violence in our culture, a hope that kindness and respect for all life will prevail some day.