Tag Archive | working

It’s Thursday? Really?

Which wayThis morning I awoke at seven o’clock and looked forward to turning on the television to watch Lester Holt on NBC’s weekend “news” program. I was totally convinced that it was Saturday, so I made coffee and settled into my cushy recliner, picked up the “zapper” (my pet name for the TV remote) only to learn that it was Thursday. Damn.

That’s the trouble with being retired. Every day is pretty much the same. No weekend anticipation like there was when I worked nine to five. No. It was just Thursday.

Retirement for me wasn’t a fanfare. It was more like a fart. You know, those silent but deadly ones that seek up on you and nobody takes credit for the stink. It all started in 2009 when I left my job and then couldn’t find work closer to home. I wanted to continue working because I wasn’t even 59-1/2 and not ready to retire. But I had become that magic age when businesses don’t want to invest in somebody who is seasoned and actually knows something.

But by 2011, I had papered the landscape with resumes and frankly I just gave up. By now, Ken also needed me to be home, so here I am. Oh, I kept myself busy designing costume jewelry, painting,  and getting several novels published, but I did miss the camaraderie of workmates and going out to lunch.

Don’t get me wrong, I do love not having to fight traffic every morning. I like the fact that I don’t have to shower, dress in a business suit, and rush out of the house with a pop tart in my left hand and my briefcase, keys, and purse in the other. I do not miss having an alarm clock catapult me out of a sound slumber either. I don’t miss having to take orders from somebody dumber than me, sitting in a “cube” as small as a phone booth, and interfacing all day with computer keyboard.

But not realizing it is Thursday troubles me. Has my world shrunk to such a small size that I don’t even know what day it is? I think it must have. But when did that happen? And why?

A shrinking world seems to be another part of being a caretaker and having to stay home most days. Don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t change things—at least not until I can’t properly take care of Ken any longer, but what does a person do for inspiration when nine to five is not possible any more?

I’ve come to the conclusion that time is a curious critter. It goes too fast when you’re young, and it slows down to a turtle’s crawl when you retire. I haven’t decided if that’s a good thing or not.

What’s This? Working on a Sunday?

workI usually don’t blog on Sunday morning because I think I need the day off. That’s rather curious because other than a part-time teaching gig and being a caretaker for my husband, I don’t work.

WORK — It’s a crazy word. What does it really mean?

In our society, most people think REAL WORKING involves leaving home, driving several miles to another place, spending at least eight hours there, while most of the time we’re wishing we were somewhere else. We complain about how stupid bosses are and that we don’t make enough money for the effort we exert. Worse yet, if we don’t involve ourselves in this kind of activity, society pretty much sees us as retired or slackers.

Debating with myself over this issue I turned to the dictionary to describe to me what work really is. Here’s what the old Oxford Dictionary had to say:

WorkNoun 1. activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result; 2. mental or physical activity as a means of earning income; employment; 3. a task or tasks to be undertaken; something a person or thing has to do.

Of course, this is just a snippet of the full definition. Most writers I know don’t go anywhere to participate in their profession. Lucky writers may have a studio in their homes or they may take themselves out the local coffee shop for inspiration.  Personally, I sit in an over-sized chair in my living room with my dog sleeping and snoring beside me as I pound out pages of prose.

My blue-collar family still makes me feel like I’m not working, and the dictionary definition confirms they are right. Definition number one comes close to what I do, but when I write, I don’t always have a purpose. Number two is certainly not my experience. I’ve written seven novels and haven’t earned a penny even though they all have been published by a “traditional” publisher. And, finally, number three isn’t accurate because I chose to write; no one is putting a gun to my head, (although sometimes when I’m blocked, that terror might help.)

So, I guess it’s true. I’m not working. I’m creating. I’m having fun thinking. I’m spinning stories many people have told me they have truly enjoyed. What is it that some anonymous soothsayer said:  Find something you love and you’ll  never work again. Yeah. That’s the path I’ve chosen. Royalties or no royalties.