Back in January I offered to help out with our local library book sale, which is to take place in early April. So now, in March, I'm involved in my volunteer activity, which consists of writing up flyers, sending out notices to local organizations, printing up posters and signs, and planning out how we're going to set up tables and handle the money. In the meantime, we're advised to collect all the boxes we can, because after the sale is over we're going to have a lot of leftover books and we'll have to box them up and either give them away or throw them away.
So I've been prowling the liquor stores, asking for their empty boxes, and if you looked in my basement right now, and saw all those empty wine boxes and vodka boxes, you'd think I was a serious alcoholic.
Then when I got back from vacation, I received an email from an old colleague of mine, offering me a paying job to help out on a project. Deadline: April 1st. Most of my work is being done from home on my computer. But I did go into the office to consult for one morning, the first time I'd been in any kind of office in about two years.
It seemed very strange. I'd spent over 30 years in an office; the territory is very familiar; yet I've set foot in an office only about a dozen times in the last ten years. Even though I'd never been in this particular office before (but they all look the same, don't they?) it felt like it does when you go back to visit your old hometown and walk around the neighborhood and see your old house and check out your old haunts.
But actually, it was kind of fun to be in a real office -- you know the kind, private offices with glass walls around the perimeter of a big room with a bullpen of desks jammed up one against another. Kind of like the TV show "The Office."
It's also nice to have a paying job for a change. First of all, I could use a few thousand dollars, especially since the credit card bills will soon be coming in for my vacation out west. But then at one point I wondered: Am I trading a month of my life, just for a few thousand dollars? What kind of deal is that? But when I really considered it, I found it's a good feeling to be engaged in a specific assignment, working on a project that someone is actually willing to pay for -- you know, compared to volunteering at the library, or blogging.
So I'm pretty busy this month for a change -- after having done nothing but hang around since before Christmas, then go on vacation. The benefit to you: I have to keep my posts short.
It's a delicate balance, trying to work in retirement. You want some jobs, but then when you get them, you're not quite sure you're ready. Do you know what I mean?
By the way, remember the band Men at Work? I dunno what this song is about (maybe it's about drugs; wasn't everything, back in the '80s?), but I prefer to think what's knocking at my door is opportunity.