The distractions shared on Gone Livin’ take time, but keep my life current. The major-league stuff plants a serious question on my soul, “Do I know what I’m doing?”
Volunteering – This list could seem demanding, but I live in the delusion that they won’t all call on me at once.
- Mentoring Women in Recovery – Discover one addiction and numerous others appear underneath. I love these women for all they do to help themselves. I learn so much from each one. Please read the last sentence as fact, not as a condescending statement of niceness.
- Box Office Sales at our local Theater – This commitment is under review. I’ve arrived to sell tickets before performances only to find the system won’t cooperate. I phone the Coordinator and each Administrator. No one answers their phone. They’ve no desire to be the one to tell me to “Suck it up, Babe!”
The problems are plentiful and never the same. They forgot to tell me the system has been upgraded or the ticket printer won’t work which means the system also won’t accept credit or debit cards. Patrons stand in front of the window making impromptu financial arrangements with semi-strangers who passionately understand the importance of seeing this particular performance.
Praise given for creatively surviving and subsequent free access to shows aren’t fodder enough to entice my continuing. I will not enable ineffective service to our patrons. Management needs a boot; not the computer.
- Co-Pod Leader for Emergency Response – A neighbour and I inch this service forward. We now have our neighbours’ data compiled and emailed to Emergency Services. Emergency Rescue Workers now know who lives in each home and who has special needs.
The current challenge is setting up a communication network: What if we have no hydro, phones, internet, or cell phone service? The other volunteers who “signed up” do not show up for meetings. Other Pods have the same experience. There hasn’t been an emergency on our island for hundreds of years and people are typically blasé. I could worry, but take comfort knowing the data base is in place.
- Executive Secretary for PROBUS – Australia, Canada and England have Probus Clubs fully functioning and growing. It’s for retired and semi-retired PROfessional BUSiness people. We are NOT a service club. We exist for fellowship, networking and healthy stimulation. We line up fascinating speakers for our monthly meetings. Two of my recent favourites? A Canadian who heads the design team building the camera for the new telescope that will replace Hubble. The other – a woman who built a small weaving hobby into a major career. She has been commissioned by different movie sets (including Disney) to weave materials for their productions. Throughout those challenges, she’s taught weaving to people in various countries.
It’s a pleasure to work with people who are used to operating with efficiency and common sense.
- DRUM ROLL – Writer for a National Newspaper – Rosie at Wondering Rose sent an email asking if I was interested in a search made by a major Canadian newspaper for a blog writer for the Financial Section. Curiosity piqued, I followed the instructions and expressed an interest. (Rosie-you-darlin’, thank you. Let’s hope I am thick-skinned enough to be able to do this. I’m not sure how to handle being attacked by readers if that should happen.)
In summary, I have been presented with a contract to write a post every second week – as a new retiree with stories themed in finance. When my submissions are actually published, I’ll share a link.
However…I have some trepidation. This is an excerpt from the Editor’s email: “The one thing I will ask you, though, if we move forward, is to be open to the editing process. Having worked with some non-professional writers, I know you are not accustomed to being edited. I have no intention of taking out your voice or your personality, but editing is a key part of the writing process and something you will have to embrace if we are going to put out a quality compelling blog.”
Thankfully, we start with a three month trial period. I’m proceeding with enough enthusiasm to hopefully provide an antidote for the chopping, changing and crucifixion known as “editing”.
As if that wasn’t enough abundance for one excited and challenged retiree who is carving out a new, well-rounded and healthy life, there’s more! This is long enough. I’m heading off to complete Gone Livin’ – ♥♥
Wow…I’m exhausted just reading this…you are one busy woman.
loved this Amy. You have such a nice variety of things to be involved in and you don’t ‘suffer fools gladly’. What a grand life you are living on your beautiful island. Tell the editor you have a quality, compelling blog of your own so you are not worrying about editing!
There’s more?! I need to get cracking…
Sounds like an opportunity and rosie has just the nose to sniff it out. To my utter amazement several doors opened after I “retired”. My mother didn’t retire until 84! I don’t have the answers, but I know I need “structure.” I think you are not necessarily “thick skinned” but objective enough to “embrace” the editing. hmmmm…another chapter?
Good luck Amy.. editing is a pain, but you editor sounds sensitive, reasonable person… and often a bit of tight editing does improve a piece. I still edit my husband’s column…and it’s good for it!!!
Thank you, Valerie. I wonder if you know how reassuring your comment is. I wrote back to the Editor saying there’s nothing like jumping into the fire to improve writing skills. One of my writing courses was from a journalist who gave me terrific feedback. On my last assignment he wrote, “Oh for God’s sake, Amy, write!” I never had a chance to ask him what he meant. That statement was as open for interpretation as Eats Shoots and Leaves!
If I find myself feeling broken and battered, I hope I can seek some sage advice from you. I just know it’ll be good for me, too.
Amy, I had two thoughts that might be useful to you… The way I coped with sub-editors on the paper, and publishers editors was to give them what we called clean copy, with all the punctuation, grammar and everything as good as I could make it, so they didn;t have much to work on, and thus were not tempted to get into the story and find things to change!
The other thing was, that on newspapers, I only took things up with them if the subbing had altered the facts or the meaning -.. then they know you;’re not a prima donna fussing about your copy, but a sensible well balanced person!!!!
Go well !
Great, Valerie…both not only appeal, but suit my style. Many thanks. I know I have blind spots so will appreciate learning about them!
Major accomplishments, Amy! Wow. 🙂
I suspect you and many bloggers could do a post on key activities and we’d be amazed. We just have to find time and energy to clean the house! 😀 What I have to watch – when too many demands come at once, I become officious. Arg!! Feels like standing in a circle of wolves saying, “I have just enough steak for two!”
You are out there being fantastic. Please don’t over do. Just a friend sayin. Hugs!
Overdo is an enemy of serenity, Raven, so I watch my time carefully. It’s not worth my inner sanctuary becoming lost or neglected.
Hooray for Amy, I’m so happy to hear you got the job. You go girlfriend.
Isn’t it always the busiest people who accomplish the most? You’re an inspiration to us all.
Many thanks to you, Rosie. As I told you, I very much appreciate you thinking of me and letting me know!
P.S. – I shared with Gary why the Endeavor is in LA! I got it all straight from your previous post.
Glad to be of service Amy. Isn’t it great how we can learn the news from around the world just from reading our friends blogs!
Yikes! Good luck on that new endeavor! Hopefully the cash incentive will thicken your skin. The volunteering gigs can be either fun or disheartening. I have found great satisfaction if volunteering to answer phones for our Public Radio Station’s bi-yearly fund drives. And I just signed up to volunteer at a local theatre production company that I really admire. I hope I’ll still admire the organization after I’ve performed my volunteer duties.
All the best in the wacky world of theater. I love being amongst all of the folk who love to live differently. Scattered, unprepared, jumping in, and forever colorful – I love every bit of it. Blows my organized life all to smithereens.
Wow, Amy that’s quite a list! I LOVE that you’re going to be writing a blog for a big paper — that’s fantastic. The ProBus thing sounds very interesting — you certainly have a varied and assorted group of interests. Just remember — take time for yourself. Take care.
I’m only one of the contributing writers, Kath. She asked me if I could write about my retired life weekly in a financial way. I didn’t think I could – I’m not a big consumer and there are only so many ways to tell about needing to watch my money. So there’s a couple who will write on the alternate weeks apparently. They’re probably urban folk.
Still – very cool.
Amy, will your posts appear in the online edition of the newspaper, or the printed version? Or both? Please let us know. By the way, I can’t imagine readers attacking you. But I’d watch out for that editor.
Well, Charles, the Editor has struck! I found the feedback good – especially since it is coming from a professional. I feel I can trust its value and weight. When she called me, I told her I was a storyteller – and voluntarily sent a sample of how I would write about financial matters. She still sent me the contract so I felt she accepted my style. Now, however, when I see the type of information she wants, I feel it would take me from my style and personality. Nevertheless, I drew in my big-girl breath, did a re-write and haven’t heard back yet. If it keeps going in the direction away from “me”, I will use the 3-month trial period clause to bow out gracefully. I’m not looking for a job. I spent my career writing the boring stuff about finance. I don’t need to do that anymore.
Know what’s interesting, Charles? I want to keep it light – have a bit of humour – because living on a pension doesn’t have to be a big serious deal. (Either I worked too long in financial worlds or my faith is showing.) With the edit email, she sent me links of samples pieces. It seems she wants little packages of “I needed this, I did that to have enough money, and here’s the result”. However, projects like finding the damned septic tank do not come in neat little packages – especially when it comes to doing it creatively so it will not break the bank.
But, I do like the chance to have professional editing. Surprise, surprise.
I’m willing to give it a good try, but we may have to agree that we don’t dovetail.