Friday, July 6, 2012

In Which I Think Again About Wearing Hats.

I can't call myself a blogger if I don't actually, you know, blog.

So I'm not wearing my blogger hat much these days.

I'm not really wearing any hats these days.

Ok. So I'm a wife. I'm a mom. I'm a lot of things, but I'm experiencing a strange mentality lately. My kids are all off on their own, and I'm absolutely loving the empty nest thing because the kids are all happy and successful and getting on with their own lives...and we see them and talk to them all the time and still have a very close relationship. My husband and I have a great marriage and we love being together. He works from home so we are almost always together which is awesome and I love it. But even so, I am finding myself with lots of large blocks of time on my hands.

I've been trying to find some kind of productive way to fill that time. I dabbled in several jobs over the last couple of years, and nothing has challenged me or been something I felt was what I wanted to do long term. Either I was totally unchallenged (retail), and thus, bored, or the field was something that just wan't up my alley (banking. Challenging, but hello? I'm not really into explaining for the zillionth time that if you spend more money than is actually in your account, you will be overdrawn and it's not the bank's fault. It's yours. Again).

 I still cook and clean and take care of the house just like I've always done, but with only two of us at home now (three if I include my aged but still undemanding and low-maintenance cat), I'm not exactly a busy person. I am feeling super duper unproductive and I'm finding it easy to be lazy. I sew. I grow flowers and stuff in pots on the patio. I refinished some furniture for my guest room and I'm getting ready to do a table to go outside on my patio.

Shall we talk about that challenge thing again?

I'm also super involved with my church in the area of outreach and I do the book work and keep the financial records accurate and up to date. (The record keeping takes me a total of about two hours a month. Not exactly demanding.)  I work out at least three days a week. I write regular letters and emails to a few people I know who are in situations that are...well, let's just say they are less than a means to encourage them and let them now there's someone out there who cares about them and prays for them. These are all good things, but I still have huge chunks of time on my hands.

Which led me to this. And then this. I wrote those posts more in jest than anything else, but there was a seed of truth, a seed of longing, in the back of my mind when I pushed "publish." Feel free to click the links now and then hit your back button to come back and finish reading this post.

So. Here's the deal. I believe that we are created with the need and the drive to be productive. We are created in the image of God and He has placed within us the same drive that is within Himself...the drive to succeed and excel and produce and contribute. It goes against our hard wiring as human beings to be unproductive and lazy. We were never created to be couch potatoes. At the moment, I feel like a non-contributing-zero and I hate that. No self pity here. Really. I've moved past that. (I had a long weekend visit with a good friend a few years ago when I had a good cry over this and pretty much dealt with the self pity aspect of it then. Hi Carolina!! I'm still thanking you for that!) I'm just looking at the reality that I'm stuck in a rut and it's (way past!) time to get out of that rut and do something with my life. I'm not even fifty yet! I have only lived half my life. Ok. Maybe a bit more than half, but still! I'm reasonably physically fit and I think the same way I did at 25. I can reasonably expect a lot more years of potential productivity, unless I come to an early and untimely end. Or the rapture happens, but I'm not going to sit around and do nothing since I have no idea what the future holds. I prefer to be proactive and enjoy life!

So all this is to say that I am on the lookout for...I don't know what. I'm am very blessed and fortunate in that I have the luxury of not having to earn money to support myself. I am grateful for that every single day. I have the luxury to do pretty much whatever I want. The fact that not many people have the luxury is not lost on me. It's rare and priceless and a gift from God.

All that is to say this:  I'm squandering this gift that has been given to me.

So is it finally time to find a job that is something that will allow me to be part of the community and interact with other people while challenging myself and learning new things? Is it selfish to want to do that in an area I enjoy? Or how about volunteer work?

Travel has always thrilled me. I love other cultures, people, and the very act of traveling is, though exhausting when dealing with long haul flights and time zones, fascinating. I experience a thrill that I can't explain at airports. Maybe I'm weird, but it is what it is! I love airplanes! They hold an unreasonable thrill for me. And I've met some very interesting people waiting at gates to board planes.

There is an airline with openings for ground crew (ticketing and etc) based in my city. I'm strongly considering applying. It's a part time position. It would get me out of the house, off my butt, and into the community. Granted, not into the air, and I'd still like to be a flight attendant, but I'm not willing to relocate and that is usually a requirement for the job. But ground crew? I can do that.

Or maybe there is something else I can do in the travel industry. I've toyed with teaching, photography, and admin, among other things, but nothing thrills me like the travel industry.

So the big question is this? Now what?

Also...and I'll toss this into the mix...I love to write. L.O.V.E. to write. So what's out there in the way of combining travel and writing? Or travel and photography and writing? And are there opportunities for "women of a certain age?" I'm probably being very naive. I don't know of anybody who will hire a middle aged woman with no experience or education to speak of and only amateur photography skills as a travel writer right off the bat. I mean, I have life experience, but so does everyone else. So where to start?

Time for prayer because above all else, I want to remain within God's will and purpose for me life. I do feel it's a new season for me; a God-given one. I'm looking down the barrel of fifty in a couple of years and this seems to be a time of Jubilee, of freedom, of celebration in my life. It has been for a while, but I've been faffing around. The window of opportunity is still open though, and I intend to go through it before it closes. Just not sure how!

Please comment and leave your thoughts, or email me! I'm wide open for feedback, whether I know you in "real life" or not!

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