Work and that passion thing

Just when I gave up on finding a part-time job after a year of looking, I got a job!

I’m a Computer Aide at my local public library, working 25 hours a week. I help people do diverse things on our computers as well as use our scanner and printer. Patrons are highly diverse on any demographic or other criterion you can think of so the work is interesting, at least when we are busy, and is teaching me a lot about computers.

As you can readily guess from the name of this blog, I am 67 years old and could consider myself to be employed in retirement, if only I knew how to define retirement. As you can further deduce, I qualify for Medicare and did not take a job for benefits.

People ask how I like the job, and I feel I should respond with some proclamation of passion. Passion is the right, and even the duty, of every American, but all my life I’ve been kind of off the passion expressway.

Once people get past their full-time career, they’re supposed to be free to pursue their passion.

I’ve always been a little dialed back on the passion scale.

It started before college. I couldn’t decide on the perfect major because there were many majors I found attractive but none that met my parents’ career expectations (that is, something feminine and low paying but with a high likelihood of employment and a secure income.)

I would have spent four years sampling the liberal arts but instead I got a scholarship and eventual degree in English and French education so I could take literature and writing courses without standing up to my mother.

This wasn’t because I respected her opinion. It’s because I liked so many things—all labeled “impractical”—that nothing stood out. Also, I hadn’t proved my brilliance in any of these areas because I was a dabbler. I didn’t have the confidence to stand my ground on sands that constantly shifted.

Turns out there are names for this all-over-the-place nature. Author Barbara Sher calls it “scanning,” and there are other descriptors such as “Renaissance person.”

I later got a master’s in library science and eventually got into marketing research and marketing communications in the insurance and mutual fund industries.

Retirement as it is supposed to be

Retirement is supposed to be when you pick out the one special interest that makes your heart beat faster and go all in, or at least as far in as arthritic knees allow. It’s when you dive into the special interest you have put on the back burner all these years.

I have no unexplored interests

Over the years I have read widely and attempted musical instruments and tutored ESL and exercised and taken classes and lunched with friends and gardened and held offices in volunteer organizations and fund-raised and campaigned for political causes. I have many interests that I can continue to pursue as my part-time job permits.

Then there is travel, supposedly the great love of the retired. I don’t care all that much for travel, though I enjoy visiting relatives in the continental U.S. and a winter’s week in a warm locale. I have no reason to structure my entire life specifically to maximize travel. Furthermore, it would be too expensive and the cost would negatively impact the rest of my life.

A part-time job is just right for me. I don’t feel like I am done with employment despite my age. Not only does work provide me with welcome money, but it also helps curb my spending on activities to fill up my days.

I have no bucket list.

I always wanted to write a book. I have. (Real Skills, Real Income: A Proven Marketing System to Land Well-Paid Freelance and Consulting Work in 30 Days or Less)

This blog is a high priority in my life though it is unmonetized and is a mixed bag subject-wise with no great mission to fulfill. I plan to keep at it but will relax the pressure I was putting on myself to meet an unnecessarily intense schedule.

I like my job and maybe some day it will lead me to other challenges, but expecting it to meet some grand passion doesn’t work for me.

What I have is working just fine.


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Filed under: getting a job

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