Saturday, November 24, 2012

Dodging Bullets, Jumping on Handgrenades, Etc.

Well, it has been a while.

I've been pretty much still working 7 days a week, day job and side jobs on nights and weekends to try to make enough money to pay off the IRS. (On a side note, an "Our Life in Christ" listener sent me a very generous "thank you for what you did for me" that put a significant dent in the IRS ding. I'm still flabbergasted and grateful.)

A couple weeks ago our school district "riffed" about 1/3 of the office staff and some teachers. The Superintendent called an impromptu meeting one afternoon because the cat had gotten out of the bag and he told everyone the rumors were true and within 48 hours we would each know if we had a job or not. It really didn't bother me because I had six jobs lined up that I couldn't get to. But, I didn't get laid off. So I called the waiting clients and told them I wouldn't be able to do their jobs. There were just too many jobs and not enough hours in a week or weekends in a month for everyone. This weekend I'm finishing up a big painting project I've been working on every weekend for 8 weeks that should pay off the IRS (or get me REALLY close to it.)

After the dust settled from the layoffs I talked to the Principal of my school and told her that I knew sooner or later, with all the layoffs, that new positions would come open as things progressed. I told her that, at my age, this is not a "Career" for me, I'm way past needing a title, a new business card and a small raise to validate myself. I like what I do, I like having a finger in the pies of curriculum, technology, special education, marketing and staff development but I don't want to run any of it. So basically I'm willing to help out, be on committees and "teams" but I'm not looking for a promotion or a raise especially since I can make what they would give me in a annual salary raise in a couple weeks in the summer. It is nice to have freedom from ego and financial need. She was very understanding and grateful for the conversation.

We took "Thanksgiving" to my parents' house so we wouldn't have to go to the Casino again for Thanksgiving supper.  It was a gift this year.  Every time I visit my parents they look older and weaker.  It used to be years or months between visits, now it is weeks and the changes are obvious.
They put in one of those "staircase chair escalators" for my Mom. I've been trying to talk them into it for a year and they finally did it.  They said, "We're not moving out of this house..." I think they are facing their realities and limitations squarely now. 

So, all in all, life is going on.  When I get home from work sometimes I think, "Hm, maybe I'll record a 'Steve the Builder' podcast"... but I never do.  Maybe some day I will again.  But it's just not a "career" for me and I'm way past needing to talk or be heard these days.  But on the other hand, I still have some latent Protestant guilt for not "fulfilling my ministry" (the parable of the talents thing, you know)...  And frankly, I'm not sure if that is real or not, the jury is still out.

Oh, and the other thing that has happened, and I'll probably write about it later, is the Wifey and I are "Empty Nesters" now.  At age 60, our last one flew the coop.  It is a strange life now.  More on that later.

Thanks for checking in.  Not much Pith here, but it's late, it's been a long day/week/month/year/life.


LysistratasDaughter said...

Thanks for updating! I've missed your posts.

elizabeth said...

this is a busy intense time for you; thanking God for the gift you were given in that IRS dent... God be with you.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see you back, we were gettin' worried.

Drewster2000 said...

I've been praying for you and that IRS dent. Your daily life carries plenty of pith; it's not something you have to produce for us. Thanks for the update.

James the Thickheaded said...

When the pith gets to thick, wear your pith helmet. "Tally ho and all that!"