Identify what is most important )0( Eliminate everything else
The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong with the world. Dr. Paul Farmer
The suffering of others is not alleviated when no one knows about it.
There is no one right way to live. Daniel Quinn Ishmael
The only thing that you need to start an asylum is an empty room and the right sort of people.
We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be. Kurt Vonnegut

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


This is the beginning of five weeks off from all of my volunteer gigs.  In the middle of this time I will be training for the certification that will help me with the whole job thing.  There is not any guarantee or even any leads to jobs, but this area is relatively new and agencies and services are in need of certified specialists.

I have a few places in nearby cities where I would love to work.  Some here in town, too, but there are not any openings.  Those jobs have recently been filled with great people, and unless they decide to move on, the likelihood of a local job is nearly nonexistent.

So, I had better find a job soon after certification testing in October so that I can keep the car so that I have a car when I find a job.  If I find a job.  This could totally not work out, so it is kind of interesting and nice that I am willing to put all that money and time and a ton of hope and heart into doing this.

Should this be a fail, it is not all failure, because I will be able to use what I learn in the volunteer work I am already doing.  As for my volunteer gigs, that is changing in the fall.

I will still be working with people for résumés, job hunting and all of the social services resources.  That continues until I am no longer able to get over there and work.  If all of this results in a job, it is simple to change and schedule the library days around any work schedule, even a random one.  It is a very flexible gig.

I will not be returning to the state gig.  We had discussed doing that for the fall, but I am not a good fit there.  There are core differences in how they do the work and how I do the work.  The woman who runs that division is supportive, but she keeps trying to alter, bit-by-bit, my process.  I am not that malleable, and whilst it can be amusing when it is not annoying, it is not fair to allow her to believe that I will ever do everything exactly the way she would like.  Their process is significantly less personal than mine, which is fine and appropriate given the literal hoards of people they serve.

Me?  I am just a single person with almost unlimited time to settle down with someone, use time to work through their crap and eventually get down to work.  A room of thirty needy job seekers does not support the ability for a half-dozen staff members to hunker down and spend lots of time with any one person.  They do an amazing job with the resources they have.  Truly, among state agencies around the country, they are the best.  They do a superior job and most states would love to have the program development we have here.  But, it is not a good match for me, and I prefer to remain friends and associates with them.

I most likely will not be returning to mentoring.  My mentee no longer needs me like she did when we began.  We continue because we like each other.  We talk, make art, discuss books and generally just hang out.  I am not sure how, or if, I will end this relationship.  Maybe I will feel that missing her is not worth it, and we will continue as before.  I just do not know.  What I do know, is now that she no longer needs my help, I am not interested in starting with a new student.  The need for mentors is great.  There are ten students needing help for every available mentor.  Even now I feel badly about this.  The decision does not need to be made for several months.  That is for the best, I think.

I will not be continuing with the two older women for whom I provide friendship and social contact.  One of them has moved into a nursing home.  Her health has become more and more delicate and I am sorry to lose contact with her.  The second woman is in the process of moving to another state to live closer to some of her family.  There are three separate parts of the country to consider, and that is going to take her some time. 

She and I are spending a day together this week.  I promised that it would be the day-long excursion that she likes so much.  There will be lunch, then shopping.  Then shopping.  Followed by shopping. More shopping.  All during the shopping she will be talking to people, engaging them in conversation.  Store clerks, security guards, strangers, but most especially the people who work at the cell phone kiosks at the mall.  She may miss an inline store or two, but not a single kiosk will escape her smiling face, her kind and generous nature and her gift of gab.  After a day with her, I cannot help but feel that most of those people come through a little happier, lighter in spirit and maybe even feeling a little more loved because she stopped to ask about phone service (She has a cell phone, but has been unable to find exactly the one that works for her.), and stayed to chat.  I do not know, maybe they feel inconvenienced by her, but she is one charming little old babe and it is a pleasure to accompany her on those days. 

The day ends with dinner, but not before 9:00 p.m.  Some nice food, more conversation and then talking all the way home from that city and a bit more in her driveway.  These long days are infrequent, or at least not as frequent as she would like, but they are exhausting and I try to engage her in other activities most of the time.  Once a month is just about all my body and budget can handle.

I am planning on continuing with two support groups.  I have been asked to start a support group for combined issues, and I am considering it.  Not anytime soon, but, maybe.

I want to be able to spend more time with my daughter and all the boys.  If I get a job in the part of the state where she lives, she would like me to move there.  I would like that as well, but the bulk of my work is here.  I am so conflicted.  My grandsons are growing up so quickly.  Living this far away means that I am missing so many daily and weekly things.  Time keeps on slipping, slipping, sliding and skipping into the future.  More conflicted thoughts, wants and needs.

What else.  I would like to get back to some kind of regular art.  It has been so long that doing anything like that is gone.  I might not be able to find my way back.  I have been invited to participate in a large, public exhibit event next summer.  To do that means making stuff.  Conflicted.

I am not making any true plans, but it is important to consider all of the things I want to do now, here in this new life.  My choices are unlimited.  More importantly, they are my choices.  Yay.

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