Hello. This is my first blog
A Boomer’s Blog
For the first time in almost five years since I left my job in education, I am excited about not finding BUT creating for my self another job.
It’s been a funny ( not haha) week as someone I know from exercise class was downsized. She’s a boomer too and as she struggles to find a new job, I can recall how I felt / feel about not working.
At first, I was hopeful and sent out resumes. I followed up leads, used my former contacts, friends and colleagues from faculties, and really kept up sending out resumes , knocking away at those proverbial computer doors.
For the most part, I didn’t know what to do with the hours in the day. I had always multitasked: even doing a doctorate while working full time when I was a teacher and bringing up three wonderful kids. I worked in the evenings, took courses in the summer and when I could find a crack in my real world schedule as a teacher years ago. When I moved to the College of Teachers, I was a valued employee whose work, books, presentations, great ideas and contributions to the profession along with published journal articles and two books demonstrated my commitment to task.
Leaving OCT was hard. So I knew what my exercise friend was experiencing. Some people are better able to build a new life, find new friends, even locate the new better and more perfect job. My friend can barely get out of bed. My advice was to walk. Get out of the house and walk. Make sure you have appointments and places to be. She wants to pull the covers over her head. Barely two months and she knows what the writing on the wall is telling her.
Part of the problem is that she is also a boomer. That translates into “old, been there, done that” and even though she wears fabulous Manolo Blahnik shoes, strides with a bounce in her step, goes to rock concerts and is conversant with blackberries and all things that belong to the 21st century, she, like I are, no longer young.
And unlike cultures that value mature citizens, our world sees us as the dinosaurs of the day. At least in the minds of the hirers. Just think of who works at Google. Maybe some CEOs are stretching towards 40, but few are straggling 60. ( yikes. Even as I write “60”, I kinda freak…)
Which brings me back to me.
Over those four or five years, I have had occasional jobs. I helped develop the standards at another College and do their Implementation strategies. I’ve written several travel articles and was even sent to Nevada for 10 days with real journalists. I swear my writing is as good as whatever you will read in The Star or the Globe. I’ve even ( repeatedly) sent perfectly worded requests for interviews to local community newspapers. I can write about child rearing, cultural exhibits, restaurants, things in the news or the umpteen places I’ve been as well as anyone. I’m literate. I can be funny. I know the jargon.
But, when last week I read a story in The Star about Pom Pom Camp in Botswana ,my heart seized: because I had submitted one so similar and yet mine must have landed in the shredder. ( I’ll let you decide in an later offering, what you think about my travel narratives such as buying silk in Thailand ,etc.)
I’ve had a few lunches where I have been chatted up for possible jobs. Almost in every case, I’ve been so helpful, so willing to get something going that I wound up working for free. One woman didn’t know how to download , cut and paste a project and refused to pay me. Others have asked to have me critique their powerpoints or their business plans, and in hopes this is a test run or maybe just a demonstration of my abilities, I’ve done it. I’ve just been glad to be asked and treated as a person with knowledge and skills to be shared. Yah, I know, that’s my problem. My own loss of confidence and desire to prove I can still dazzle. But let me tell you, not working makes a person vulnerable to self – doubt.
My daughter, a very wise woman says if you’ll work for free, why would anyone pay you. The old why buy the cow, if you can get the milk for free. So she suggested I self publish and write for myself.
Hey, didn’t Julie Powell turn her cooking of Julia Child’s recipes into a self satisfying endeavor?
So here I go. This is my first article and so far, you know a bit about me. Maybe I’m still pandering as I hope someone will read my words, have a laugh or smile, and have some insight into the mind of one boomer.