Many of you have been aware that one of my sons died from pancreatic cancer June 9, 2015. It has been a painful, yet incredible learning experience walking hand-in-hand with Grief who will be with me for the rest of my life.
Busyness was my constant companion, a way to cope with my loss. I felt the deepest need to rid my life of so much materialism, nothing – no thing – held meaning for me anymore. I did not need nor find knickknacks enjoyable; thus began the journey to unclutter my existence.
Becoming organized was the next step of uncluttering my life. I hoarded old paperwork, bank statements, tax returns, etc.. I had boxes and boxes of dusty, old paperwork which I sorted through and digitized the truly important papers prior to shredding. Shredding took several months to finalize.
When busyness of my self-induced projects was coming to an end, I began to wonder about the purpose of my life, “what’s left to do, what’s my purpose.” My children were grown. My grandchildren live in different States or countries. I have not held a “regular” job in ten years while concentrating on working from home in various capacities, none of which sufficed as steady, viable income sources.
I decided to reconstruct my résumé and jump back into the working world again with great apprehension. You see, at 62 yrs. of age, the competition would be staggering. I thought about applying for a State position in a clerical capacity but remembered all the politics and personalities and back-stabbing that went on in past office positions. No. I’m on the other side of the hill of life, I do not need to prove anything nor add senseless worries to my life. I wanted to work for the sake of working while bringing in a little spending money, tagged for paying my damn health insurance.
Before choosing to freelance from home, ten years ago, I had applied for and was hired to be a Receptionist for a C.P.A. firm. It was a small office, one C.P.A. with a junior C.P.A. as his backup assistant. The people were pleasant enough but my problem was chronic back troubles.
What would back troubles have to do with clerical work? Well… included in my clerical duties, I was to wash the floors every day as well as the restroom and my work station was low to the floor with a most uncomfortable chair. Needless to say, I did not last a week at that job.
The next attempt at working in the real-world was to become a cashier at a CVS drug store. As I mentioned earlier, I wanted a simple job without the stress of my past position as Finance Manager. Anyway, I enjoyed being a cashier, until it was my night to close the store while the Manager reviewed the day’s transactions in his office. “Closing” the store meant that I, or any other cashier who was scheduled for the closing shift, was to vacuum the entire store, wash the main entry floor (mop and bucket) AND scrub down the men’s and women’s restrooms. My back gave out, there was no floor drain to dump the bucket and I had to lift the huge bucket into a utility sink to drain it. I had to quit that job after a short time.
One more effort was when I was hired by Walmart to work in their bakery as a cake decorator. During the interview, I told the Department Manager that I don’t know how to professionally decorate a cake and she saw that as no problem.
I was happy with my little job as cake decorator until my back began hurting because, after my shift ended, I was to mop up the floor in the entire bakery section (at least I didn’t have to scrub the public restrooms!) But, the kicker came when I woke up on Easter morning, scheduled to work, and I could NOT move my hands. Not AT ALL!! I could not hold my morning cup of coffee, the pain in my hands/wrists were beyond any pain I had ever felt in them before – even when I was first diagnosed with minor carpal tunnel syndrome.
I asked my husband to dial the phone as I called the store trying to explain my predicament – I could not work that day or in that position due to medical problems. As such, I am now black-listed from ever working at any Walmart because after bag-frosting hundreds of cupcakes and cakes, my hands could not do the job anymore, not to mention my back pain from bucket-scrubbing the floor. Oh well, thanks Walmart, for being so uncaring by not offering me another position which my body could handle.
My conclusion of working any type of position in Oklahoma must always include scrubbing floors, toilets and vacuuming.
So, back to now and finding my purpose in life. With all of my clearing out unneeded material things and organizing our important papers, and realizing the impossibility of finding work outside of home, I decided to give transcription work another shot and am so glad I went in that direction.
Having been trained to play the piano beginning at six years of age through my 16th birthday, my piano teacher said there was nothing more she could teach me. I could read and play the most complicated classical music upon first glance. Problem was, I never memorized the music. Pull the sheet music away and I was lucky to play chopsticks. I think that was some kind of mental-block. However, playing piano developed my brain/fingers’ coordination and my short, stubby fingers were blazing fast and accurate which carried over to when I aced high school typing courses.
My first job as Private Secretary (a very dated term) were heavy with typing and transcribing audio. I enjoyed being a secretary because I was good at it and did not have to scrub floors, toilets or vacuum the offices and back in those days, I was not aware of office politics, people seemed to work as a team and developed true friendships.
Today, I feel as though I have found a purpose for my daily life, i.e., working in some fashion for pay, my spirit has been lifted. And, subconsciously, I have found my way back to enjoying the simple things of life, one of which is having the radio – music – on all day.
Music has always been a part of my life. My father was a professional musician. My children were raised with music playing in the background of their lives. They still have music playing in the background of their lives.
Mikey’s wife told me that one of the first things he did when he came home from work was turn on the radio. Wherever his spirit is now, I hope it is filled with background music, for I believe music is the language of the soul and can transcend any language barriers. Music touches the heart and soul of all of us.