Sunday, July 30, 2017

OLÉ! Hooray!

I took a job!

Why this should not be such shocking news:
  • I have always said I was unemployed, not retired
  • It’s not a job as in “regular job” which would confine me in the box of hours and location and desk. It’s a “gig,” but a long-term one.
But it’s not a gig, either. I’ve had contracts. Contracts are work you do and then move on. On a contract, you don’t say you’re with an organization. You don’t identify with it; you’re not paid – or authorized – to think beyond the job you’ve been asked to do. And finish. And move on.

I’ve written about my usual (previous Thirds) happy process of finding something that captures my interest and then a job emerges and then I fill it. But how in my Third Third, job-like things didn’t spark that interest and didn’t emerge. Art and travel and community efforts did. Jobs felt confining and limiting and would interfere with all the other interesting things I wanted to do. I gave up looking. I couldn’t face the box.
But I am not a good unemployed person, either:
  • Pretty sure I have some personal difficulty with an overdeveloped work ethic
  • Certain my sense of work ethic is still stuck on the equation of personal value with getting paid
  • Still suffer from identity crises which equate that work ethic with my role in the world
Obviously, just occupying my Third Third has not solved those thorny psychological issues: I am not a poster child for Just Have Fun. But every now and then I re-learn an important lesson: Patience, Things Work Out.

Which is why I am happily now in the perfect job for me!

I am the new staffperson for OLÉ, Opportunities for Lifelong Education in Anchorage. An all-volunteer group that has already grown to 383 members and will celebrate ten years on October 2, OLÉ provides courses, field trips, and engagement for the over-50 set. I have both taken and taught courses over the years and thoroughly appreciate the people who have made all this happen.

I’ll get to use my skills – part-time – in outreach and building partnerships, in supporting volunteers and ensuring sustainable operations, and in adding diversity to an organization. I like what they do, and they like what I can offer. Most of the hours in my days and days in my calendar are still my own. I can still do art and blog, still teach at the Literacy Program, still play.

But I also get to say, “I’m with OLÉ. Let me tell you more about it.”

It’s a perfect match!


  1. Perfect Match! OLE! and no bull!!

  2. Yes, a perfect match! I'm sorry I won't be around to see what wonders you come up with. Hoping there is a comparable outfit in Bozeman, where I am bound. Sure did enjoy the two Dangerous Writing classes I took with you, Barbara. Thank you and good luck!

  3. Congratulations! Look forward to hearing of your adventures in positive actions for making the world a better place.

  4. Thanks for reminding me of this resource. Now that I'm in one place long enough to take advantage, I should check the fall schedule. I found the spring one online, but not fall yet.

  5. B2, just read Wohlforth's piece in today's (1 Oct 2017) ADN talking with Gretchen and have to say she's wonderful! I can see how well you will fit in with the ethos of the group and its mission. You really found one of those ways to 'beat' that 'unemployed' problem of retiring and that's great.

    All the very best in your chosen 'work.


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