Employed!

Funny that this should come right after my last post, on Waiting for Direction…

I’m spoiled, I know. I haven’t had to hold a permanent, paid job since I quit teaching with the birth of our first child. That “child” is now in her early 30s. I’ve been busy, mind you. On our income tax, I always list my occupation as “volunteer.”

I’ve volunteered in our daughters’ classrooms, as a docent at a wildlife refuge, for various mission organizations, as a Colorado Master Gardener, for our local chapter of the National Audubon Society, and at churches—rocking babies, in Sunday school classrooms, with youth groups, on mission committees, in kitchens, as administrative help, you name it and I’ve done it. Some of these positions have involved many hours a week for years at a time.

But the thing about volunteering is you don’t earn any money. Lots of heart-felt appreciation, mind you, but appreciation doesn’t pay the bills.

With our income so erratic, I’ve known for months that I need to find some sort of paying job. Now that I am no longer caring for an aging parent, I should have all that extra time on my hands, right? Surely I could put that time to good use.

The problem came as I realized that I had no idea what marketable skills I have, nor do I know who might benefit from them. Additionally, I only wanted to work part time—at least if we still wanted a reasonably tidy house, hot meals and clean clothes. My ideal job would allow me to work from home, have flexible hours, and involve some aspect of biology, photography, or writing. Dream on.

Not yet desperate enough to flip burgers, I considered signing up with a temp service. At least that way I could control which days I work, allowing me to continue to visit my grandkids, pursue my photography, and write my blogs. Yet, every time I tried to force myself to get dressed up, drive into town, and visit one of the local agencies, I got a strong sense of impending doom. Truly, doom. I just couldn’t do it!

Was I being lazy? Selfish? Was it fear of losing my carefree (hah) lifestyle—of being grown up and responsible? When I weighed the pros and cons, this seemed like a no-brainer. So where was the peace?

Naturally, I’d been praying. When I turned the puzzle over to God, my peace returned. But when I made plans to act, my stomach did cartwheels while my hands shook. So I procrastinated and felt guilty. For months.

Three days ago I got an email from another former master gardener. She and I have a lot in common—a passionate interest in gardening and photography, a love of teaching, writing skills, a desire to help others. We even go to the same church. So when I saw her name on the email, I quickly opened it and read…

I recently started working as an online advisor for Garden Compass, an online gardening app. We need another advisor in the Mountain States. I immediately thought of you. It’s work from home, plant, bug and disease ID. The base pay isn’t huge but it’s the same year around. If you’re interested give me a call….

Was I interested? Let’s see… work from home, part time, flexible hours, uses my horticultural knowledge, helps people…

The only downside is that she wasn’t exaggerating about the low pay.

Apparently she had given me an impressive recommendation, because I wasn’t even interviewed. Within 24 hours I was signed on and answering gardening questions. It all happened so quickly, I’m a bit stunned.

Of course, God knew this was going to happen. It sure beats handing out food samples at Costco!

 

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