My Easter lilies are blooming in my little backyard flower garden. Yes, in July. One bloomed last October, too. Easter was early this year and the ground was still frozen so I completely understand why neither one bloomed then. At least they are in sync with each other now.
It catches my attention when normal strays from its predicable path. I find it fascinating for a moment but then I want things to get back in line and behave themselves.
I am still early enough in retirement that I am not settled on the definition of normal for this time in my life. Everything was new the first year but now we are seeing cycles and seasons repeat. Last summer at this time I was excited about our big trip out West. We are not planning any special travel this year so I have turned my attention to other activities.
Next year is the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation and I am hoping to join a special tour to Germany to celebrate that event. This will be a solo trip as there is only one interested party in this family. This summer I signed up with a temporary agency to earn some money to fund this little adventure.
The first job offered was five weeks of painting dorm rooms at a local college. I did not accept that opportunity. I vividly recall the physical effort it took to paint just three rooms when we prepared our house for sale and I knew I couldn’t manage that full-time for a month.
Another opportunity involved simple receptionist tasks. A week of doing nothing but answering the phone seemed reasonable and I was told to bring something to do between calls as it would be boring. I was surprised just how tiring it is to sit at desk all day and wait for the phone to ring. I averaged five calls during an eight hour day and had no computer or wireless access. I only had books and my e-reader.
I did take note of what the new hire would be doing to manage that office, however, and I realized that even though I was fully qualified to perform to expectations, I had no desire whatsoever to ever do that again. That spark apparently has been extinguished for good.
Like my garden Easter lilies blooming out of season, my experiences to date with being back in the workplace are out-of-the-norm. Whatever my normal is as a retiree, I want it back. I remember once having a card on my desk in my cubicle that urged me to “Bloom where you are planted.” My roots have taken hold in retirement and I sincerely hope that I can continue to grow them deeply in this enriching soil. Working short-term for a travel goal is tolerable but I am glad it is not a necessity at this time.