Hello from a Swingin’ Swanky Pad!
Don’t let that salutation fool you, Prez and me have not jetted off to some exotic island, nor have we won the lottery. Thanks to a tennis buddy, we lined up an out-of-town job in Kelowna and scored his luxury hilltop home as a place to hang our hard hats during our stay. (Thanks, Brian!).
Work. This is what has been on my mind lately, mostly because I’ve been doing a lot of it. Remember that long ago post wherein I bemoaned the boredom of my hiatus? The pendulum has now swung completely the other way.
The Kootenay Literary Competition has launched and I, as chair of the organizing committee, now have to pay the piper for all those grandiose plans I conceived back in the hiatus days. The piper, as it turns out, does not take credit or offer a layaway plan.
Joining the piper is that fickle bastard, Fate, who decided to thrust the decision to indie publish my and Josh’s novel upon me at exactly the same time my literary competition to-do list was nearing triple digits. So, I am chairing a non-profit organization, running a large annual event, learning to publish, coordinating cover and print designers, and marketing a novel, all at the same time.
But that just seemed too easy.
Enter, “real” work. The problem with being really good at what you do and charging reasonable rates for your work is that people tell other people about you and then those people want to hire you. And if one of those people has a big renovation job that will make you enough money to buy much-needed winter tires, with enough left over to fund your wife’s indie-publishing venture and pay all your bills for a few months, but it’s too big a job for one person? Strap on your tool belt Hemingway, it’s time to support your writing habit.
My days, until at least Oct.4th if not longer, begin at 6am and go full throttle until at least 10pm. Somewhere in these fourteen hour work days, I manage to eat and breathe, and sneak in a Coconut Chronicle on my lunch break, (See also: masochist, Don’t forget I am a).
Yes, I am exhausted but I am also invigorated, if that makes sense.
First, “real” work reminds me of just how much I love my other job and reconfirms the career path that sometimes seems crazier than Charlie Sheen on a coke bender.
Second, each of the jobs I do are as rewarding as they are tiring. Construction work buys me writing time, eases financial stress, and gives me great fodder for future stories (I mentally steal huge chunks of dialogue every time I eavesdrop on fellow contractors). Plus, sometimes there is smashing involved and I really, really love to smash things. Volunteering for the literary competition means I get to help inspire writers to create new work. And writing, well, I would probably pay for the privilege of spending time in my imaginary worlds.
Last of all, looking at the state of the world, I feel immensely lucky to have any work at all, let alone work that fulfills me on so many levels. Sure, laying tile may not be as meaningful as healing the sick or feeding the poor but it is creation, and knowing that what Prez and I do will be enjoyed by our client for years ahead is just kind of darn cool. The older I get, the more I believe that life is mostly perception. You can complain about waking up to work every day, or you can be thankful to have to work, to have purpose, to have something to offer the world, no matter how large or small.
Oh, and I almost forgot, sometimes work throws some extra unexpected rewards your way. Thanks to the location of this job, I was able to meet my half-sister April for the very first time.
We were also in the neighbourhood to visit the newly-homed Miller family.
Then, yesterday, we came back to the swingin’, swanky pad to find the proof of the novel had arrived.
Exhausted? Yes. Happy? Yes. Thankful? You bet.
Until next time, I hope this finds you healthy, happy & lovin’ life!