Recently, I was taking a short break at the bus loop. There was still a few minutes left until I had to to pull my bus around and up to the stop. I was flipping through a discarded newspaper and decided to check out my horoscope. (Sometimes I’ll check out a few different ones so I can choose the one I like best.)
This one said simply,
Imagine being in the middle of a rat race, and feeling out of sync. If this is your reality, it’s time to change things.
I glanced out the jostling crowd waiting for me at the stop and the snarl of traffic I was about to plunge into. Sigh….
I tossed the paper aside and randomly opened up another one. “The Joys of Funemployment” teased the headline. It was an article about how some casualties of the crumbling economy are turning lost jobs and unemployment lines into a time of career reassessment and creation of creative businesses – a combination of work and fun: telecom employee to graphic designer, sales manger to jeweler, school administrator to baker. Funemployment.
What would I do if I were to stop working to pay the bills to work at something… fun?
I remember having a run-away-from-home impulse when I saw a hand-lettered sign in the window of the bakery on Granville Island. Wanted: Baker’s helper. It was an all night shift. I’d most likely spend my time hefting huge bags of flour, and cleaning impossibly doughy equipment, but it still sounded like fun. At home, I’ll often bake bread as way to relax. There’s a magic to how a crusty loaf comes together and a special ambience to a workspace dusty with flour and cornmeal.
I’m sure that’s also why my heart (but not my brain) brought me back several times to the ad for the small bakery for sale in the Kootenays – way out at the far end of a road that didn’t really go anywhere else other than the edge of the lake. I always wondered if people drove all the way out there to get their bread warm out of the oven, or if the loaves were delivered to town in an ancient bread truck with the Keep on Truckin’ guy painted on the side.
I thought back to some of the appealing, but off-the-wall, opportunites that have trotted in front of me in the past. There was the time that they were looking for a radio operator for an oceanographic ship mapping off the west coast of Africa. Or the RV tour company wanting campground hosts in Mexico. I’ve thought about being a special effects artist (Ray Harryhausen was my hero when I was in high school), a farrier, a writer of film scores, and restorer of old theatre pipe organs. I’ve considered being a photographer, working as a stained glass artist, and making custom convertible tops for trucks and boats. And that’s just a small portion of my list.
I’m going to start watching out for new ideas and opportunities and this time actually consider them as something I could really do instead of rejecting them out-of-hand as impractical and a shaky career move. Heck, I’ve already done the shaky thing, so I’m free to move out a bit more. Sure, the day-to-day reality might not be exactly what I imagined but I’ve run into a lot of people who are thriving by doing what they love.
* * *
Today I checked my horoscope again. It said,
You’re oozing with brilliant ideas lately. Instead of talking about them, act on them.
I must be on the right track.