Who am I? That’s a good question. I’m a creative, intuitive, playful, happy post middle-aged (resisting elderly with all my might) woman. I love to read, learn, and explore new things. I enjoy making art and crafting, or more accurately, I enjoy learning new materials, techniques and mediums and once I’ve mastered them to my satisfaction I’m ready for something new. I’m a pet owner, animal lover, cat box cleaner, plant tender, and hummingbird watcher. There are skills I would love to be good at but not enough to actually devote the time and effort to master them; hand lettering, watercolor painting (oops, started this one), calligraphy, any musical instrument. When these skills are available by direct-to-the-brain download I’m in.
It took me a long time to embrace retirement and some would say I still haven’t managed it. I do work, sort of. I have a select few clients that I do virtual assistant work for. I set my own schedule and as long as I deliver what is needed when it’s needed, how I do it is completely up to me. I get to play with cool software that I don’t have to own which satisfies my love of learning and puzzles. My clients are my friends and I don’t have to deal with idiots, assholes, or any of the other annoying types that populate the more traditional halls of commerce.
In one of my many former lives, I discovered a talent for public speaking (who knew?) and I still love addressing an audience. I always had a bottle of bubbles with me and would blow bubbles anywhere, any time, at the slightest provocation. I still occasionally run across a bottle of bubbles in an unexplored pocket or infrequently used purse, Sadly, here in Arizona, the humidity is too low to make good bubbles. I may switch to confetti.
If we focus only on jobs, titles, and businesses, this graphic will give you a little taste of who I’ve been. I typed them all up one day and the list, single-spaced was over a full page long. You might think I’ve had a little trouble deciding what I want to be when I grow up. You’d be right, except for the growing up part – that’s not going to happen. The figuring out what I wanted to be was always the challenge. Until recently, when I realized that HOW I want to be is a much more important question.
What’s my story? To quote from a song lyric; it’s a “long and winding road”. Or maybe “what a long, strange trip it’s been” would be more appropriate. I remember being almost desperate to learn to read. I would bug my mother to tell me what the white squiggles on the top of my Hostess Cupcake said. Once I started reading I never stopped. If there was any way I could support myself and my household menagerie by sitting in my recliner reading I wouldn’t have had to run through the 41 jobs, positions and business that lay strewn along my path. But then I would have missed out on a lot of interesting adventures.
My first paying job was in a printing plant when I was 15. We printed “dirty” books and distributed “obscene” magazines by mail order. You can pick up many more graphic publications in your local convenience store now, but back then this was edgy stuff. The work was fun and interesting. Stripping up page layouts, making printing plates (loved the smell of plate developer), collating books, operating mailroom equipment. Lots of variety and new things to learn. A few jobs in retail sales followed; wigs, hairpieces, women’s clothes. Not a viable career path for me, too routine, too boring, and way too much time on my feet. My first encounter with computers was in a pharmacy in 1970 and it was love at first sight. A brief stint operating an injection molding machine led, improbably, to my corporate career which spanned 20-some years. A little consulting, a few failed attempts at self-employment, some temp work, and a 10-year stint as a contract administrator filled the time before I found the flamingos. Or did they find me?
Give me a few glasses of champagne or a Rusty Nail Slushie (my own recipe) and I will regale you with stories of how I got into the flamingo business, how I left California and ended up in Sun City Arizona, why I wear a blue streak in my hair and any number of other adventures I’ve been lucky enough to have.