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June 10, 2021: Rejecting Decline

I sent my sister Eleanor a recent photo of one of the book distribution stations in an email and joked that if I’m not careful, this could become a real job. She replied, saying that “I can’t turn the project into a job, I’m old enough to retire.”

This was yesterday. I have since been mulling over her very astute statement. Of course, what she said was in jest. This I understand. But behind every joke is a half-truth.

My sister sees me as being older than I think I am. This may be because she lives in the real world, where age-related values are commonplace. I live in a not-so-real world, where age related values are rare. I try not to make them, but then I am the exception.

The truth be known, yes, I am chronologically old enough to retire. But in all other ways, I am not. The Bright Lights Book Project is mentally and physically taxing, but no more so that if I was in my twenties. It’s a job that requires a literary breadth of knowledge, which I would not have had back then. It also requires a certain amount of

Alys at the Vagabond Blues Bookcase

diplomacy and tact. I had none then. I have a little bit now. Little is better than none.

As far as the physical end of things goes – I routinely shlepp around heavy boxes of books and do quite a bit of heavy lifting. I am going to start moving less weighty loads because I don’t think that this is good for me.

I had a shoulder injury – it seems to have healed.

I do at times wish it was a paying job, but I suspect that this won’t happen because I would, by the heads of supporting organizations, be seen as retirement fodder.

The Bright Lights Book Project is one example. Another is my horsey interests. Horse-related internships go to those who are in their twenties, because they are seen as being at the beginning and not the end of their careers. And I suspect that the same holds true of Centered Riding instructors – the youngers are the ones who most easily make their way up the ranks. The elders make these determinations, based in part on their own aches and pains.

Oh yeah, and there was this cute guy working the counter at a local restaurant. And I thought, hmm, if I were younger and he were older, we’d flirt.

It is appearing to me that I am experiencing ageism. It’s there, we all just don’t talk about it. What to do? I have two options. I can ignore it. Or I can confront it head on. Right now, I don’t know what to do. Most likely I’ll start pointing it out to people when I take note of it.

Retirement. My attitude might be different if I’d had a real job the past twenty years. I am not job weary. This is making all the difference in the world.

Next: 161. 6/11/21: Milking Swamp Thing, the Goat

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