Posted by: doras_explorations | October 5, 2008

“Real Job” and “Passion”…Not One and the Same for Me (Yet!)


      My readers may have noticed that my “Cane of the Week” feature has slowed to a cane about every three or four weeks, [sigh].  Why?  Last month, I took on a temporary full time job in an elementary school as a speech and language pathologist.  It’s a familiar role for me, since in my former life I worked in this capacity for 28 years.  I retired in December 2005, ready to conquer the world of arts, crafts, and e-Bay.  At the same time, my house would become clean and impeccably organized, and home cooked dinners would be the rule rather than the exception.


    Who was I kidding????  The first six months of my retirement was spent reveling in the fact that I didn’t have to drag myself to work every morning and attempt to keep up with a workload that was really meant for at least 2 people.  I learned how to sell stuff on e-Bay, and I took over the vegetable garden from my husband.  I did a little beadwork, a little polymer clay, and a little (very little!) ‘gourmet’ cooking.  Housework, forget it….redecorating, none.  My visits to the gym went up only slightly. My website never materialized.  In the fall of 2006, a speech pathologist colleague of mine mentioned that her school department was looking for someone to fill in for another speech pathologist who was on maternity leave.  The $ was good, too.  At that time, I was starting to get really nervous about the major work needed on our house….especially a new roof, since the old one was leaking like sieve.  So I took the job, and trudged off to work for the next 3 months.  The working conditions were a lot better than I was used to in my former school system, but by the time the assignment was over, I was more than ready to resume my retirement.  This time I vowed to make better use of my ‘free’ time and become more productive.
As you can probably guess, I didn’t accomplish a whole lot in the next 2 years, at least not what I thought I ‘should’ accomplish.  2007 came and went.  I continued to do a little of this and a little of that, and a lot of not very much.  I was not very happy with myself.  Then, this past June, I started this blog.  I was pleasantly surprised that people were actually visiting it.  I bought a Nikon digital camera, and started taking photos of canes in progress.  It was a lot of work, but I found I really enjoyed developing tutorials.  There was no $ in it, but I figured that it was good ‘training’, and who knows what it would lead to?     Meanwhile, the price of gas skyrocketed, our electric bill went up 21%, the clothes dryer died, and life in general had become more difficult and expensive.  My pension is good, but it’s not that good.   As fate would have it, I got the opportunity to work again in the same school deptarment where I had substituted 2 years ago.  So, now I’m getting up at 5:30AM and returning home at 4:30PM.  The workload this time around is heavier due to budget cuts in personnel, and the workday is 1/2 hour longer.  I come home totally exhausted, and spend my weekends catching up on various errands and chores. 


  Fortunately, I will be finished with this ‘real job’ by Thanksgiving.  By ‘real job’,of course, I mean the one that pays the bills.   In an ideal world, one’s ‘real job’ and one’s ‘passion’ would be one and the same, but unfortunately that is not my situation, nor is it the situation for most people.  Those folks who can make a living doing what they love are fortunate indeed!  So, for the time being, I will try to squeeze out a few more Canes of the Week as my time and energy allow, and hope my readers will bear with me.  I do have my next cane project rolling around in my head, and next week is Columbus Day weekend, so with any luck, I will get it posted sometime next week !












  1. Hi Dora,
    I can relate to so much of what you’ve shared in your post about your life. The getting up and going to work everyday to pay the bills part, the dreams and wishes of all that I hope to accomplish in my free time part and the overwhelming feeling I get when I do have a whole day free stretched out in front of me and the expectations I put on myself to “get something done”. All that said, it sounds to me like you are making small steps forward towards finding your true passions. As challenging as your job assignment is right now, you will be able to fix up your house plus be so fabulously happy when Thanksgiving time rolls around and you won’t have to go to that job anymore. Then it will be happy caning!

  2. Karen, I am already counting the days until this job is over…Right now I’m in ‘working stiff mode’:get up, drive to work, work all day, come home. Repeat 4 more times til the weekend….
    I am so looking forward to when I can focus on my art again!

  3. Thank you Dora for sharing your story! Just imagine how grateful you will feel in a few weeks when you get to try out the retirement thing again! Maybe one day you’ll be able to make an income off your passion! That way you won’t need to go back to a difficult and exhausting job, should you ever need to again!

  4. Cindy, thanks for the kind words and encouragement. This job has certainly made me appreciate how wonderful retirement is, LOL !

  5. Hi Dora – thanks for sharing and keeping us posted. I REALLY look forward to seeing your next cane when you have time to do one of your great tutorials!!

    Take care!

  6. Thanks, Elsie, I’m hoping to get my next ‘cane of the week’ posted by Monday…I have a long weekend (finally!!!) so I’ll have extra time to work on it !

  7. I can totally relate to the work thing. I am caught in a similar loop. not retired, but trying to make a go of art and getting pulled back into the day job.

    You inspire me. Therefore I have tagged you. It is not a complicated tag…. just six things that make you happy.
    Please don’t feel you have to join in.

  8. I’m glad I inspired you, Joni ! I hope you will be able to exit the ‘day job’ soon and do what you enjoy !

  9. Morning, I’m new to polymer clay and I have been living on the web learning all I can. I came across your website last night. I LOVE IT. You are so talented and a LOVE that you share each step. I plan on retiring in 5 years and I have the same worries and expectations as you. Just wanted to take the time to THANK YOU.

    • Thanks for your kind words about my blog !!! I wish you well on your future retirement. Meanwhile, enjoy working with polymer clay. There is a wealth of information out there………….a lot of it free. Facebook, for example, has many pages/groups dedicated to polymer clay and polymer clay enthusiasts, and you will also find a lot of great info on You Tube.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: