As One Door Closes, Another Door Opens

“We don’t use volunteers,” the supervisor of the VA support services unit told me, dismissing my interest in counseling returning veterans on college choices. Of course you don’t, I thought as I left the office and headed across Main Street to the courthouse. How could you protect yourself from whistleblowers?

I was still fuming when I went inside the county clerk’s office, took out twenty-five dollars, and handed it to the clerk to register to run for the county school board. I had to do something with myself, and it was the last day to register to be a candidate in the May primary. I had no plans for a campaign, or even a desire to campaign beyond going to speak at League of Women Voters events. I thought that might be fun, but I wasn’t going to invest money in a campaign for fear I would vest my ego as well.

That was three and one-half years ago. No one was more surprised than I was when, in May of 2018, I won the election. In fact, I had gone to bed early on election night and was a bit miffed when the phone woke me at 11:00 p.m. It was the local paper wanting a comment. “You get comments from losers?” I asked. “No.” The man’s voice didn’t conceal a slight chuckle. “You won.”

Now, via a virtual board meeting, I will tender my resignation—a year early. I have relocated out of state and can no longer remain active on the board. Actually, in another two weeks, I will begin a new position with the local health department, assisting seniors and minorities to register for COVID-19 vaccinations. Just as before, I have to do something with myself…something with purpose.

They say that age is a state of mind. My state of mind is anything but seventy-eight unless I am restricted to my house with nothing but daytime TV to occupy my time. I can take only so many virtual tours, listen to so many Great Courses, read so many books, and make so many crafts. Real life demands real hands-on purpose. I hope that I am transitioning from one very fulfilling job to another.

Published by Carole J. Garrison

I’m a conversationalist, an observer, a passionate participant in life. And now, in my later years, I’m a recorder of the lessons of my life through essays, stories, and novels. I live in the fourth moment of life, just outside the normal distribution of most people and it is from this place that I write.

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