“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.