Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Ordinary Order

Until recently, my work was generally creative in nature. I was an applications programmer for decades, and while that meant that the end purpose of my creativity was generally chosen by others, within my work there was ample opportunity for creating newer, better and satisfying arrangements of code, visual design and documentation.
The work at WSBA afforded even more opportunity for creativity, since they had neglected whole segments of service .... a little too much opportunity, it seems, for the IT Department, shamed at yet another failure of theirs that I had warned of, eliminated my position (and continued their career of expensive failure.)
I learned then, at age 50, on the street, the creative opportunity of starting over. Ageism is a thing and its only comfort is the sure knowledge that the young managers who are afraid to hire someone older than themselves will one day meet it themselves. Fortunately I put together a business that by hook and crook covered my expenses ... until Kris decided she loved alcohol more than me and I had to start covering the mortgage alone.
As a stopgap, I turned to one institution that by law is blind to grey hair, and am now working for the government being a cog. I enjoy serving the people who call for help; it's satisfying when I can get them WHT they need and when I cannot at least there is the consolation of providing dignified and respectful service.
But it's not creative. By design, and appropriately so, it is highly, highly regulated. It is perhaps the most ordered environment I have ever experienced, and that in itself is an experience.
This orderliness leaks over into the rest of life. I now have only a certain segment of free time between work sessions and to this rigidity must adapt, for a while at least. I ask myself: Is this how most people live? 
"ORDINARY" comes from the Latin "ordo" meaning rule, regulation or structure. Ordinary life was originally that according to a set of rules, only later coming to mean unexceptional or typical. This new ordinary for me appears to be the rule for most.
I may have missed a lot of opportunity for understanding by not experiencing the non-creative life. I might never have understood this until compelled to experience it. This is wonderful! It's always something new around, even when it is the ordinary.

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