After a drought of employment, I am now working three jobs. I am not sure how specific I should be here but they are:
1. Wildlife interpreter, guide, educator and canoe guide.
I have worked here, casually, for most of the three months I have been home. I am a laid back person I think, but to be clear, 'casual' means 'on-call' and the site hasn't called very often. I love the work and love the animals I see there and the work is usually meaningful enough and hugely enjoyable for me.
2. retail store clerk
I have worked for a well-known chain of stores in Ontario for two or three weeks now. They would give me more hours if I were available for them and it is the third job that prevents me from working more here. I have never used a cash register - I guess the modern version is POS device - and have a lot to learn. And I also have a lot to learn about the inventory. I am the new guy, the novice and I will be for a long time, especially as I don't work here often. My coworkers are great and offer as much help as they can. People need the product but as a beginner, I find myself hoping for easy orders. This is probably the most stressful of my jobs, even though the instant I leave it, the job is over - nothing follows me home.
3. Activity aide at a seniors' home
This is a new position for me and I will work nearly full time hours this summer at it. I am learning a lot and quickly but also I studied a similar subject -recreation studies - at university and the work is quite similar to planning classes for my university students so I am certain I will fit in pretty smoothly. My current position is entry level, or a little better. It is a good start, and since I have been out of Canada so long, I need to build Canadian experience before moving on. I will need to move on or up at the same employer relatively soon though.
None of these jobs are creative in the direct way that writing is. And yet, I was asked to make a pledge for school groups visiting the Wildlife centre and enjoyed working within the limits given. It felt a little like making a Haiku; short enough to be pithy and memorable but as filled with meaning as possible. And at the seniors' home, I am currently following the plans and activities made by people with greater experience but already have new ideas that I want to try. This isn't the creativity I wanted but creative challenges and need to make new things are indeed what I want.
I have carried my phone and a bluetooth keyboard everywhere I went for the nearly three months I have been home. And I have had so much free time where I could have been writing. And I did not write the stories I thought I wanted to write. That I still want to write. Instead I wrote thoughtful answers on Quora and also angry comments on answers I disagreed with on Quora.
In wood carving news, I worked up a series of plans for small swans, herons and eagles and also for dragonflies and I toyed around with sketches for butterflies. I did this on some great flipchart paper, huge enough to hold all my ideas and have room for mistakes. And this went no further.
I am working hard to not say I wasted my time, but I would have trouble arguing with others who said that. I am and will be creative at work, but I am still having trouble being productively creative at home. Self- motivation is a skill I still lack.
Hey, there's always tomorrow!