As some of you know I am, at present, unemployed (and in negotiation with the Welfare Office for some means of support...another story...)
The current PC definition for the unemployed seems to be 'actively seeking work.' That's fine by me- I love work, I can sit and watch it for hours, as the wisecrack goes!
Considering the lists of jobs available online, in newspapers, on newsagents' notice boards, etc I have come to realise how useless I am. I may be a qualified and experienced teacher, but that's it, that's all, and without available teaching jobs what does one do?
So several weeks ago I girded my loins and bearded the owner of the one and only sewing shop in the county...and asked for work experience. Then I tracked down two Garden Clubs and emailed them with an offer to help anyone struggling with an exuberant garden. I have to admit that, although hopeful I felt an awful eejit on all occasions.
Well so far there are three results- two garden owners and a discussion on Monday with the sewing lady which are all quite exciting for an unemployed teacher (note: really must get out more!!).
The upshot is this though; I find it difficult to see opportunities even when I thought my expectations were almost negligible. I hoped that a couple of people might pay me for the odd half day weeding and tidying, which would help to keep the roof over my head (major concern), but both gardening offers have been in terms of barter, one of which is a great opportunity, and I need to say yippee! instead of panic because it wasn't what I expected.
As a result this afternoon I have been mulling over the difference between opportunity and expectation. How many time does one miss an opportunity because it wasn't quite what one expected, or perhaps it wasn't at all what one expected? How often are we told to 'think outside the box' (mental image of a tiny little anxious grey thinking-bug crouching sadly on the ground beside a huge brown happy cardboard box...)
Not all opportunities are good, or will lead anywhere positive, or are to be taken, or are even right for one at a particular time. But some opportunities are the right ones at the right time and should be seized gleefully.
Long ago I heard a talk about decisions as being forks, or perhaps T-junctions, in the road of life and I recall wondering when my choices and decisions were made because I didn't recall more than a few momentous ones. It seemed to me that my choices have not presented as forks but as side lanes, many taken without thought and others missed entirely. All of you probably feel the same when you look back and wonder how on earth you managed to end up in a particular place'. One result of that pondering for me was the decision to believe that at any given point I have made the best choice available to me at the time, so to quit beating myself up over results which may have been less than satisfactory. That conscious decision has given me much peace of mind over the years when things have, very obviously not worked out...at the time I know I did my best, and sometimes the best is just not good enough.
So opportunities versus expectations...learning to bend and turn with the current...deciding to take things as they come and see what happens...being adaptable...
Can an old dog learn new tricks? Not sure.
We'll see I guess!