So, where have I been? Let me inform you.
My last day on the payroll at my employment of 8-1/2 years, WCBE 90.5 FM NPR, was July 28. A modest-sized pension set in, to augment a modest-sized Social Security monthly allotment, so I have enough to pay bills.
Three months passed before I changed my activity from that of my working days at the station. For nine weeks I returned to my desk almost daily, putting in 4-5 hours each as a volunteer so that the revenue stream didn’t disappear into the nether-net. Then we got to hire my successor, Johnny DiLoretto, and I worked shoulder-to-shoulder with Johnny, daily, for another 3-4 weeks, getting to know him much better and helping him with the technical aspects of scheduling underwriting announcements for broadcast. He’s a nice guy, really, and his presence adds further dimension to ‘CBE.
So, by the time we ended our Fall On-Air Fund Drive, my days devoted to ME-time got longer. I generally had few responsibilities that required me to show up at a specific time, and some days NONE! I could get use to this…get up with Sharon, see her off to work, listen to NPR Morning Edition as I sipped my dawn concoction of lemon juice/habanero/sea salt & maple syrup before coffee. I started to feel retired, untethered, like I’d won the lottery. I become a PENSIONER-ABOUT-TOWN.
What’s missing with this situation? Nothing. I am more than fortunate, with good health, enough funds to pay my cost of living, all three offspring living near so we dine together weekly, and time to do something meaningful.
My day’s routine includes reading the printed page (libraries are awesome), working out, reading, getting grounded and meditating, reading, developing tough calluses on the fingertips of my left hand trying to improve my guitar and mandolin picking, reading, exploring and admiring the architecture of my near-East Side neighborhood, reading, and volunteering. You may have heard of a local not-for-profit, Transit Arts. In addition to music and dance, there are visual artists doing impressive work. I’m helping these entrepreneurs get enough exposure to earn professional status. Wanna buy any?
But I’m on a quest. We all need something to be meaningful in our lives, a connection within our community. I’m starting an activity I call “CAFFEINE COMMUNION: Encounters With Paradigm Pioneers.” This entails setting up one-on-one meetings over coffee or tea and interviewing my guests about how they plan positive change in their lives, their networks, their community. The venues will vary among central Columbus coffee shops & eateries. Upper Cup, Roosevelt Coffee, Brioso Roastery, Café Brioso, Starbucks downtown, Hills Market downtown, Fox in the Snow, Bottoms Up, anywhere that I can walk to/bike to/COTA to, as I no longer own a car. When my auto died, fortuitously after I ended my employment, I realized I no longer need to own reliable transportation, so why spend time & money driving. Worse case, we have Lyft and Car2Go, so I’m not stranded, but I prefer leg-locomotion and public transportation.