I’m reading a book in which the author lists all the jobs she’s had in her lifetime, and all the people she might not otherwise have met had she not had those experiences. Both jobs and individuals enriched her life.
I decided to make my own list. It was a surprising exercise. I learned some things about myself and appreciated the diverse opportunities life has bestowed.
I’ve been a:
baby-sitter, junior high through high school
berry-picker, paid by the quart, working one hot summer with itinerant workers
Christmas gift wrapper at Sears for a holiday season
Howard Johnson’s hostess and waitress
retail clothing clerk
modeling course to start modeling
a substitute teacher for varied ages, grades, subjects
full-time art teacher for 10 years in private and public schools
houseparent in a boys’ high school dorm for 3 years
mother of three children
Sunday School superintendent and teacher for various ages
one of three who started a church where there was none
church first reader (like a pastor)
part-time Christian Science practitioner
church board chairman
Reading Room librarian
volunteer at women’s shelter
Boy Scout den mother
raiser of Newfoundlands and Bernese Mountain Dogs
legal permission for a year to homeschool my sons plus another student
house and fence painter
flower arranger for church, B&B rooms, and always 7 arrangements in home
a CASA, working with abused children, investigating cases, appearing/speaking in court
women’s studies teacher and writer of course which I received a grant to create
in-state and out-of-state 4-day watercolor workshops
teaching studio classes in figure, portraiture, drawing, watercolor, pastel for many years
entered numerous art shows and exhibitions; garnering over 100 awards
member of several professional art organizations
decorator for friends’ homes
activist for village cause
painted 50-some bird species and spoke up on their behalf before their habitat was destroyed
gallery owner–4 different galleries in 4 different cities/states
Bed and Breakfast owner/operator/chef for 4-course candlelit breakfasts
author of an art appreciation booklet for use in public schools
volunteer studio art teacher and trainer of other volunteers to provide public school art where there was none
writer of articles
author of two books available on Amazon–a 566-page autobiography and a 100-page illustrated cookbook
packer/mover for 35 moves
Principia College Bachelor’s Degree in fine arts
RISD graduate school Master’s Degree with honors
General Theological Seminary, NYC
“Journey Course” team member for Calvary Episcopal Church
painter in 12 different countries
with help, renovated an historic house
with architect friend, built a new house
and two marriages–yes, they are jobs!
I feel like I’ve left something out. Nevertheless, this quick list offers me a fresh appreciation of my life. Reflecting on all that has transpired over many years, I cherish each experience, the challenges overcome, the lessons learned, the people known–grateful for every bit.
Want to make your own list? I think you’ll find it an illuminating way to start the new year.
Artwork: Self-Portrait of the Artist, Late 1970s, watercolor, 27″ x 23,” matted, $575.
This self-portrait was done when I was a young mom, painted in my den, capturing the back-light through the blind. This watercolor reflects my interest in the loose watercolor work of Charles Reid, who remains my favorite watercolorist, and with whom I was privileged to study twice.