Retired. Semi-Retired. Unretired.
If you’ve visited Older Eyes – Bud’s Blog lately, you may have noticed that I’ve referred to myself several times as Retired, with a writing avocation. If you’ve been coming by for, say, a year, you know that in the past, I’ve said I was Semi-Retired (with a writing avocation). It’s probably appropriate to define these terms before continuing:
(a) Retired: The state of having no work, combined with the realization that there isn’t going to be any more at my age.
(b) Semi-Retired: Alternately working, sometimes nearly full time, but wondering how long said work will last, and not working as in (a) but with hope that more work is on the way.
Last year, our company completed a Phase I SBIR. SBIRs are research projects available only to small businesses (which ours is … there are only two of us). I referred to it last year as The Project Where Nothing Works … except by the time we finished, we’d really come up with something. But we finished our project just as The Sequester, the withholding of government funds in lieu of a budget deal, shall we say, hit the fan. Government workers were furloughed. Government projects screeched to a halt. And our sponsor told us, I really like the work you did but I don’t know if and when there will be a second phase. Gloom. Months pass. Retired. Then, last week my business partner called to tell me that the sponsor had called … You will be receiving an invitation to propose for a second phase … and Monday we received the official notification. Second phases last up to two years. So, I’m Semi-Retired to write a proposal and I could be Unretired soon.
(c) Unretired: Working with enough work that you wonder if you weren’t happier Retired.
This morning, I got up at 8 am and, as I usually do, I checked my email on my tablet. There was an email telling us we had NOT been selected to propose for the next phase. Then, scrolling down my email list, I found another email explaining that the previous email had been sent by mistake. Gloom, at least until I read further. Please disregard the email message you received this morning indicating that a Phase II invitation will not be issued. This message was sent to you in error. You should have already received your Phase II invitation for the work performed on your SBIR Phase I effort, it said. So, I’m still Semi-Retired again (proposals are never a sure thing) and still could end up Unretired. In the mean time, it’s Top Sites Tuesday #242, where I get to offer Two Thoughts on Tuesday. Thought Number One: Watch what you wish for, I suppose. And Thought Number Two: Wish us luck … I might like to try Unretired again for a while. And I also might like to be Number One on Top Sites Tuesday #242, so, if you would, please push my button … gently … and leave me a comment if you’re so inclined.
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