Archive for March 7th, 2008


When I first started my internet life, back around October of 2000, I had just been “fired” from a volunteer position.  How do you fire a volunteer?  You tell her to stop showing up.  You don’t give her any of the work she used to do.  And you make it very, very clear that you want her to disappear.

So I did, and spiralled into a first-class depression.  I have never, in all my life, been fired, and to be cut out of a volunteer position was — it wasn’t even humiliating.  After all, humiliation can be a good teacher.  It was like being hit by an 18-wheeler.  What happened?  Ohhh — call it a personality conflict, though I strongly suspect that the person doing the firing had another person in mind for the job altogether, especially since, not two months after I was “fired,” this other person showed up in my old spot, sweet and smug (and not nearly as good a proofreader as I am.  C’mon, I had to say it).

So I have lived the last seven years of my life online, and built up a base of friendships I only wish I had in person.  I would love to sit and chat with every one of you, which highlights the biggest drawback of the internet:  We can’t see each other.  But apart from that, being “fired” was, in retrospect, a good experience — I would never have met any of you otherwise.

Why am I bringing this up now?

Because I just got my old job back.

New priest — yep, I was the parish secretary — new relationship, and over the past seven years, I’ve had a chance to learn more about how Orthodox parish life works.  I’ve learned, primarily, that there is no such thing as a unilateral decision, that every single thing you think might be a good option has to be flown by somebody — the priest or the Parish Council at the very least, and if you can work a few yiayias or babushki into it, that’s even better.

What this means for my internet life — well, I don’t expect it to change all that much.  For one thing, seven years ago, I was putting a very great deal of time into the job because it had to be created from scratch.  There was no database of parishioners,  there was no mailing list, there was (believe it or not) no adequate filing system — bills were piled into folders labelled by month, if you can believe that — the priest didn’t even have a Rolodex.  I created all that, and it doesn’t need to be re-created.

So I expect that this time around, my job will entail much less:  the Sunday bulletin, the monthly newsletter, and a little filing here and there.  I will still have time for the things that matter, my home and family and friends, and my cross stitch.

But I am still bemused.   Losing this job seven years ago hurt, incredibly.  I still don’t really know the why of it.  Back then, it was a much-needed — make that desperately-needed — filler for the huge hole left in my life when our daughter got married.  She is such a live wire that losing her was like losing four kids at once, and I really needed the “noise” that the job provided.  And now…

Now, I find myself hoping that it won’t prove to be an interference in my life.

But I still want it.

Am I making any sense at all?!

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