Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Free time, Day Five: The devil is in the details.

Today was a day of low productivity, primarily because I worked at my real job. And I needed a bit of a breather after yesterday.

And frankly, there was a crapload of crappity-ass crap on craigslist today.

Non-working tee vees. Apple tree branches. Scrap wood. Mulch.

And everything I enquired about that had any kind of functional promise was dibs within a few minutes after having been posted, regardless of my refreshing sensibility.

I can't tell if this tide has changed in the past few days because I'm becoming more discerning, if it's because it's a weekday, or if this dusty dearth of offerings is because there are people more skilled than I am at snagging the good stuff.

So I have nothing new to report when it comes to procurement.*

But as I mentioned yesterday, I need to work on my end game. Because I'm not giving up. This Free Time chase is too much fun.

This whole crazy idea has such innocuous origins. I've browsed the Free Stuff postings on craigslist before, because frankly, I'm not made of money. And I was amazed that people were handing off such great stuff for nothing.

Someone with a bit of tenacity, I thought, could get everything they needed for free on this Free Stuff area of the craigslist. Everything they needed.

So I thought I'd give it a try.

I don't need anything, though. There's the wrinkle.

But the process sounded so interesting to me.

Therein lies the conundrum, and the opportunity.

Because last time I checked, these are troubled times. One in ten of us is unemployed. Another percentage (myself included) is underemployed. And yet another group has simply fallen off the radar. There's a whole subset of unemployed people who have given up. They've stopped looking for a job, or they've run out of unemployment benefits altogether.

There's another subset of subsets who are old. Maybe they're disabled. They're escaping abuse. They're looking for a new start. Whatever the circumstance; it creates a need.

And for whatever very human, very there-for-the-grace-of-god reason, these folks could use what I could find during my Free Time.

As I reported yesterday, Lois received a couch and chair from what we'd found over the weekend.

Yesterday morning felt good. Color me selfish.

But as I mentioned yesterday, the true end game of this Free Time is to find someone who can help me find people who truly need what I'm finding for free.

So today, I tried to dot a few Is and cross a few Ts.

On the suggestion of a friend who works with the elderly at Social Services, I called the Colorado Care Transitions Program. This organization has a primarily health-based focus. And after talking with the very affable Shelly, I was directed to the Agency on Aging, which is a part of the Denver Regional Council of Governments.

I found it's hard to explain what I'm doing while leaving a voicemail.

Regardless, someone from the Agency on Aging returned my call today. But I was working, and I missed the call. I left another message, but I haven't heard back.

I do need to find recipients, and I'm definitely persistent. I'll call the Agency on Aging tomorrow.

And my friend Gigi suggested I contact a women's shelter. What a good idea! You flee with your kids, and you have nothing.

But do you?

Not if I can help it.

Because tomorrow I officially lay down some ink and some ching on my storage unit. I tripped into a great value, as I mentioned in a prior blog. So there's no down-side.

And according to the crazy Colorado weather report, I'm going to need my garage very soon.

And since I started this entry, I've heard back from my Social Services friend, who reiterated the fact that there's a definite need for the hole I'm very selfishly trying to fill.

Because for me, it's fun to find. And the ancillary, selfish benefit is that there's someone who needs what I've been finding.

So tomorrow, I'll seal the deal on my storage space. It's a detail I feel the need to complete, because the weather's getting increasingly inclement, and I don't like to scrape my windshield before I have to go to work.

Color me selfish, but I like to slide my car into the garage, which, at present, is full of other peoples' stuff.

So regardless of how I hate to drown in the morass of detail, tomorrow is filled with just such stuff.


Not so much about the detail when it comes to what I've found, because I know I'll find more. It's because of the prospect of what's still yet to find, for free.

Sometimes, regardless of how much I hate having to focus on such things, the devil is in the details.

That's what's happening tomorrow. Sounds hellish.

*I'm picking up a cool square coffee table tomorrow at 9 am. Refreshing bonus!

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