During my career days, there was so much to do. I had this unwavering commitment to doing it all and doing it well. Most of my tasks and projects seemed to be assigned by other people. I just fell in line; I worked hard; I met deadlines. My bosses loved me – I was an overachiever and proud of it! I was Responsible – you-could-count-on-me! Perhaps some younger workers have the wisdom to be crafters of their own lives, and understand that everything one does IS a choice, but that did not describe me. I was so darned busy and trying to not disappoint, that I was somewhat living by default (which is a choice too, by the way.) Sort of a victim of my own life!
Between working 40-60 hour weeks and raising two kids, it seemed as if there was no time to just stop and consider:
What the heck I was doing,
Or if I even liked it,
Or if liking it was even an option.
But there is something about retirement for me – a certain freedom and relaxation that I enjoy. Ah, e-x-h-a-l-e!
The beauty of life and choices has opened up to me since I’ve come up for air. It is oh-so-refreshing after those suffocating to-do-lists and thousands of day-planner pages of my past busy-organized-work-life that seems a lifetime ago. Now the world is my oyster – the variety of choices is limitless! I’ve been like a kid in a candy store – wanting to sample it all. Like Forest Gump and his box of chocolates, I sample the this and the that of life. Sometimes I want some more, sometimes less or not at all, sometimes I binge, other times I take a break, or change direction and leave the box of chocolates behind, half eaten. Or sometimes I feel like that fabled centipede, not knowing which leg to move next!
I love that finally this is my time to discover and choose what I really want to do each moment. It was always time to do that, but I just didn’t know.
The flip side is sometimes now I make commitments, and then maybe I flake out. And I have discovered that being flakey is OK! I hardly ever allowed myself that freedom before – to admit that a direction isn’t what I want and just say no to it. And yes, maybe to disappoint.
Sometimes even now – nearly 10 years into retirement, when I commit to something long-term, a certain anxiety seems to take over and cause me to pull back. Maybe it’s just proving to myself that I haven’t lost my newfound and relished freedom. I am learning to slow down on making long-term or open-ended engagements. I’m quite sure that is what my anxiety is trying to teach me. I need to keep my options open for now. I suspect many retirees discover this.
But what does this have to do with blogging?
I committed to post a blog every week for the rest of this year. At the time I undertook the challenge, I thought, “Easy. I can do this every day!” And it IS easy, and I COULD do it every day, and I EVEN LIKE IT! My writing quality varies and even that’s OK with me.
But when the sun is out, or friends beckon, or the dog wants a walk, or the garden desires a trimming, or I want to read a book, or …
Well, sometimes I just don’t feel like blogging.