Did you watch the Golden Globes? David and I had a lovely evening watching it together. He’s very understanding of my need to watch the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards while doing an ongoing commentary on the dresses (last night they were fairly lovely in my opinion, other than a number of very weird bumpy-stick-out parts that seemed to just burst forth from shoulders). There was a palpable sense of hopefulness in the air I thought. I saw an interesting article online this morning that said that “Tina Fey officially rules the world and has the Golden Globe awards to prove it.” Not sure whether I was pleased or not that she didn’t work the words “you betcha” into her acceptance speech. One of the movies nominated for multiple categories was Doubt; if you haven’t seen it you likely want to because it’s fabulous.
Doubt. It’s often defined as the state of being unsure about something, lacking confidence, having doubts, uncertainty about the truth of something.” Doubt. Some days I feel pretty clear about “where I’m at” and some days I am utterly overwhelmed by doubt. Sure, right now I’ve mostly been enjoying the rhythm of my days. And then there’s the past few days. I’ve been feeling almost mesmerized by fear. When I began blogging about my retirement, in my first posting, I said that : “The coming months are going to be so filled with new experiences, new perceptions, new ideas, new challenges; doing this in the company of other wonderful women makes this so much better.” In those early pre-retirement days I thought about issues like aging, loneliness, resentment … but I didn’t think there would be so much doubt in my future. Doubt and fear. “Fear of what?” you might ask. Fear that the rest of my life lies before me and truly, for the first time, I don’t know what I want to do with that.
Maybe this is part of “coming down” from my incredible journey to Antarctica. Having to shovel snow over and over and over again isn’t helping either.
Maybe it’s fear connected to being officeless. I have been writing/working (yikes, there’s the “w” word slipping in!) on an old (that means 4+ years) laptop at home. It’s of course limited in what it can do but that was never a problem before because I had a big, powerful computer in my office. My office. I don’t have one any more. Just a room at home we call the “kol bo” (from the Hebrew term that means “all is in it”; in Israel it’s often the word used to describe the neighbourhood store that sells a little bit of everything); in it we store linens and extra clothing, some suitcases, books, a futon for guests, my home “gym” (that means a little TV connected to a DVD player and tape player and a bit of exercise equipment like a yoga mat and pilates ball) … and my desk. On that desk, as of just a few days ago, sits a beautiful new iMac … this is a huge step forward to me and I think it’s a toy I’m going to like … a lot. I’ve started taking some lessons so that I know how to use this lovely technology; more about that in a later post.
Just to be clear, I’m not sorry that I don’t have to go to my office every day. Indeed, when trying to reach a former colleague the other day to see if he was available for lunch, his voicemail told me that he was at a meeting. At a meeting. And I’m not. Hooray! In fact, I don’t even really remember the last meeting I was in, unless – of course – you call the negotiations that David and I (and I’m guessing most partners) are continually enjoying as they problem-solve their way through new challenges.
Maybe it’s fear that I’ll finally figure out what I want to do and won’t figure out how to do it or that nobody will want me to do it. I’ve been working on a keynote address I’m giving at an education conference in February and am tortured by wondering whether this will be the last time anyone wants to hear from me since I’m not “working” anymore.
I’m not done thinking about this for sure. Give me a few more days to mull it all over. There must be something to learn here. Meanwhile, I’ll be grateful for anything that you can share from your own experience that will bring some light into this dark chasm that I seem to be drifting through these days as the images of Antarctica become more and more of a background. Somehow it feels like I’m on an emotional Drake Passage ride … without a clearly defined landing point.
COMING SOON: MORE ANTARCTICA JOURNAL EXCERPTS