Labour Day. This has always been a momentous day for me because it marks the end of the summer and the beginning of the school year. It was always the day before something new began, the day before I became something that I hadn’t been before. Let me go back a few years to the first Labour Day ever, to the first ones I remember, and to what it has come to symbolize in my life even now that I’ve retired.
Since I am, in the end, a teacher, I’ll start with a bit of history about Labour Day.
Posted in Identity, Moving Forward, New awareness, What I'm doing
Tagged change, children, freedom, Identity, inspiration, keynote, labor day, labour day, new beginnings, parenting, roles, school year, stress, teaching, time
I’ve been living in the midst of a maelstrom (a powerful circular current, usually the result of conflicting tides) for the past number of days. The confluence of a number of things has left me with more than the usual confusion and uncertainty in my life. Had these occurred one at a time I’m guessing I could have sorted things out more readily but surprise of surprises I don’t get to control when things happen – or what happens – and so it’s been rather an emotional pummeling for the past few days. Let me go back about a week.
I started last week with great intentions to get a lot of work done on the theories course I’ve agreed to teach in the fall. As the development of the course unfolded I was aware of huge amounts of resistance to just getting the job done … and this is something that usually I don’t have to deal with. So, me being me, I stopped to give it a lot of thought. What was really going on here? Why was I feeling so incredibly stressed? I was feeling so rested for a while and now I’m back to feeling exhausted. What’s going on here??? It took several days, lots of good conversations with friends, some meditation, and more than a few drams of fine whiskey to figure it out, but I think I’m onto something really important for me.
Posted in Logistics and time management, Making decisions, Moving Forward
Tagged awareness, change, choices, dreams as plans, freedom, inspiration, stress, time, transition
So I’m trying to find a schedule that will work for me. One of the things that seems to not happen far too often – although it wasn’t my intention for this to work out this way – is that I miss going to the Y to exercise. I get involved writing and before I know it it’s too late to head to the Y; I’ve missed my class. Back to the Y schedule I went and sure enough there was a Tuesday morning class at 7 a.m.
Wait a minute: 7 a.m.?!? One of the things I’d looked forward to for so long before retiring was not having to get up at 6 in the morning any more; imagine the luxury of being able to sleep late. Unfortunately, I’ve discovered that my internal clock doesn’t seem to understand anything other than wake up early … so like it or not I’m generally awake in the wee hours of the morning anyhow. So – I thought to myself – why not give this early class a try. Continue reading
Posted in Aging and other hard realities, Logistics and time management, Making decisions, Moving Forward
Tagged aquafit, awareness, choices, exercise, freedom, Identity, sleeping in, time
A few weeks ago I was in Ottawa with my daughter Nili and her family. The weather was dreadfully cold and by the end of the week we were all sporting colds ourselves. In the midst of that flu-ish haze Nili suggested that we pile the kids into the car, drive to Toronto and pick up her brother Motti, and then all head down to Marco Island for some sunshine. Oh – how I wish I could have just said “yes”, thrown a bathing suit into a bag, and jumped into the car. After all; I’m retired aren’t I? I should be able to do things spontaneously shouldn’t I? So … why am I sitting here writing this posting instead of basking on the beach? Continue reading
Posted in Logistics and time management, Making decisions, New awareness, What I'm doing
Tagged choices, commitments, expectations, Florida, freedom, Mozart, responsibilities, Shakespeare, spontaneity, stress, time
Today I unpacked the last boxes from my office at home, and this got me thinking about a couple of things; #1 – why has it taken so long? and #2 – why am I calling that room my “home office”? Let me tackle those one at a time. I will say, right off the bat, that this all seemed pretty significant to me and the feeling that I had as the last few things were put on shelves (or thrown away … having realized upon re-examination that what seemed worthy of keeping was just going to be more “junk” at home) was one of true liberation. My friend Esther was coming for the weekend (and did, we had a great time) and so I needed to get those last boxes – which were cluttering up the room (more about the room in a minute) taken care of. Emptied. Sorted out. Put away. There, it’s done! I’m really not going back. I’m free!
Suddenly I’m finding myself with an awful lot to do. One of the fantasies that I’d had for a long time about retirement was how relaxing it would be. I pictured myself going through each day dripping with relaxation and with a ray of sunshine over my shoulder, just as it was last November when we drove up Highway 1 in California celebrating the Obama victory. Well, it’s winter in Toronto so I guess that I shouldn’t have been expecting sunshine! As for walking in relaxation … well, that would mean quite a personality change for me. Maybe that’s more than I should wish for in such a short time. Nonetheless, as Lao Tsu said: “A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” Continue reading
Posted in Identity, Moving Forward, New awareness
Tagged business, change, choices, discipline, expectations, financial crisis, income, Jindal, obama, Palin, time
We’ll be sailing on the Polar Star for 10 days; four of them getting to and from the Antarctic Peninsula and six of them visiting Antarctica, hopefully boarding zodias a couple of times a day for land visits. I’ll keep a good record (in words and photos) of all that we see and do and I’ll share that with you when I get back (if you’d like).
It’s been over a month now and I’m surprised to find myself still walking around much of the time in what feels like a fog, or as it was called in Joe Vs The Volcano … a brain cloud. People keep asking me how I’m enjoying retirement (and what I’m doing) and I’m pretty sure that they are all expecting to hear that it’s terrific and that I’m busier than ever. Understand that I’m not really complaining; I’m just struggling. Struggling to make this transition which is proving to be more challenging than I’d anticipated. Somehow I guess I thought that since I was giving this a lot of thought beforehand I’d find the actual change quite easy. Not! I’m also not ready to settle on what I want to do yet … still tossing around the many many wonderful opportunities I could follow up.