A few days ago I talked about routines and how important they will be during my retirement. One of the routines I plan on establishing is to blog everyday. It’s obvious to myself and anyone reading this blog that I have not yet disciplined myself to this daily practice. I need to remind myself that it usually takes me most of the summer to establish a routine. But one of the reasons I began the blog was to help me be accountable to myself – to move myself forward, slowly and with precision, in the eight ” disciplines” I have determined are important.
I am considering how to best meld discipline and slower pace. As a teacher I was fairly disciplined. Anyone who has taught within the last five years, maybe anyone who has worked at any job in the last five years, understands that the constant multi-tasking required precludes working at anything other than a quick pace. (Frantic pace was the first phrase that came to mind but that might be too dramatic.)
So, for right now, I am blogging when I feel that I have something to share that will provide insight to myself or others. Maybe the infrequency of my blogs is really not a result of lack of discipline but a sign that I am actually decluttering my mind, as I told friends I would do for the first month of retirement. It could be due to the fact that I hate typing with one hand and when I try to use only my thumb and index finger on my left hand the splint protruding from my other fingers hits some unknown function key which sends my computer into a tailspin which I struggle to untangle. Who knows? But I guess I have all summer to figure it out.
Memorial Day weekend passed, my husband went back to work, and I was officially retired. This was, for all practical purposes, my first day of retirement. Time to dig in. But, having decided not to attack retirement with the intent of accomplishing all of my life’s dreams in the first month, I decided to let the mood move me. For me, that has to include a lot of reading. That is really not at all different from what I do every summer. I started one fiction book on my Nook and read a few chapters each of two nonfiction books. I felt the urge to pull out some piano music and determine whether my brain could remember the notes and keys that the right hand plays. It’s probably a good thing that my left hand is in a splint since one hand was enough of a challenge! Then I unearthed a book about drawing which I had found on clearance years ago but never had time to explore. When I was in retirement attack mode I had located some art classes at the local community college and was ready to mail in my check. In my new laid back mode I decided to play around a bit with drawing on my own. What fun! For years I have enjoyed a paperweight rock, painted like a school house, that was a gift from a student. I wished that I could see a schoolhouse in a rock. When picking up some landscaping rock a few weeks ago, my husband humored me as we handpicked rocks that could become cottages. My first cottage is now complete and I learned what I will do differently on the next little house. I spent some time in my yard photographing flowers and birds. Photography was something I enjoyed in one of my previous lives, but I think I will hold off on signing up for a class. Breath, slow down, relax! I took some cooking classes with Rachel Ray. She taught me some practical things about cooking I never knew. I think she may become one of my new best friends. Oh yeh! I remembered that a friend had started a blog several years ago and blogging was something I figured I would do some day. I formulated my plan and … here you go. I definitely have not yet figured out what I will do next with my life, but thoroughly enjoyed getting me feet wet in my new reality.
A week before the last day of school – my retirement day – I broke the middle finger of my left hand. This was not one of those “buddy tape your finger and carry on as usual” type breaks. This break required surgery, pins, and therapy. Oh my! So my retirement started differently than I had anticipated. Fortunately, I am right-handed but it still takes me an inordinate amount of time to do simple things. Interestingly, having to slow down because of the break has caused me to step back and take a look at my outlook on retirement.
Several months ago I began considering what I could do, wanted to do, should do when I retire. Then I found myself thinking about preparing for some of these things before the school year ever even ended. I was revved up and getting ready to hit the ground running the day I retired. Fortunately, I realized how misplaced my thinking actually was before I lined up all my prepared items and wrote my plans on my calendar! I was going to “attack” retirement with the same level of energy I put into my job. Start those To-Do lists right away – retirement here I come! Woah!!!!!
Last week was my first week since school let out. How much could I squeeze into that first week of freedom? Not much with one hand in splint and pins to avoid bumping. Not much with a doctor appointment, 2 days of hand therapy, and three or four daily hand exercises followed by ice. Last week I realized that I really was not planning on taking a break after retiring. I was going to keep on working at break-neck speed – just at some unknown something. Hmm.