Tuesday, July 22, 2008
This retirement thing~
This retirement thing . . . it seems like it should be so easy, so effortless, so thrilling, to stop the daily grind. It is thrilling; at least I think it will be come September when I'm not following the school buses to work.
But it's not easy.
I had a plan book on my desk for 35 years, one I filled in weekly, scheduling new lessons at 45-minute intervals, meetings, parent conferences, and field trips. I knew what needed to be done and when.
I got up at the same time everyday (5:45 a.m.), ate lunch at the same time (12:06 p.m.) and watched the kids pack their bags for home everyday at 2:15 p.m.
I'm not sorry to give up that regimentation.
But three weeks into the summer, I find myself making lists of things I need to do, and there is so much to do that I can't imagine how I managed while I was working eight hours on top of it all.
There are the household chores, gardening, exercise (aren't retirees supposed to get fitter?), freelance writing, book reviewing, reading the book to review, editing, interviewing and writing for the paper, admin work on a writing site, photography, time with friends, time with family (my aging mother needs a visit), I need an eye exam and the gyn appointment needs to be scheduled-- I'd put it off until I retired-- and I'm supposed to get a bone density test. . . Oh, and this blog. And I know I'm forgetting a lot.
I'm thinking maybe I need a plan book.
After putting in a couple of hours this morning on odds and ends, I forced myself to take a break. I went for a bike ride-- killing two birds with one stone: getting exercise, and taking pictures.
I locked the bike to a tree and walked the perimeter of a pond at Massasoit State Park until the noise of the swimmers and my "to do" list faded. I relaxed-- by myself, but not alone.
I kept silent company with dragonflies, little helicopters that hovered in front of me before darting off; bees intently nosing for nectar; butterflies, ragged wings open in the sun; three curious sunfish side-by-side in the shallows looking up at me through the watery lens. All so busy, but not rushing, just doing what they needed to, one thing at a time, while pausing to bask in the sun.
That's what I need to put in my plan book: Take time to bask.
I'm thinking maybe I'll buy a hammock. I'll pencil that in for tomorrow. First thing.
Don't underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can't hear, and not bothering. ~Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A.A. Milne