Thursday, May 4, 2017

                                                HOW BIG IS YOUR WORLD?

     Some mornings, I get up and think about what I will do to squeeze the life out of the next 18 hours. I think, "Is my world big or small today?" When I am on a performance schedule, I’m in the music bubble. When I am sick, I am in the sick bubble. When I am just ‘being,” I am in a world where I can choose how big it will be that particular day. Today is a “being” day. Today I will just “be.” I can choose what I do, where I go, with whom, for how long, and when I want to just be alone and quiet in my silent bubble. Some may think, “Must be nice to have a choice.” 

     Yes, “choice” is probably the biggest benefit or challenge of retirement, depending on how you look at it. I have been fascinated these past 12 years of trying to reinvent myself sans “teacher” status with what retirees do with their 12-16 hour days. Some don’t get up until 8:00 or 9:00 a.m. I have been awake and “doing” for at least three or four hours by 9:00 a.m. This is not necessarily a good thing, as the world doesn’t begin operations until at least 8:30 and some not until 10:00 a.m. I can’t make calls, shop, make appointments or talk to my kids during those extra hours. Some ask me, “What on earth do you do at those hours?” I write, think, organize, correspond, read and enjoy my breakfast alone with my classical music station. I used to watch the news, but it’s all so depressing, I don’t turn on a TV until at least 9:00 p.m. 

      So, in the luxurious early morning hours, my world is very small, quiet and comfortable. I am never in a hurry (like I was working and getting up at 4:00 a.m. to get to work on time). I have plenty of time to get organized and dressed for whatever the day will bring. Some of my friends spend their entire mornings in the gym. “Good for them!”  I say. Anyone who can discipline herself to exert before noon has my respect. I choose to work out alone looking out at nature from my lanai, but that’s me. My friends’ worlds are bigger than mine because as they lift those pounds and pull and push, they are surrounded by other pushers and pullers. Me, I’m watching the sand cranes and the geckos while Rachmaninov wafts through my pillow-crushed curls. To each her own.

     Our real worlds, however, are in our heads. How big is yours? Are there crowds in there demanding your time and energy? Are their voices kind or critical? Are they shouting “shoulds” or whispering words of encouragement? How big is that world in your head, and what control have you given it? Are the voices you hear still alive? Are there some you have to work hard to block out? Now that I write this, I realize we all live in two realities: the one we see, and the one we hear. Hmm. No wonder some of us feel wacky! 

     Do you ever wonder what it would feel like to be in someone else’s head world? Like Donald’s or Brad’s? Kim’s or Justin’s? How about your kids’? Yup. I have too much time on my hands.