Monday, June 19, 2017

I post this photo today to motivate myself. I am quickly approaching my 74th birthday. I’ve been retired for 12 years and since then have had at least four mini-careers. Is it time to stop? Kick back, forget having a purpose or accomplishing anything? Is it time to say, “Been there, done that, I’m done?” 

After a 35-day trek out west in our sports car hiking the National Parks, eating gourmet dinners and fattening breakfasts, visiting family and exclaiming at the wonder of our vast and beautiful country, I am feeling very small, and maybe a tiny bit insignificant. 

As a 40+year teacher, I always assess my life in the summer in order to “retool” for fall. I know summer has barely begun, but the conversation has already begun in my “inside-me voice.” What to do next? Yes, it would be awesome to have enough money to keep traveling indefinitely, but that’s not going to happen. Yes, it would be nice to just kick back and “be” not “do” for a change. Yeahbut, yeahbut, yeahbut. . . . 

That’s not me. No matter how I direct the inner conversation, the dominating voice says, “How much quality time do you have left?” “What will you do all bored everyday?” “What will you talk about?” “Will you be so boring, no one will want to listen?” “How will you be different than everyone else your age?” “What will you do without an identity?” “After all, on your tombstone, do you want it to say, “She was really nice?” 

Does anyone else go through this process? Do you live a purpose-driven life? If so, what is your purpose? Do you like reinventing yourself? Some people think that’s insane—just “go with the flow.” Well, I don’t flow; I thunder. I don’t wait; I create. I don’t let it evolve; I make it happen. 

Watch out, August, here I come!