Anxiety grips as the soul seeks to transcend the mired foot yet stuck in the path to mediocrity. Eileen Hopkins, 2014
Two and a half months into retirement and I am only just beginning to find the rhythm that is mine. I question friends and family, seeking to discover when - when do you move from scheduled, work living to the enjoyment of an open-ended freedom-of-choice lifestyle without feeling lost in the hours and hours stretching out before you. The answer: when you do.
Sometimes the simple things elude me. Difficulties and problems grab my attention; simple hugs and smiles or even sunsets slip by. Then, something happens - I notice the simple. This week was one of those times. I noted the migration of beautiful white snow geese high overhead yesterday. They caught the wind and swooped and circled without landing - moving with the flow of their innermost instinct to go south for sustenance and safety. I was mesmerized by their grace and effortless flight. There was no fight to go another way, no competition to be first, no effort to stand out - just white on blue, gliding and flying to the eventual destination, authentic in every ruffling feather.
Retirement was my destination for years - I planned for it, dreamed about it, created endless scenarios of what it would be like and then, I arrived and for awhile I did not recognize it. Yesterday, I realized that the beginning is now - it is no longer the destination. That had crept up on me as I was crashing through the barrier between work-directed to self-directed living. I had been filling up my time instead of embracing it as mine to direct and spend even if that was just sitting and watching the seasons float past me on a daily basis rather than the monthly or quarterly countdown of old. I can now breathe, plan, dream beyond the performance measured life of a manager and take charge and responsibility for how I choose to spend those minutes that are mine. I can give them away, hold them close to cherish or to contemplate or I can toss them into the blue sky of autumn, and for just a little while, fly!