written November 2022; update will follow
So, it turns out that when you leave a job and end a career, you have a lot more decisions to make about how to spend time! And it turns out I am the kind of person who wants to start on a bunch of things at once. I just may be overextended.
But when has that not been true for me? My Classical Conversations decade was characterized by being stretched in many new learning and service activities, and my career as a Music teacher had challenges of its own. I am glad today for all the experience I have accrued through necessity. But now I feel like a hound following intriguing scents in this direction and that.
Time to breathe deeply and calm down.
These seem important to me right now:
- Working for the forester one day a week.
- Taking Grandpa for errands and lunch at the diner on another day.
- Remodeling the grown kids’ rooms into guest rooms for when I get visits from…the grown kids.
- Making a calendar at Shutterfly in order to keep my account active, so I can make that last child’s life photo album!
- Tracking more Holleran ancestors in Ancestry.com while we still have Grandpa Holleran.
- Prepping a quilt project for a Quilting retreat in mid-November.
- Prepping a small college project for friends so they can do a sampler while at the retreat.
- Quilting the 20″ x 20″ collage I made.
- Having people over for dinner and games.
- Developing as a dance caller for community dances.
- Learning new dances, writing up index cards, and practicing them.
- Running my two dances.
- Meeting regularly with a couple who needs someone to talk to.
- Once a week rehearsing two songs for the church Vespers concert/worship service.
- Practicing for the church worship band.
- Meeting up with dear ones at Panera for coffee and very long updates. (Teaching Music for these five years squashed my social life.)
- Keeping up with my kids on our Discord server.
Yes, I may be overextended.
Right now it feels like my big project, my calling as it were, is to develop as a community dance caller and continue to hold dances in two village halls so people can build community again. Those who come leave happy and satisfied. An evening of dancing together is just what the doctor ordered!
I feel privileged to have so many options at this point in my life. I think I am learning what interests will be hobbies I dabble in and what skills I should invest in more seriously. How can I serve with them?
I have to say, many days feel like a teacher’s Snow Day, a day I can plan as I like. It is exhilarating!
For everything there is a season. My last season is winding down, looking back as in a mirror as I read your enthusiastic view of options. I entered this one too late, didn’t have the luxury of an ‘early’ retirement. Typical, a parent looking to the child to see her dreams fulfilled. Please do better with your calling than I did! It was so embarrassing. I didn’t have a small group with which to practice. Memory: standing in front of a crammed huge hall, all eyes turned to me as dancers stood patiently in paired lines, waiting for me to disentagle the lines. An experienced caller stepped up to the mike, and I slunk off in humiliation. I know you won’t get there, thank the Lord! you’ve done your homework through the years.
We are both intellectually curious and willing to try new things. I am always watching out for times when I am too eager to use a too meager skill. I have had those moments!