Here are three things circling in my head, things I have said I would never do:
Reading Jane Austen. I majored in English literature in college and yet I never read Jane Austen. At some point, I tried, but it felt too much like romance and I never got very far. But a lot of readers I respect have had a different experience with Austen’s novels. I have begun reading The Jane Austen Society and have asked for advice on choosing an Austen book to try – again. So, we will see.
Become a vegetarian. As a child, I detested vegetables. I was often left at the table to finish my dinner by my father, who rarely ate vegetables himself. Over the last 20 years, I have increased my vegetable consumption and I now find myself eating a primarily plant based diet. I’m having trouble giving up bacon but it’s more of a treat than a staple now.
Spin yarn. I will never forget the conversation I had about 30 years ago about fabric and wool. This woman was raising rabbits and had begun to spin yarn. And she was getting sheep and alpaca so she could have access to their wool. Her plan was to weave fabric to be used in her quilts. Nope, not me, I said (with youthful conviction). I will never want to spin. But then I discovered Sarah and have watched with so much interest as she has spun her way through this pandemic. And today, I read that Jane is dipping into the world of spinning. Stay tuned. Retirement might take me in some new directions.
What went well? I spent a lot of time in July planning the Zoom service for dad and I think it went well. There were a lot of emails with the people involved, practice Zoom calls multiple times a week (which is how we figured out my computer needed an Ethernet connection in order to show the videos), and finding all the contacts to invite. Dad was a busy man, did a lot of volunteer work, and supported the arts communities. We had recorded music with words on the screen for the hymns and my husband and daughters performed a song written just for dad from our living room. We even set up a different Zoom for the family to gather after the service. And we have a recording which I am planning to watch soon because I was a bit distracted and I want to hear the Chaplain’s message again.
What didn’t go well? That would have to be the garden. I finally got my second bed cleaned up, yesterday. This is the first week we have had steady, dry days and warm weather. I am not sure what I will plant in that bed. Seems a bit late for veggies and I need to replace the deer fence, especially since mama deer and her doe wander through my yard twice a day now. There are two sad tomato plants and some berry bushes in the other bed. Maybe I’ll just plant some flowers.
What am I looking forward to in August? More reading, knitting while sitting on the deck with an audiobook and coffee, getting back into a routine that includes time on my mat, and figuring out how to turn these wonderful houses (drawn by our little artist) into a quilt.
I am mystified at the response I get about retirement. Most people start with, “Have you figured out what you will do with your time?” When I say that I haven’t (I don’t say that I am not worried about “filling my time”), I get a lot of suggestions for volunteer positions that sound like work to me. So let’s revisit- I am retiring from work, not life. And life has a lot left for me to discover and explore.
I am looking forward to having time to:
Read, read, read. I don’t think this stack will fill my bingo card but I am excited to read and learn and ask questions and learn some more.
Dig in my garden, pull weeds and tidy for the most part but that is on life giving list.
Pause. Rest my head and my heart. These last months have taken their toll on my body and my soul. I am especially looking forward to sleep that is not disturbed by worry over work decisions.