This past July, some of you may have seen me frolicking gleefully through the GCLS conference hotel or out in D.C. There was a rumor I’d climbed the exterior of the Washington Monument, but that story got blown way out of proportion. Why was a perpetual smile plastered on my face? I’d retired! Independence Day meant something entirely different to me this year. On June 30th, just five days before GCLS 2016, the pension goddess of state retirement systems sent my gumball down the chute. I turned in my whistle (gladly), keys, and whiteboard markers after 28 years in public education. I finally have more time to write and prepare for our move to Eugene, Oregon, scheduled for spring of 2017.
So it’s been nearly four months, and my outlook on life, my schedule, and my interactions with friends—everything—has changed. I realized I finally had several topics suitable for blogging. Now, if you’ve seen my blog page at annroberts.net, you know it’s rather anemic. That changes today.
This is truly a second act for me. I know I’m incredibly fortunate to have this time, and I feel a sense of duty to do for others now that I’m not spending 8-10 hours a day at a job. I’m looking around at potential volunteer opportunities, and I’ve started donating blood on a regular basis. I’ll admit I’m still getting used to the pace. For the last twenty-eight years as a teacher and then an administrator, life was constant motion. There was little time to think and even less time to pee. Now I struggle to remember what date or day it is, and sometimes I find myself charging through a store simply because that’s how I’ve always done it. I’m learning to give myself permission to actually wander through a place just to see what they have. In fact, that’s what I told a salesclerk recently when she asked if I needed help. I replied, “I’m wandering.” Then I giggled and said, “I’m a first time wanderer.”
While I’ve learned to slow down and enjoy things like early morning coffee visits with friends, I’ve also learned that it’s ok to walk away from toxic people and situations, as they are a true waste of my time. I can’t fix them or change them.
So I hope you’ll take this journey with me, because I could really use your insight about several issues including moving, living in the Pacific Northwest, leaving a hometown when it’s the only place you’ve ever lived, and developing a stay-at-home writer’s temperament. My Type A/super responsible/organizer self, who has a specific timeline for our move in five months, sometimes bullies my Writer Self into submission. Then instead of writing, I’m motoring to Home Depot for whatever I need to check off another item from our Moving To Do list.Does anyone else find her Writer Self being bullied into submission? I’d love to know how you get her to stand up and take charge.
Until next time!