Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Moving Forward

An old friend of mine retired this week.  We were able to have a long visit together a few months ago, at which time the thoughts of retirement were just beginning to bubble about in his brain.  He was, as most of us are, pondering just exactly what he would do after retirement.  Would he be bored, etc.

Those are all things we think about when it's time to make that big step.

Sadly, there are those who after a few weeks do realize they're bored.

Sadder still - after a few more weeks they're STILL bored.

Becoming static is always a possibility.

But, like happiness - it can be a choice.

I know, I know - we're not always happy, happy, happy.  I'm speaking of our most basic nature.  I'm a believer in our own basic natures.  I believe some people are basically nasty, while others are nice.

I believe some people are basically happy, while others are not.

And I believe if someone truly "wants" to be happy, they can make that choice and find ways to lead them to that goal.  (I'm not too sure, however, about those basically nasty folks and frankly  -  try to stay as far far away from 'em as I can.).

Being static may be comfortable for some, but I doubt it's ever going to be a happy place to be for very long.

Think about it.  Where were you in your life ten years ago?  Still there?  How 'bout ten years from now?  Will you still be in the same place?

It doesn't just have to be retirement that starts people thinking about these things, and it is NEVER too late in your life to make some changes.

Last night I went to my first ever creative writing class.

Two friends invited me, and I wasn't sure what to expect, but what I discovered was quite lovely.

I think I envisioned everyone sitting at a desk, an instructor at the front of the room giving us a topic, and saying "write it."  And then we would each critique one another's work.

So wrong - so wrong.  This is not that kind of class.

The name of this particular workshop should have given me a clue that what we would be doing would be oh so much more.  "Women's Writing Pilgrimage: A Healing Journey."

What we had was a group of 10 women sitting in the floor in a circle.  We had some women who are well versed in the Tarot, and they spent some time telling us about it, and explaining some different decks  -  the ways some are different than others, and their likenesses.  And just the basic premises behind the Tarot.  I found it to be fascinating and the decks to each be quite beautiful.

In the simplest of Tarot readings, and a perfect way of becoming familiar, we each drew one card, and the woman seated to our right read to us what the card represents.

To back up just a step - yesterday was my retirement anniversary.  One year of retirement, which has been the purest bliss.

A cause for celebration - and spending my evening with these women doing exactly what we were doing seemed to be THE perfect way to celebrate.  I told them, as we introduced ourselves, that the one promise I had made myself upon retirement was to spread my wings - this workshop in a part of my doing that.


What was the card I drew?

Fruition.  An Earth Card.  #10.

And what was the description of my card?

Here it is, in part - "Open now to fully experience rewards for long work well done.  Enjoying life at its peak.  Celebrate the ripe harvest and take time to smell, taste, and feel the abundant fruits of your labor.  Celebrate."


One of the women in our circle said the card she drew sang to her.  Exactly!  This card truly sang to me.

If I had forgotten my promise to myself about spreading my wings, this was just the little nudge I needed to get me back on track.

As part of my assignment, I'm to write about last night.  Hmmmm - maybe I just did!  I'll be darned.  Who knew homework could be so much fun?!

And I cannot wait till our next class.  The topic is going to be "Positive Magic."  I'm loving this!


Anonymous said...

Kaye, you are a marvel...saying what I so often feel or believe, as in "basic natures." After all the analyzing of behaviors, motives, childhood traumas, etc., we still are basically nasty or nice--but very much able to change if we so choose. Keep writing. I remember my first (over a decade ago) writing classes--and I'm still taking and learning. celia

bo parker said...

Kaye, you have made the joyous discovery. The need for an identity after retirement. As we move from birth to retirement, our identity is shaped by outside forces⎯our home life as a child, our teachers as a student, and our workplace as an employee. With retirement, all outside forces are gone: your identity is now in your hands.

Jane Haddam expressed it this way in her book, Glass Houses: “It’s hard to build an identity for yourself once you started to think you had an identity to build.”

That is the challenge of retirement. It is a hard thing to do. And unfortunately, there are those who don’t even realize the need to build a new identity. That’s why, when the question is asked, “What are you doing these days?” one hears, “Nothing. I’m retired.” And the saddest part? That answer will probably be the same in ten years.

You’re seeing the need, you’re seeking out those outside forces we all need as catalysts. And⎯I’m prejudiced as hell⎯but tickled pink your new identity will be that of a writer. The late Bill Tapply told me. “Be prepared to work harder than you’ve ever worked in your life.” But I can tell you, the reward for that hard work is worth it. It’s a great way to celebrate a good life.

Jill said...

Kaye, I about fell over when the meaning of the card you drew was read. It was such a perfect evening. I also found it interesting that the first meeting of our workshop was in the same building that you worked in AND we arrived on the anniversary of your retirement. Then your card....That whole evening was yours. Celebrate!!!

Eve Barbeau said...

Right now I'm going to go do something positive Thank you.