It is January 1, 2018 and it has arrived right on time.
It is the first day of my retirement and so far, so good. I’m looking forward to not having to go to work tomorrow and driving in the zero degree weather and blizzardy snow. I am currently grateful for that and for a furnace that works and a husband who made it so as I take the first steps onto this next path.
And I calmly ask: WHAT CAN HAPPEN?!!!!
Haven’t written much lately. And I don’t know why! Life is good. Went to Italy in March and broke my wrist on the way down Mt Vesuvius. I hadn’t even walked all the way up! Ah, I knew that volcano would get me.
It was a wonderful and amazing trip (pardon the pun) in spite of that unwanted event.
I loved Italy and the coffee they served and the way that they served it. And I have stories about the joys of traveling with my husband, and my daughter and her husband (who guided us with great care and patience), and the wonderful people we met and finding and visiting my grandparents home village.
So why don’t I write about all that in detail?
Meanwhile, I am getting ready to retire in January and I am thrilled and slightly terrified by the whole thing. I will miss the people and the structure of work and the details of my job and being necessary to the whole mission. I will also be elated to not have to attend to all those details and not being necessary to the whole shebang. I will miss the very things I do not currently wish to do. It’s such a mixed bag of emotions and expectations.
The very things I love are sometimes the very things I do not love.
What can happen?
I felt light yesterday
the sun shone and called me away
Today jumped in and turned it all inside out
the sun lurked sullenly behind the rain clouds
and it’s not easy to have the sun out there
all lurk-y and sullen
just beyond reach
And it’s not easy to be at odds with it all
marching to a different drummer
I’m consistently trying to figure things out
I wonder and wander through pages of doubt
After resolving an issue or two
Seventeen others arise into view
It’s exasperating and challenging and stupid and fun
with all sorts of emotions rolled into one
Mostly, I’m grateful for how things unfold
It could all wind up tragic
if truth would be told
Surely that’s life
It goes up
It goes down
My goal is to greet it with less of a frown
We are all kinds of brave as we face-off each trial
and our arms are wide open as life kicks us a smile
Wake up happy
Wake up sad
Think of all the good we had
Why spend so much time feeling bad?
Sometimes sad just seems to find me
Grabs me up and takes me down
Shakes me up and lets me frown
In random moments I remember
to bring my thoughts away from me
Do something fun or complicated
Let time pass with concentration
and trust I will get back to peace
Time goes clacking along
Day after day after day
It clacks and carries on
As if I am not even here
And yet, I am
Sketchy at best
Unpredictable and blurry
All the ways we are blessed
Can be gone in a hurry
And yet we persist
and we try not to worry
(which, by the way, is not an easy task)
Still, what is the point?
(I almost forgot to ask)
since life is what we have
all amazing and quirky
Is it all about making
really good soup
and meeting who you meet
and running through snow
in your stocking feet?
(which you might want to try if you ever get the chance)
I sense somehow
that I censor myself
so no-one can find out
But I don’t know
what it is
they might discover
When I just relax
and let it be
I tend to arrive
much closer to me
When will I be so collected
as to be somewhat unaffected
by the uncertain and unexpected
When will I ever just accept it
Whether vulnerable or well-protected
Something happens once you pass sixty years old. Speaking for myself, you become more in tune with…..with…absolutely nothing. Or at least it feels that way sometimes. I keep waiting to become more in tune, but I’m 62 (or 63) now and I am still off-key and often tone deaf.
Any moment now all the wisdom and ease and acceptance should be kicking in. Any moment now. And yet…
I don’t even really get the cha-cha-cha step. How is it done? I see it – I observe the motion — I cannot grasp it in practice. So how can I be expected to grasp the intricacies of existence?
It’s not that I’m giving up. I won’t give up on the possibility of genuinely internalizing the wisdom I’ve come upon through the years. I still believe I will grasp it on more than an occasional basis and it will enable me to just live; live, without all the second guessing and frantic speculation and bru-ha-ha. But will I cha-cha? I do not know. I believe it could happen.