When I was thinking about retiring, I was worried that my general exhaustion would make me nearly comatose without a job to go to. I got good advice from my dear friend Margaret who told me that when you make the changes your life needs, you are filled with new energy. I was skeptical, but had no evidence to the contrary. I wondered what would happen when I finally left the career I had loved for 35 years, but which had left me in a rut.
Margaret, you were right! Such interesting changes have happened. With no effort, my blood pressure is down to a very healthy range, some other annoying stress related physical symptoms have improved. This is so interesting, that stress has such an impact on us and can come for a variety of reasons. In my case, it was time to make a change and the stress of not doing so was intense. That's how I understand my need to leave my job. Yes, there were conditions in the workplace that really stressed me out, but not everyone felt it as strongly as I did. It was time for a change. And changes there have been.
I love the feeling of having the time to think and reflect, to read as long as I want to. My short term memory has improved (because of less junk cluttering up my mind's attic?) and I am really enjoying picking a variety of books to read. When I became a college professor, I imagined myself sitting in my office in a comfy chair sipping tea and reading. Occasionally a student would stop by for a discussion of some cool topic. Then I would go back to reading and sipping.
Finally I am able to do that. Heaven, pure heaven. My mind is so happy. And, oddly, I have less tolerance for empty mental noise. I have been a news and information addict since my twenties, but all of a sudden I have little tolerance for the posturing and silliness of most political conversation. The lack of truth gets to me - why spend time discussing something that is based on falsehoods, diversions, and out and out lies? So I have turned the car radio to classical WETA. I will stink at this week's "Wait, Wait, Don't tell me!"
I have been working on cleaning out the basement, ably assisted by my daughter, Anna. I do regard this as metaphorical, clearing out untended parts of my unconscious. I believe that is the theory of Feng Shue, that the condition of your surroundings mirrors (and influences) the condition of your mind. And, to my distress, one of my favorite earrings disappeared into the clean up. We went through the trash bags (using the newly uncovered latex gloves) and the boxes for charity, to no avail. I did a search of the areas I had worked in, floor, shelves, no luck. I was pretty cranky about this. Grumble, grumble. (Who said work on the unconscious is easy?)
The next morning I went back to the basement for another search, and spotted a pile of baskets I had made. Going through them I found the earring, happily nesting between layers. Happy, happy. And then I decided to commit to more sparkle. I wear silver, which gets tarnished. Why not stop and polish those favorite earrings before I put them on? Why not take the time to bring more shine and glitz to my life? It's working this week, anyway.
Here's to more sparkle!