Sunday, June 20, 2021

Week 4

Nine weeks ago I wrote a blog post. As with most of my writing, the purpose was as a therapy to help me deal with the fast approaching retirement that had been thrust upon me before I was ready. I was very worried about a lot of aspects of not only retirement, but the events leading up to it. Writing always helps me to deal with stress and also reminds me to go with the flow - trust the Universe.

As I start my fourth week of retirement I have to admit it is beginning to grow on me. I don't miss work as much as I expected to and I love that some of ex direct reports still contact me to for advice or just to chat.

Since the week before I retired I have been attending twice weekly physical therapy sessions for a damaged rotator cuff, and doing follow up exercises every day to try to fix it. Once that is completed, I hope with success, I will have more time to fill. I am rarely bored, I have a backlog of things on my 'to do' list. 

I do not like television I get restless and eventually I will go to sleep if I sit in front of the TV. If my husband is watching some mindless TV show and then I just go knock something off my aforementioned list. 

Luckily, living by the lake we get to go out fishing whenever the weather allows, being Texas that is a lot! Either a slow trolling boat trip up and down the lake in the early morning, or an evening spent fishing off the dock.

Following advice I came across while researching retirement (yes, I did that), I keep to a schedule, that is, my workout schedule is still the same, if a couple of hours later than when I was working. One hour on the treadmill five days a week. However, the rest of my day is flexible. If we are not on the lake, I will spend the mornings writing or researching and the afternoons working on embroidery or other projects; I keep my options open and I am always ready for some unexpected outing, even if it is just a trip to Costco.

My embroidery keeps me occupied for hours, though the main attraction there is not so much the final product as creating the patterns which the machine will then automatically follow and punch out on whatever fabric I place in the hoop - usually a t-shirt. 

Yes, I do have a lot of t-shirts, for me the fun is in creating the pattern and then seeing it materialize - there is no other motivation; that is, I don't try to sell them though sometimes I do give them away.

I signed up for the first day of my retirement. I have completed eight courses in creative writing, covering a wide range of disciplines and styles from Salman Rushdie to David Sedaris. I have enjoyed those courses so much I fear if I don't start writing myself soon I will just continue watching and listening to these masters. I have long been aware that I am slightly OCD, and I suspect that had I been born 50 years later I would be one of those kids doped up due to ADHD. These tendencies do lead me to become obsessed with the theory in order to delay diving into the process. Before retiring I deliberately broke my long held addiction to playing Candy Crush, knowing that it would fill up my days and prevent me from doing anything worthwhile with all that free time looming on the horizon. As I completed number eight of my masterclasses, David Sedaris, I took his words to heart and decided the time for me to write was now, before I became addicted to learning about it.

I have noticed that across the varied styles of writers the same set of recommended habits and hints recur. And by listening to such a variety - comic book, children's stories, young adult, historical, thriller, mystery, drama and humorous, I got unexpected insight into exactly the type of stories I wanted to write. At least, I think I did - one thing they all said is that once you start writing, the story could take you in totally unexpected directions. A hint that was recommended by every one of them was always carry a notebook and write down ideas, observations and snippets of conversations as they happen. I ordered two pocket sized, leather bound notebooks. Again as with my embroidery, I write for my own benefit because I enjoy it, there is no motivation other than writing down what is in my head.

I think I am ready! 

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