Now that I have finally finished the newsletter for Hampton Roads Writers, I’m sitting in the quiet in my favorite bedroom, the one of I call the Sea Room because of all its lighthouse and sea pictures and other sea paraphernalia, and reflecting on “life.” Every three months I have to get one of those newsletters out, and it’s like pulling teeth for me. I fret over whether or not I will have enough copy, many times having to write articles myself when people don’t send me things, and then I worry it will go out with mistakes I don’t catch. After all, this is the newsletter of an organization for writers. It better not have writing mistakes.
But this time was different. I usually do a four-page newsletter, and this time I made it eight with the help of three interviews I had with three local authors about their new books. I think my questions were pretty good, and they sent me interesting answers with enough material for a whole page for each of them. As I was writing it over the past four days, I was actually feeling pumped. I felt like I did when I was still working and had to come up with some big report my principal wanted me to prepare for Central Office. It was nerve-wracking and I was anxious, but I was also exhilarated as things came together and I was proud of the end result. I was proud of a lot of things I did while I was working.
And now I’m retired. Aside from that newsletter I do every three months, no one depends on me for anything more than a clean house and dinner on the table. My sweet husband comes home full of stories from the office: who did what, who said this, who said that, what projects he’s working on, etc. “I did the laundry today,” I say. “I found your missing sock.”
No, I don’t want to go back to work. I worked hard as dean, and I will never have a job like that again. Besides, the reason I retired and we left Texas is so that we would have more opportunities to see our children. If I were working, it would defeat the whole purpose. Still, I’m trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life. I want to feel as mentally stimulated as I did when I was working. How do you get that back? I worry that I’m losing what little mental acuity I have left.
So. I’m trying to figure out this new life. You would think I would have done this by now, after four years, but I haven’t. Well, enough boo-hooing. Time to go and beat that bodhran. Nothing like drumming to lift your spirits.