Wednesday, June 1, 2011

What's next?

In three weeks it will have been a year since I quit my job. At that time I had three main goals: (1) to learn how to teach English as a second language; (2) to help build a house for Habitat for Humanity in my area and then in the South in an area affected by the hurricanes; (3) to train to become a mediator.

(1) I did - and discovered that I don't want to teach English as a second language. I may tutor one on one, but the teaching thing is not for me. I have blogging friends who love, love, love it, and I envy them, because I don't.

(2) I did - and discovered I still have a passion for the Habitat organization, but I don't have the stamina, at 62, to work all day on a construction project. I want to take a nap after lunch - and I actually did that, twice, in my car. Most likely I'll call my local affiliate and see how I can help other than in construction. I'm a fast keyboarder, I can design a database, I can speak before a group of any size. Wonder what they need?

(3) I've signed up, and will take the 40-hour basic course in three weeks. I have no idea what will happen after that, but I'm open.

Also, I took 13 trips!

So now I'm looking at my life and thinking, what's next? I've got a busy schedule if I choose to follow it. But there's a kind of sameness to it now that I'm nots nuts about.

I talked to a good friend yesterday and she said, "What is it you're supposed to do?" And I said, "I don't know." And she said, "Put your intention out there and be willing." So I did, and now I'll see what happens.

In the last few days of our road trip, I hurt my lower back. No pain in the back, but my feet have been tingly because of an annoyed nerve in my back. My doc says it could take up to six weeks for the sensation to go away as my back heals. I can't tell you how much time I've spent in the last couple of weeks thinking about my feet. Like if I focused on them, I could fix them - but the injury is in my back! I've noticed in the last couple of days I've gotten on with my life and taken my feet with me. Actually, they've taken me on my life. They're good soldiers, my feet, and my back is healing slowly.

I have a tendency to want things right now: normal feet, a goal I can clearly see, ten pounds off my butt. But there's no timetable for my life. Even when we're traveling, we have to allow for the unexpected variation. I'm good with that. Maybe it would help for me to see my whole life as a trip - then I could be more flexible.

Duh.


15 comments:

Teresa Evangeline said...

My feet hurt after a day of gardening and yard work. What you've described sounds like a triathlon for retired people. Yikes. I am amazed at what you consistently accomplish.

marciamayo said...

You've had a busy year and an interesting one. I'd rather teach than build a house so it's good we don't all like to do the same things.

Retired English Teacher said...

I am absolutely amazed by all that you have done and accomplished in the past year. Congratulations to you. That is what I call a year packed full of living.

I suffer from the lower back problem also, and often have numbness in my feet. I find chiropractic and massage help me the most. Rest up. I hope you are better soon.

Deb Shucka said...

It's awe inspiring what you've done in the last year. I admire your willingness to look at your life differently, and always enjoy traveling along with you here. I hope your back heals quickly - I can really relate to the wanting-it-now thing. :-)

Terra said...

I admire how much you have accomplished in one year of retirement, and hope your back injury heals soon. 13 trips in one year, wow!

Grandmother said...

How fortunate we are to try things out and find that which brings meaning to our lives in this new phase. I'm at the 2 year mark and still searching for deeper ways to make a contribution while traveling this journey. Good for you for the accomplishments of this year and for admitting not being satisfied if your not.

Georgia said...

"Life is what happens to us as we are busy making plans" I have always credited John Lennon with the saying but was corrected recently.
I like it regardless. I find myself planning, planning, planning. More than anything I just want to enjoy the moment. Wish me luck!

DJan said...

Yes, you have accomplished a tremendous amount since you "retired." Weird wondering what is going on with the back.

BTW, the weather is looking good for either Saturday or Sunday at Harvey Field in Snohomish.

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

What a great first year of retirement you've had! I think trying new things, even though you find out that you don't like some of them (like teaching), adds to your growth. And I think we all have so many purposes in life -- and the inspiration for your next one may come when you least expect it, perhaps in the quiet of a morning lingering over coffee or in the middle of just enjoying yourself on the road. Living in the moment is perhaps the biggest challenge those of us who have been goal-oriented all our lives face on a daily basis.

CherylK said...

You've done a lot! That's so terrific. I think you should just "go with the flow"...isn't that kind of what your good friend is saying?

I'm a lot like you in that "I want it and I want it NOW!" I'm working on that little problem but I have a feeling it's hopeless :-)

Sightings said...

I sometimes think it's too bad that our ancestors rose up on two feet, instead on staying on all fours. That's what gives us all those back problems!

I've got tingly arms from a bulging disk; and bad knees and ankles from old injuries. Last year I lost 15 pounds, thinking that would help. I believe it's helped some; but mostly just allowed me to fit into some old clothes (which is not a bad thing.)

Anyway, it seems to me you've done more in retirement than most of us. So good for you. Keep busy, and you'll stay ahead of the pack.

karena said...

I say...just be. Let the universe decide what's next. Just sit still a spell and listen...the answer is blowing in the wind. Sign...sign... everywhere a sign.
Hope your back is on the mend by the time you read this. Wishing you well.
love,
karen

wheels4me said...

It has been an incredibly busy first year of retirement for you. WOW! Sounds like next year will be filled with different activities. That adds an element of suspense to "what will Linda do next?". I look forward to reading more adventures from Linda.

Murr Brewster said...

Right now, go lie on the floor with your feet up in a chair, as though you were sitting in a chair 90 degrees off. Relax. Then get back to me.

gigihawaii said...

I am like you in that I hate to teach -- mainly because I hate to use my voice all day. I prefer peace and quiet and time at the computer rather than the hustle and bustle of a classroom and students who need to be spoken to.

I taught ESL in Bangkok, Thailand in 1969, fresh out of college in Hawaii. Later I was a preschool teacher in Hawaii, and that's when I finally threw in the towel...