We recently went to the Grand Canyon. Its only a few hours from my home in Arizona but as often happens, you sometimes forget to explore what is in your own back yard. When you consider that the Grand Canyon is one of the seven wonders of the world, it seems a shame that we haven’t been there in over a dozen years. On our way to the Grand Canyon we spent some time shopping and hiking in Sedona. Sedona is a beautiful, magical place with soaring red rocks that’s only about ninety minutes from our house. We had breakfast, hiked and took in the spectacular views. Obviously we need to come hike here more often.
Seeing the Grand Canyon again makes you realize how insiginificant you are. It also made me think about my life and what I want to leave when I am gone. When I decided to retire one of the things that kept me from fully accepting the idea of retirement was acknowledge that I’m getting older. I really do not accept my age. Maybe that is the key to aging slower. But the idea of being able to set my own schedule each day and make those days count is something that is weighing very heavily on me.
My husband has been retired for over eighteen months and he has figured out how to carve out his day to his satisfaction. I am still a work in progress. He is a woodworker who has rekindled his passion and found his inner creativity. At the end of a week or so he has something tangible and beautiful to show for his work.
There are some terrific things about retirement. Travel and time are the two most important ones to me. Time is both my friend and enemy. Every day I consider a gift, but a gift that has an expectation that i will not waste it. I have arrived at a time in my life where my value is still uncertain. When I taught every day, I realized what value and difference I made in my own little corner of the world. I would get hugs at the end of the day and I knew that I accomplished something important.
I need to look at retirement as a process, and not a destination. I’m on this train and each desitination I stop at is up to me. Not since I graduated college have I had so many opportunities open to me, but in reality I need to decide what I’m going to do with the rest of my life. I’m grateful for the opportunity once again, but I don’t want to squander it.
I enjoy doing crafts, writing and photography but I’m not the artsy fartsy type. I would much rather buy stuff at a craft fair than make a bunch of it. I took a cookie decorating class with a friend and after three hours I had a dozen cookies. It was enjoyable but if I had to make these for a living I would end up charging ten bucks a cookie and gain a hundred pounds. Next, I thought I might take my dog to hospitals as a therapy dog, but he’s not that well behaved and pees when he’s stressed out, so I think that’s out. I don’t mind subbing in classrooms, but at the end of the day its only temporary. I love spending time with children, and helping parents advocate for their children’s rights. I think this is something that I can help others with but I haven’t figured out all of the details. I love writing, and in some ways writing my blog is my voice, an outlet to the greater world.