Today at the Drawing Board

After many years of teaching, tomorrow will be my last day on the job. Every one talks to me how retirement is about new beginnings. They give me advice about how to travel more economically by putting more extra points on credit cards. Some folks advise to live it up now.” Write a bucket list” someone suggested in passing one day.  But the whole time, I am thinking how I will get back to the drawing board. There so many boards I want to start experimenting with. It is mind-boggling. I ask  myself if  any of these goals were just my unfulfilled dreams. Why didn’t I  make time for these things before when I was younger, healthier and had the energy? I don’t want to sound like I am decrepit or too old to aspire to go back to any of the desires of the past. I am not that old. I am a baby boomer willing to take chances and to face the dreams of the past.

Going back to the drawing board entails lots of planning and thinking through the pros and the cons. I must prioritize and factor in the cost of pursuing some of my dreams and adventures. My children will never believe that I was very adventurous and daring once in my life. I was supposed to go off at the age of eighteen with the Peace Corps. I dreamed of traveling all over the world to help people in need. Another pursuit was to study film-making and to take a few master singing classes to refine my voice. My father wanted me to be an opera singer. I’ m even named after singer Nellie Melba.

I will admit it is a little scary to attempt any of these and a  few more things I have not mentioned now:  you will probably hear about them in the near future. I cannot believe I joined AARP and look forward to hearing how they can help. I also want to volunteer to help out in different venues like Habitats for Humanity and food pantries.

Right now I just want to let it all sink in, enjoy the company of my beautiful grandsons, plan my daughter’s wedding, and hang out with family and my best friend of over fifty years. I have set up my zen space for me to  write and paint. I’ve downloaded some books I want to read over the summer.

It is a beautiful life! Franz Kafta said it best. “Youth is happy because it has the ability to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.”  I make it my business to observe beauty every day. It is right here in my back yard. Beauty is when my six year old grandson hugs me spontaneously. Beauty is in my four month old grandson’s smile. It is present in the red robin that visits my garden every afternoon. Beauty is all around us if we just pay attention. The drawing board will always be there for me. It is time to live in the now and look at the view.

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