If you've never visited Kaye Barley's blog at Meanderings and Muses, you're in for a wonderful treat. Not only does Kaye feature guest posts from a long list of writer friends she's made over the years, but she also writes enchanting posts about her life.
The current series on building and organizing her library is fun, especially since Kaye's photos of the project revealed piles of books that make my own book stash look puny in comparison.
Moving Forward by Kaye Barley, Guest Blogger
Retirement. A time of opportunity.
And being a bit scared.
Lots and lots of things to think about when it's time to make that big step.
Sadly, there are many of us who realize we're bored a few weeks into it.
Sadder still--there are those who do nothing about it.
Becoming static is always a possibility.
But, like happiness--it can be a choice.
I know, I know--we're not always happy, happy, happy. I'm speaking of our most basic nature. I'm a believer in our own basic natures. I believe some people are basically nasty, while others are nice.
I believe some people are basically happy, while others are not.
And I believe if someone truly "wants" to be happy, they can make that choice and find ways to lead them to that goal. (I'm not too sure, however, about those basically nasty folks and frankly try to stay as far far away from 'em as I can.).
Being static may be comfortable for some, but I doubt it's ever going to be a happy place to be for very long.
Think about it. Where were you in your life ten years ago? Still there? How 'bout ten years from now? Will you still be in the same place?
It doesn't just have to be retirement that starts people thinking about these things, and it is NEVER too late in your life to make some changes.
Last week I went to my first ever creative writing class.
Two friends invited me, and I wasn't sure what to expect, but what I discovered was quite lovely.
I think I envisioned everyone sitting at a desk, an instructor at the front of the room giving us a topic, and saying "write it." And then we would each critique one another's work.
So wrong--so wrong. This is not that kind of class.
The name of this particular workshop should have given me a clue that what we would be doing would be oh so much more. "Women's Writing Pilgrimage: A Healing Journey."
What we had was a group of 10 women sitting on the floor in a circle. Women who were well versed in the Tarot spent time telling us about it and explaining the different decks--the ways some are different than others and their likenesses--and the basic premises behind the Tarot. I found it to be fascinating and the decks for each to be quite beautiful.
In the simplest of Tarot readings, and a perfect way of becoming familiar, we each drew one card. The woman seated to our right read to us what the card represented.
To back up just a step--it was entirely coincidental that this was also my retirement anniversary. One year of retirement, which has been the purest of bliss for me. Also coincidentally, the workshop was held in the building I had worked in for 14 years before retiring.
A cause for celebration--and spending my evening with these women doing exactly what we were doing seemed to be THE perfect way to celebrate. I told them, as we introduced ourselves, that the one promise I had made myself upon retirement was to spread my wings. This workshop was a part of my doing that.
I drew an Earth Card. #10. Fruition.
Here, in part, is what it represents: "Open now to fully experience rewards for long work well done. Enjoying life at its peak. Celebrate the ripe harvest and take time to smell, taste, and feel the abundant fruits of your labor. Celebrate."
This card spoke to me.
If I had forgotten my promise to myself about spreading my wings, this was just the little nudge I needed to get me back on track.
And I cannot wait till our next class. The topic is "Positive Magic."
Retirement can be scary.
Don’t let it be!
Spread your wings--it’s your turn to fly.
Kaye, thank you so much for giving us this thoughtful piece. I suspect you've tempted a few young writers with full-time jobs to look forward to growing older, just for the opportunities that come with "retirement."
For those of us who've reached a certain age, your words inspire and motivate. Try new stuff. Never stop learning. Be adventurous. It's our turn to fly.
Kaye has contributed to two anthologies: Clothes Lines (from 75 western North Carolina women writers) and Women's Spaces Women's Places (from 50 WNC women writers). Both are edited by Celia H. Miles and Nancy Dillingham. The anthologies can be purchased through Celia Miles' website.