Thursday, October 22, 2009
Learning to do nothing: A year later.
February 17, 2004
Much time has passed. Doing nothing is easier-a lot of floating through days and weeks, trying to find direction, punctuated by visits from relatives, holidays' get together, trips up and down the coast and out of state.
After Christmas, we flew to Florida with a stop in New Orleans, our Christmas gift to each other. It was good to get away in the middle of rainy season, but disappointing as well. New Orleans was too "packaged" this time. We stuck to the recommendations from the hotel concierge. The driver from the hotel seemed to be reciting well-rehearsed jokes for us tourists. We didn't feel the excitement and raw energy of our first visit back in 77 when we walked all night, with two children in tow, visiting jazz clubs and hearing the greatest music we had ever heard. Streets were crowded with people of all ages, and we were not worried about our safety in the least. Even Cafe du Monde looked lame and scrubbed this time.
Maybe it's us.
Florida too felt different. Nothing like the Florida we knew in our college days, the running around Key West at all hours, barefoot and penniless. Now, everything was expensive; everyone, older than us. I don't remember old people at all when we spent vacations down here in the 70's, down from Tallahassee with our two children and term papers to complete, spending time on boats, fishing for our supper. I loved Key West. It didn't hurt that I was working on my thesis related to Papa Hemingway.
We must have clearer goals when we travel. I'm glad too that we didn't rush to buy the motor home. It would be cumbersome and cramped and totally an eye sore after a while.
Days float by. Instead of jobs, we have appointments with doctors, dentists, surgeons and testing clinics. How did we get these appointments in when we worked fifty hours a week and drove 120 miles a day?
Hubby has volunteered to coach baseball. I work with a non-profit. We're meeting people and beginning to be accepted.
The best part about retirement is the feeling that your day is yours to do what you like. We have coffee and read papers in bed for hours. Everyday feels like a new start, full of possibilities.
One of these days, I wish to find a passion so deep that will make me jump out in the morning and dream deeply at night. For now, I'll practice patience and contentment.