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November 4, 2018: The Wonderful world of Play

I have friends and a family member who either are on the verge of retirement or have retired. Hearing them talk about doing this makes me realize I’m their age. There was a time when we talked about what classes we were taking and about our first jobs. These days are long gone.

I can’t (though I would like to) empathize about the fear of retiring. One person likened it to preparing to leap off a bridge, and another to entering an existential void. What (I think) they are most concerned about is losing the structure that goes hand-in-hand with regular jobs. All the sudden it’s gone. And all the sudden they have to find something else to do with their time.

Alys Studying
Alys Studying

I don’t fear retiring; rather, I fear having to work. As Pete said, it would put a crimp in my style. I, in a manner of speaking, retired 15 years ago, when we moved here to Alaska. What I most wanted, a full-time job teaching, failed to materialize.

My writing career was then and is still my structural glue. I had no problem adjusting to not working because when I taught (at the college level), I had some scheduling autonomy. I asked to teach on certain days at certain times. I also determined when my office hours might be. I was on committees, but not so many that they filled my remaining time.

I have come here to a personal fork in the road, a fork in the road being the same as a crossroads. Yet another job teaching college writing is opening up at the college. I should apply for the job because of the uneven financial differential that exists between Pete and me. And I am in dire need of a new vehicle, something that we now can’t afford. Nor can we afford to get me hearing aids.

I’m leaning towards taking a risk, that is not taking the job, with the expectation that what I am doing now will pay off, if not monetarily, in other ways. I have high hopes for If You Come to a Fork in the Road, Pick it Up because it is an audience-specific book, which in time will have a broad-based readership. If I take on the job at Mat-Su College I will never finish this project. And other writing projects that I have in mind also will not get done. Will royalties pay for a new car? I think not. But you never know.

I’m also now spending a portion of my daylight hours doing horse/human body awareness work. And I’m spending a portion of my evening hours studying about these very same subjects. The time spent doing these things is important to me. I don’t know what the outcome of doing this work might be, career wise. However, I am better off, as are my horses, for my having elected to spend so much time doing work/play/study.

And I am so fortunate, for I will never, ever fear having to retire.

Next: 309. 11/5/18: Darkness Descends

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