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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A Time for Reinventing Oneself

I'm now in my third month of retirement and gradually adjusting to the differences in day-to-day life. While I was still working, I assumed that I would still get up at 5 a.m. every morning. Ha! I now totally resent any morning appointments that require the setting of the alarm clock! This morning, I was awake and reading magazines on the iPad between 3 a.m. - 6 a.m. So it was nice to be able to doze off again and not get up until 8 a.m.

I've discovered that the block of time between 9 a.m. - 10 a.m. works best for errands and grocery shopping. Wait until 11 a.m. and the stores are a bit more crowded. But the local police are certainly on duty. Last week I was stopped for speeding while doing my long list of errands (clearly, I must have been in a hurry!), and fortunately, I received only a warning. This hasn't happened in a very, very long time.

The month of March was a bit of a bummer as I had a medical issue to deal with. Nothing serious, but I was clearly not myself for about five weeks. Being lethargic and doing nothing wasn't really the way I wanted to kick off my retirement. But - perhaps that was the universe's message to me to slow down a bit, take life easy and enjoy what retirement has to offer. It's nice to be able to get medical appointments scheduled much sooner than during the days when I had to work around my professional commitments.

I'm glad to be active with my local genealogy society. It's strictly volunteer work, but the activities give me the stability of a job and being around people. And following my passion. When working, I used to joke that "my job keeps getting in the way of my career." Not so any more. I've been teaching some classes and last Sunday I had a table at the Seniors Chautauqua sponsored by the 55+ Seniors Paper. I did surname searches for participants and I had a ball listening to their stories about their family history.

The funniest thing that happened was when one woman said to me, "You're famous in genealogy!" I never thought of it that way at all. But the farther removed I get from the person who worked for 42 years, the more I embrace who I am becoming now. I'm becoming more comfortable in seeing myself as that genealogist, writer and speaker. Before, my life was much more compartmentalized. Now I get to be myself all the time. Reinvention? Perhaps. Or maybe just rediscovering the person who was there all along.

Either way, I love the freedom of retirement. And it's time to go pick up the Birkenstocks that I had to have resoled.