The '70s were a time of slogans. Those tritely true little bits of what seemed to be folk wisdom -- and sometimes were -- sometimes also were advertising driven. Whichever, many have stayed with me like the scars from incidental cut and falls accumulated over a lifetime. The one in mind today is "This the first day of the rest of your life." Well, duh, as we say now. Of course.
Some days, however are first days and this is. I quit a job yesterday that I have been doing for some 25 years or so. The atmosphere and demands had become not only untenable but simply hateful in tone. The only times I've quit jobs [twice] in the past have been for exactly the same reason. I had a brief ah-ha moment that said, I don't have to be in this situation. So, as of today, I am retired.
For quite some time I've been contemplating when, what will I do, where will I go? Too many possibilities flooded my mind, too many questions and concerns, hows and what ifs. But some of those seem to have almost immediate answers which I will explore in the next few weeks. I will make decisions and take action. Meanwhile I have time and freedom to tie up ends, finish up projects, and even allow myself the quiet pleasure of knowing I can simply walk out the door at anytime the sun is shining [or not] and take an hour-long walk. Hurray!
I've long said to myself that what I was thinking of as the 3rd section of my life was drawing to an end and a 4th section was due to begin. It has begun. Each section of my life so far: The growing up/educational years, the married with kids/community involvement years, the playwright with day job in NYC years, has brought surprises and learnings and areas of growth and satisfaction I couldn't have imagined. Certainly this fourth area will too. Of course it is the final section, one has to be honest and think of that. Keeping that in mind, it could be the hardest and it could be the richest in experience. But to return to another slogan, another "Duh" thought that is also ancient wisdom: The journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step. I love walking long distances, especially in unknown territory, even in wilderness, and in high places where the trails are rough and the air is thin. I learned that in the third section -- to my surprise.
[Picture is a big sky in an African plain. Any big sky seems appropriate]
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