I don't think I want to do this, make new year's resolutions. Well, somehow I do it whether or not I want to. They're always the same: lose weight, exercise more. Will I ever not have those resolutions? This time of year is a good time to take stock, to be grateful, and to look forward to the coming year with a feeling of hope and optimism.
I am very grateful for being able to retire. Though others who started in the profession earlier than me, were able to retire at 55, I do consider myself young to be able to retire at 58 (I retired in August and turned 59 in October). It was time. Not only was my job stressful, I had urges bubbling in me that needed to be manifested. The urge to be creative, the urge to travel, the urge to explore and express my inner life, the urge to follow my bliss. The urge NOT to be stressed.
I love my teacher friends whose bliss is teaching. The bliss that I had in teaching was being whittled down by the pressure to conform, and perform. The bliss that I had in union work was replaced with cynicism as I saw things get worse in education, and that the union did not seem to wield power to be able to affect positive change. (I still hope they can and will).
So that was then. This is now. I am still interested in education issues. Though I have stepped away, I have not lost interest. I have not figured out my role yet, but I see myself melding this past life with my retirement life, somehow. Stay tuned.
In my retirement, I have marked it by lots of travel. I could keep doing it if money grew on trees, so I have to wait a while for my next trip. I have accomplished a goal of getting enough sleep. I read every night in bed and seem to fall asleep about 11:30 or 12:00 and wake up 7 hours later. My next goal was to remember my dreams. This morning I had a breakthrough and actually got up to write what I could remember of a vivid dream. I filled in half a page of a journal.
So for 2015 - I don't seem to be compelled to change much, but rather I want to do more of the same: more sleeping, more dream remembering, more creating, more reflecting, more writing, more cooking, more emptying of the refrigerators, freezers, and pantry, more organizing, more focus, more clarity, more time with friends and family, more manifesting of urges, more following of bliss.
Diane Aoki is a writer who explores other modes of creativity as her intuition leads her.