My husband rarely remembers his dreams. This morning was the exception. The dream went something along these lines. He was returning to his office when he suddenly looked down and realized he wasn’t wearing any pants. Panicked, he couldn’t fathom where they were, how he had lost them, or what he was going to do next. You get the drift. A classic anxiety dream most likely brought about by the existence of some pressing concern at work.
The dream, however, did give me pause (after I stopped laughing that is). As a teacher of twenty-some years, I suddenly realized that I was not experiencing my own, usually punctual, August, phantoms. Where had the midnight visions of being ill prepared for a class of hormonally challenged and energetic 7th graders while being observed by the principal gone? Why, as my sister-in-law so aptly put, had the cricket filled evenings of August not begun to feel like just one long, torturous Sunday night? I could only conclude that I had been unceremoniously dumped by these trusted “back to school” vagaries. For the first time in a long time, as the days of summer begin to fade, I continue to sleep quite peacefully.
The reason for the absence of these nighttime hauntings is easily explained. I have retired. I still have demons. They just begin now when I wake up. Hold on. Stop. That was way too melodramatic! Let me try again. While I do not question my decision to retire (it was the right time for many and varied reasons), I am clearly anxious about what lies ahead or more to the point what doesn’t lie ahead. Many people look forward to and completely enjoy their leisure years. I suspect, no, I know, that I am not one of them. Don’t get me wrong. I love sleeping in, having a second cup of coffee on the porch, doing the crossword puzzle, all those unappreciated, little treasures of life so often buried by mountains of work and the pressures of raising a family.
Quite simply put, I am an ingrate. I want more than these little pleasures. My life has been filled with good health, supportive family, a loving husband, great kids, fulfilling work, financial security, and so much more. In fact, when I hear the oft repeated expression “God never gives you in life more than you can bear” (loosely borrowed from some chapter in Corinthians), I have ultimately concluded that he/she must think me unable to bear very much. I have been lucky, very lucky, but I digress.
I am going to try to be thankful for and fully enjoy all the perks of my golden years (she says not feeling totally convinced ). However, I have too much ego and sheer stubbornness to gracefully ride off into the sunset. I need to do more, but I am not quite sure what “more” is. So while I am figuring it all out, I have decided to confront what mother time no longer lets me escape.
I made a bucket list. Hovering at the top spot on my particular list is the desire to write. Yes, it took me six paragraphs to get to the point, but I did. Write what, you may ask? …a(n) historical novel, a mystery, a tell-all memoir… God knows! I just want to write something. And so, today, I wrote something. And, I will write something else again soon. It could be a funny story about going gray, a rant about how I can’t stand people who litter, a memory of childhood or maybe a brief tale about doing something else on my bucket list. No promises. I’m totally winging this one. I do hope that what I write and share will be worth reading. I will try my best to make it honest and relevant. Maybe you will read it. If you do, you may find something that interests you, strikes a common chord, makes you smile or simply passes the time or maybe you won’t.
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