Pandemic and social unrest aside, it’s a good time for me at my age and this stage of my life. I retired recently. I worked hard, and I am thankful that at this point in my life I can see the benefits of my earlier sacrifices and decision-making. This is the absolute best time of my life. I don’t even have a close second. When I retired I had planned on finding another position or working part-time in some capacity. However, when I attended a class reunion a few years ago, a childhood friend reminded me that when I was younger all I talked about was being a writer. She talked about how I was always reading something. Reading continues to be my favorite past time.
In former positions I often had to conduct research, write laws and policies. When I retired, I finally had some much-needed time to be quiet and contemplate what I wanted to do in this next stage of my life. Not what I had to do, but what I wanted to do. There is such freedom in that. My friend Teresa (and now partner) and I had talked for years about doing something which allowed us to talk about issues which impact women (particularly African American women) and would provide a platform to discuss our thoughts on health and wellness.
After much planning, Teresa and I started podcasting and blogging. This was all totally new to me. Teresa had to explain to me what a podcast was. Being a podcaster and blogger is challenging and exciting every day. I feel like chains have been taken off of me. For the first time in my adult life, I have the luxury of being free to explore with no regard for where this journey takes me. The excitement and gratitude I feel sometimes overwhelms me. It physically stops me in my tracks. With this new venture, I feel stronger and more alive. Somehow, Earrings Off is feeding something within me that I was hungry to receive. There are parts of this job that make me very uncomfortable, and sometimes I am exhausted from our schedule; however, I am learning that being comfortable is not all it’s cracked up to be. When you forge ahead into the unknown will full abandon, many times even the stumbles and missteps bring much-needed laughter and growth.
This past weekend I did a girl’s get-a-way with some friends. One of my friends bought watercolor sets for us to do some art. I have never been good at painting, but I was game for the activity. When we finished, one lady in the group said she took art classes in school. Her painting was very good. While we were painting, her face seemed so serene, and you could tell she was enjoying painting. Mine looked like it had been done by a 2-year-old. When we complimented her on her painting, she said she forgot how much she once enjoyed painting and would be painting more when we returned home. Life can be hectic and many times we don’t have the luxury of slowing down to explore (or remember) which activities enrich our lives and feed our spirit. I encourage you to slow down and see what your soul may be hungry for.