Wednesday, May 2, 2018

When Everything Changes But Not in a Bad Way

I’d just written four decent sized paragraphs here, but then I reread them, highlighted the whole mess, and hit the Delete key because although they were decent sized, they weren’t decent all together, and I just wasn’t satisfied with them.  Unfortunately, I’ve found that to be the case frequently since I retired from teaching.  My thoughts aren’t the same as they were when I was still teaching, but I haven’t yet figured out if that’s a good thing or not.

In the past when I wrote here it wasn’t difficult to pick a theme and more or less stick with it throughout a post.  Now, though, I’m finding that after a paragraph or two I’m heading down an entirely different path of thought from where I’d just been a sentence or two before.  To be certain, in “real life” our thoughts are generally scattered all over the place as a day goes on, but in writing I was always taught, and taught my own classes, to write thematically within a given framework of thought that was determined at the beginning.

 Retirement changes all kinds of things and I’m thinking that my wanting to run in all different directions when I’m writing now is just another manifestation of my change in lifestyle from working full time to every day being like a Saturday.  It used to be the case that when I was out riding on the scooter I used the opportunities to be alone and focused to do some introspection – to dig through the mental cobwebs and clutter and just clear my head.  Now I’m more like a little kid at an amusement park while I’m out riding, looking all around me and appreciating the sheer thrill of things, the wind in my face, the things I see and hear and smell.  Although I’m still focused on the road ahead, eyes always scanning for bumps, potholes, gravel, and jackass drivers, my thoughts aren’t focused on any one thing.

For most of my 34 years in classrooms I loved the job, the kids, the subjects I taught, the moving through a typical school year day by day, yet now that I’m away from it I can look back and see that it was too much how I defined myself.  I can’t quite put this into words, but when you’re in the workforce, no matter how much you might enjoy your actual work, there’s a seriousness about it all that is always with you even in moments of seemingly great levity and after you punch out.  Even on weekends and during holiday breaks.  Even during summer vacation.  Retirement changes all of that!

 Now that I don’t need to use my time on the scooter to clear my head, I’m a little lost in figuring out what to think about when I’m riding.  My thoughts are like the roads I take often unknown in terms of where they’re going to take me and where I’m going to end up.  And while I’m liking that, I’m still a little unsettled by it because it’s so different than what I’d grown used to.

I suppose that’s a good part of why I haven’t been writing much here too.  I don’t come back from a ride as I used to with a clear thought of what I might write about and as a result I find myself too often with a diarrhea of words but a constipation of ideas.  Nothing’s worse than wanting to write, but not having something I want to write about, and that’s why I sit down here only to find my fingers rather than my brain  moving me in all different directions and find myself working Backspace and Delete like nobody’s business.

 I rather like that one of my favorite bloggers now breaks up a single post into different topics with separate headings and while it would make a lot of sense for me to adopt that style too I feel like I’d be stealing the concept and that wouldn’t sit right with me.  So I don’t know if I should write short posts often, or write longer ones less frequently.

Oh, hell!  It’s not that it matters terribly.  It’s not like I’m getting streams of great traffic here, but I know there are the few of you who check back from time to time to see if I’ve cranked out anything worthwhile and I do like to have something worth reading sitting here when you do.  Until I figure out what I’d like to do I’ll scratch out what I can and post some pretty ride pictures when I can’t.

Now that I don't need to count days till a summer vacation life is decidedly much more free, but awkwardly different.  Hopefully I'll grow into this every day's a Saturday thing!

 Who said retirement was supposed to be easy?

1 comment:

kz1000st said...

My late wife never stopped being a Teacher. If it was the school year she was planning, in the summer coming meetings were on her mind. It's a hazard of the profession. I haven't had as much chance to ride as I used to and have had ti include home anecdotes in my blog. I check several times a week to see if you have updated your prose.