Saturday, August 15, 2009

Setting Sail into Retirement

Westport Morning

Past driftwood benches
dedicated to dead men
a rusty Ford pickup,
splashes toward the marina
through seas of ice rain.
Over the breakwater
rocks a thin mist moves
like a memory of past
catches lost in the wake.

Beating myself up that I haven’t been writing more since I gave up the day job a few weeks ago. I figured by this time I’d be well on my way to a stellar career as the next hotshot literary flash-in-the-pan. Find it’s taking a bit longer than I thought to reorganize my entire adult life - go figure, after 20-something years slogging around Geekatopia with a brown water bucket in one hand and pruning shears in the other.

I’m finding that the first lesson of retirement is it’s not what any of us imagined - not that golden carrot at the end of the stick making sense of all the nonsense we’ve been putting up with since our eyes were bright and our stomachs flat. Nope, it’s a whole new set of carrots and sticks. Only trouble is we are the ones tying the root crop to the apple bough these days - without which we grow mycelium into the couch before reruns of NCIS (How many homicidal Petty Officers can there possibly be?).

Not that I’ve been idle. I’ve redecorated the bathroom (see previous post), painted the west wall of the kitchen, reorganized the spice cabinet, cleaned the fish pond, processed a whole bunch of green beans for the freezer, baked two loaves of zucchini bread, and bought a whole new wardrobe (no longer have company uniform to wear so it’s either shop or go bare), (Hmm, nice rhyme.) Today I’ll bake some oatmeal cookies. Tomorrow I’ll pick up some brown stain and tackle the back deck. Seems like all those tasks I put off for years by saying: “Can’t start that. Gotta go to work in the morning” have caught me excuse-less at last. But next week, yep, I’ll start that vampire novel I’ve been meaning to write.

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