I now take time to sit down and enjoy breakfast with my husband each morning. When I was teaching, we only sat down and ate breakfast together on weekends and during scheduled breaks. Now it is a simple ritual, a simple joy. Sometimes we even linger after eating and watch birds from our dining window feasting on seeds we’d left for them.
When I take our dog for a walk around a nearby pond, I want to take in everything I see – the water, the ducks on the pond, the winding paths, the contrasting colors and various textures that I see. I feel alive, a part of my environment, reconnected with life.
I had a wonderful career as a community college educator. I got to live my dream job. Even so, I realize that my entire life had been structured around my career. Even when I was home on extended breaks, I was playing catch-up with my ‘real’ life. Today I’m living my real life.
I did create a certain amount of structure for myself after I retired. I needed a certain amount of structure to feel secure – I think I still do and probably always will. However, I also am starting to realize that my schedule can be adjusted as needed. I have flexibility. When a neighbor friend wants to go walking in the afternoon, I have the freedom to exercise and enjoy the company of a friend. When I recently had an opportunity to spend some time with my grandsons during the middle of the week, it was easy for me to readjust my schedule and enjoy three amazing young people to the fullest.
I’m learning about having a balanced life. I’m learning about taking time to rediscover the joy that comes from having time to recognize it and savor it. I’m starting to really live my best life to the fullest. I wish the same for all of you.