Hey y’all, I’m back!
I began this blog project in 2013 as a way to put my money (fingertips?) where my mouth is. I like to write: fiction and essays and rants about life’s great injustices, comic quirks, and puzzling dilemmas. I particularly wanted to focus on finding my way to the good life in my 50s, and I thought that the blog format would encourage me to write and post regularly. I envisioned writing for friends and family members who are around my age, on the same journey, and hoped to start/join a conversation about the joys and challenges of this age and stage of life. Then things got complicated.
2014 has been an incredibly busy and eventful year. At the end of April, I got an early retirement offer. DoDDS (where I taught, the schools for US military families stationed overseas) needed to thin the herd of teachers because of the ongoing drawdown of military personnel overseas, and I was one of the lucky few who was close enough to retirement to get the golden ticket. My now-husband retired too – he was ready to go. It’s not a generous pension, but we can probably get by if we’re frugal. So – 26 years of teaching in Germany, and suddenly I’m a retiree. Feeling like I needed to write first about this huge change has held me back from writing anything at all. The fact is, it’ll take me a long time to process how I feel about being retired. I do know this: when people ask me (and so many have), “Will you look for a teaching job here?” I can answer with a resounding “No way!” Maybe some tutoring, or teaching something fun like creative writing or exercise, but no more classroom teaching for me. (That’s another blog post I ought to write, why I’m done with being a classroom teacher, but it’s so ponderous a topic that I haven’t yet begun.)
Moving back to the US is another huge topic that I ought to write about. (Yes, I’m a retired English teacher, but “about which I ought to write” just sounds pompous.) Sure, I’ve visited the US most summers, but I’ve spent most of my adult life in Germany, albeit working among Americans. Now we’re living in northern Tacoma, WA. So I do feel a bit foreign, not quite with it when it comes to so many little details about how life works here. This is another blog topic from which I could draw many, many entries. And I haven’t written them yet.
Finally, I got married. That is a HUGE topic, my sisters! I find it intimidating, quite frankly – not the marriage itself; D is great, the best partner I could wish for, and our relationship hasn’t really changed that much as a result of signing the paper and saying “I do.” But the whole topic of getting married – again, in both our cases – having faith that this relationship is THE ONE, that we are a forever sort of thing, and saying so in front of our friends and family – well, that whole experience is a huge topic to wrap my mind and words around. I’m still working on processing that.
You see, like so many people, I process my thoughts and feelings by writing them down. Keeping a journal or blog is very therapeutic, but it takes me some time to sort out my thought on any big change, and there have been so many in the past three months. I’m just overwhelmed. So I’ll just take small bites and write about those, until I can begin to see the bottom of my plate. It’ll be a long time until I’ve licked the plate clean. In the meantime, my search for the (frugal!) good life over 50 continues!
How about you? What changes, big or small, are you facing now?