This week marks one year since I retired. An entire year. That seems almost impossible to me, yet the calendar is right there. Bam.
It has been a busy year, certainly. I finished a (very long) book and got it published. I’ve tackled projects around the house that I’ve been putting off for too long. I’ve taken up the violin (the poor neighbors…), and I’ve been exercising regularly to try and keep this grumpy back in line. This semester, I’m teaching again, which I love.
But as I look back over this year, it occurs to me that life does this. It’s kind of like Schrödinger’s cat, but for time. It creeps as you’re going through it. So much of our lives spent working, and every day can feel like a slog, until you realize the slogs have added up to years, and then the years have become decades. I don’t mean to imply that work wasn’t enjoyable. It mostly was. But alongside all of those years working were all the other things that make up a life: falling in (and out and back in for good) of love, getting married, buying houses, having dogs and cats move into – and sadly, out of – our lives. It all adds up waking up one day and realizing one entire phase of your life has passed by. Slogs and leaps – all at the same time. (Thus the Schrödinger analogy, in case you were wondering where I was going with that.)
That doesn’t mean the next phase isn’t just as full of promise and fulfillment. Maybe adventure. Travel was one of those things we thought we’d be doing a lot of once we were both retired, but an aging dog has altered those plans a bit. We’ve done some, but not as much as we’d planned. Plus, if you read this blog regularly, you know I’m a Hobbit. 🙂
It’s also kind of hard now to remember what life was like pre-covid. The world has been permanently changed in some ways, especially for those who lost loved ones in the pandemic, and yet some people carry on as if covid didn’t exist. Another Schrödinger thing.
If you’ve stuck with my musings this long, thank you! I hope you’re enjoying autumn in the Northern hemisphere, or spring if you live in the Southern hemisphere. Wherever you are, try to appreciate the slogs as you go through them, because one day, you’ll look back and realize life has handed you a leap when you weren’t looking.