A long time ago, I learned something significant about myself. I’m not proud of it; I’m not sorry about it. It’s just how I am. My life naturally divides itself into 5-year increments. I discovered this in terms of the jobs I held. I was uber-enthusiastic about my work for about five years. After that, I got bored, restless, and needed a change. Once I realized that, I was able to do a better job of planning my life.
Now that I’m retired, I see that the same thing holds true. The first five years after I retired, I played. A three-year motor home vacation followed by the fun of buying a house and furnishing it and getting to know my new community. The next five years, I became a caregiver for my mother then for my husband. It’s been almost six years since my husband died. I’ve spent these past five years grieving and exploring my identity as a single person who is aging.
It would be a brave, bold statement to say I now know who I am and what I want. But, I’m saying it. To all the world. At least, to you. The commitment I made to myself this year is to be a writer for the next five years. That doesn’t mean I’m any good at it. It means that I am going to give it my all for five years. Be the best I can be. No wimping out.
Why do you care? Well, you might not. But, if I tell you, it helps me firm up my commitment. Like going to Weight Watchers or AA.
This morning, I read that Aristotle said, “The most characteristically human activity is planning your life.” Kenneth Atchity of A Writer’s Time added, “Those who do are the productive people; those who don’t disappear under the surface without leaving a bubble behind to brighten the world.”
I’m certain that you are brightening the world in your own way. We’d all like you to tell us how you do that. Please.
By the way, do come back here after a few days and read all the comments. They are the best part of this blog.
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