Retirement, Anxiety, and the Creative Spirit

So it’s finally here! After much debate, doctor visits, and physical therapy sessions, I have retired early from my job of 22 1/2 years. I’m not able to claim disability but am fortunate enough that I don’t need to find a desk job somewhere. At least not for the foreseeable future. My first week was full of plans, final doctor appointments, blood tests, and bone density screening, plus a massage while I can still afford one. Next came a few weeks of Christmas shopping, wrapping presents, and baking goodies. At this point retirement is bliss! And I have great plans for my future.

Goal 1: For Christmas, I not only get the guitar I was wanting, but a keyboard as well. I really wanted to start writing songs again. I intend to use the instruments to help me accomplish that goal, as I am definitely just a beginner on these things. I also have a flute, which I want to play at church. I played flute in band from 5th grade through high school forty plus years ago.

Goal 2: In November 2017, I participated in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) for the first time. I wrote 25 chapters but couldn’t think how to end the story. So my goal is to rewrite and finish this novel/novella, and get published. At the same time I am trying to get back to a writing course I purchased last year. The funny thing is the course recommends reading, so I started reading and ended up spending a lot of time reading, buzzing through dozens of other people’s books. I am so easily engrossed.

Goal 3: I decided I should volunteer in the office at my church one day a week because I knew I would need some structure or I would end up a fat, debilitated, couch potato. It took a month and a half for things to get worked out but, finally, I should start on Tuesday. (Unless my background check comes back with some crime I’ve committed that I don’t know about.) 😉

Goal 4: If I’m going to cook and clean, my house needs to get organized. I definitely have OCD tendencies and I don’t do well if the dishes are on the counter or things are hard to find. I have a whole craft room full of stuff I could be making, but it has also been a catch all for anything I don’t want to deal with at the time.

Goal 5: I want to spend more time with friends and family. When I was working, I had a schedule that changed every week, making it hard to plan anything. Now that I set my own schedule, I plan on going out with friends a few times a month. I also have aging parents that live 40 minutes away, I have wanted to visit them once a week, but so far, it’s more like once a month.

Goal 6: I want to do some creative projects. I made the mistake of finding Flea Market Flip on GAC, I started watching during the day while I eat breakfast and lunch. I wish we had a good flea market. I would love to up-cycle and see what I could come up with.

Goal 7: Okay, this should be first on my list; Life Group, Book Studies, and spiritual growth. I started this year reading through Ted Dekker’s The Way Of Love, having gone through The Forgotten Way last January. This one seems harder for me, but it’s worth the challenge. I also joined a group at church going through Rooted last year and now that has become my Life Group. This group has helped me connect with people. I have always been a wallflower, not really comfortable making conversation. This group helps me toward my goal of spending time with friends.

So having said all that, let me get to the point! If you’ve read my blog, you know I deal with anxiety, and today was one of those days! With so many choices, I end up worrying about making the right choice. I had the intention of going out to see my folks, but then I saw an event on Facebook for a women’s worship night at a local church. I have an electric car and have to choose between them or find a ride to the worship night. This fills me with anxiety because I also have a mess in my house from my organizational project with full and empty containers waiting to find their place in the cupboards I have yet to go through. Oh, and did I mention I bought an exercise bike? It stares at me, reminding me I am not going to turn into a couch potato!

Being retired opens up a world of wonderful choices for how to spend my time, and I have to remind myself I can take my time, I don’t have to do it all in the first month of being retired. So I find someone, my daughter, to go with me to worship and determine to go to my folks tomorrow if my husband wants, or Monday if he wants to do something else. Being creative, I want to do many things, but if I want to keep my sanity, I have to allow for breathing room. God showed me that my life is like a garden: I can plant flowers, trees, or fruits and vegetables; I can place benches, fountains, pools, and pathways; but if I build a fence around it no one can see it’s beauty or share in it’s bounty. Life is best shared.

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