Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Any Further Towards a Narrative of Retirement?

Basically no.

I only really started feeling retired when I got back to Louisville after Lake Medora.  Being at the lake was like an extended summer vacation.

Louisville is where I lived most of my non--retired life.  So being in Louisville feels, negatively, like not a vacation, but, positively--well I really don't know yet.

I do have this fabulous trip to Europe

and then a good long stay at the lake.

But eventually, I will need to figure out how to lead a retired life when I am not on vacation. Hmmm.

Spring 2016, my first extended stay in Louisville, I do have a bunch of things lined up.
  • In January I am scheduled for jury duty (having successfully postponed the summons I received--I kid you not--on December 31, New Year's Eve--for jury duty February 2015. when I will be in Budapest).  Oddly, I am looking forward to this; I have never served on a jury before and would love to be part of an interesting case.
  • Sometime in the spring, I will repeat the series of workshops I did for UofL's Delphi Center on Building Writing Assignments.  I am also going to do a workshop for the Graduate School on mentoring students.
  • AND we plan to sell our house and buy a condo in our neighborhood, the Highlands.

As I look at this, I realize I have a pretty full list for Spring 2016, and after that I will be in the U.P. where the narrative is lake life.

So I do have events to carry me through two years.  But my narrative feels too episodic, too picaresque.  I am still looking for a coherent narrative that moves towards something, rather than a set of  as yet non-connected episodes.

  • Should I have figured this out before I retired? Would have been great, but probably not feasible.
  • Should I try to figure it out now, or wait til I run out of stuff to do.  Not the answer, because I need more than a series of events.  I need a goal.
  • Should I try not to think about this too much for the time-being and concentrate on what is just ahead.  Obviously, yes.  Living in the moment is as important as living towards the future.

PS  It is not accidental that I chose pictures involving food and drink.  Part of my retirement narrative must include eating and drinking of all sorts.

PPS  I did realize that when all my friends were gearing up for the semester that I was very glad not to have to make a syllabus!

PPPS  I think this blog is telling me I have to "write" something, but that it has to be multi-modal.


  1. I think it's hard when you first retire to adapt to the concept of living in the moment. We have spent all our working lives planning and timetabling the future but the truth is that life doesn't have to be a series of schedules and targets. Unfortunately it has taken me until retirement to discover this!

  2. I think I am still in the process of discovery. So far I have tried to evade the whole idea of retirement by moving around (I.e., travelling). But eventually I will have to stop and take a breath.