I’m at an age where it’s easy to settle into what’s comfortable. I like my routines and my routines have made me a healthier and happier person by making it easier to create good habits. But there’s a part of me that also understands the need to step outside of my comfort zone, to take risks or at least try things that are don’t come easily. I decided to learn how to play piano when I turned 40. As a child at my grandmothers I would play songs on her piano but only the melody as I’d learned to read music playing flute. Learning to play top and bottom notes is serious brain gym. I try not to get intimidated by the eight year olds whose fingers seem to whiz over the keys.
The biggest challenge is getting used to a new norm. When I stopped working during the last few months of my first pregnancy I had to create a predictable schedule for the day. Not that every moment was planned, rather 3-4 things that set up a framework for having a sense of purpose and accomplishment to my day: a walk, stopping in to visit Phil at work for a couple of minutes, taking a nap, writing a letter or card.
I’m at that point again; no, not pregnant, but voluntarily unemployed and attempting to change careers. Much as I love teaching I love writing more and I had to ask myself ‘When are you going to give it a go?’ Turning 50 coincided with a series of deaths to people close to me and a significant health issue for my son, then myself. Trite but true, the reality of how short our time on this planet can be became very real.
The challenge is staying true to my goal of giving writing a fair go. I feel the burden of proving myself, of justifying taking this step out of a comfortable, tangible career to follow my passion. Am I good enough? I think so. Does it matter? Well, yes, it does, but I also know that if at the very least I return to writing regularly I will have achieved my goal in taking this break. Writing affords me the opportunity to express my thoughts in writing. I love it, I love finding the right words to convey the thoughts and feelings that fill my life. I love writings ability to connect me to my family and friends, to cross the distance of time and space and allows me to imagine them sitting by my side.
And in today’s world of rapid change and challenge it also allows me a measure of hope that through communication we will implement actions whose aims are to leave it a better place than yesterday.