Early retirement has been like walking this zig-zagged iris garden boardwalk. Lots of fun travel over here. Golf and art lessons over there. Short term volunteer assignments along the way. Thoughts of marketing some of Mom’s artwork (she loved painting irises). Blogging a lot, then not. Walking around enjoying the beauty, like these travelers, but not jumping off into any particular field. I’ve written about my retirement identity crisis recently. However, I’m turning the corner into some things that are motivating me like I haven’t been for a while.
- Art: After years of relating to my Father because of similar education and career choices, I’m aligning myself with my Mother’s creative side. Some wonderful artist friends of mine are opening a gallery soon and I’ve signed a representation agreement to show and sell some of Mom’s work. After 40 years of art gifting from my Mom, I’ve decided to start parting with some of it. It’s what Mom would be doing if she was here. She was a professional artist, after all. I will be working shifts in the gallery soon and proudly representing her. I’ve also joined the local art council after doing some volunteer work this spring. It was so inspiring, being around art and other art lovers. You don’t have to be a professional artist to be engaged in the art community.
- Volunteerism: After months of event based volunteerism, I have joined the volunteer staff at a local charity resale shop. I felt a sense of commitment to doing this after sorting donations for Hurricane Harvey victims. The woman who runs the shop was overseeing the processing and distribution of a “flood” of donations. This non-profit is local, organized and committed. It cares about its volunteers too, making sure they are trained, challenged and appreciated. I find this work meaningful and, after years of not having worked retail, find I can still run a register and dress a mannequin!
After nine months of retirement, my transition boardwalk is starting to straighten out a bit. It’s just the beginning, but I can see more and more purpose on the horizon.