When I left my profession, school principal, I feared I had left behind a premise upon which I base many activities and decisions, that of life-long learner! Finding that one must reinvent oneself in retirement, I vowed to hang onto that construct! What can I continue to learn? Is all learning worthwhile? What can I pass on? What should I push toward? In framing myself during 2015, year three of retirement, I added new learnings to my list. Those that seemed of most importance are shared here…
Plein Air painting, serving as a ONE SPARK judge, Publix Cooking Schools, UNF Olli courses, the new Star Wars movie, volunteering, chemo and radiation, touring Freedom Tower at the September 11th Memorial, trains vs planes, family get togethers, Europe in World War II, vinegar, inn keeping, one room schoolhouses.
Framing gratefulness. During a special recent trip with family through Berlin, Nuremberg, Vienna and Budapest, it came to me just how very fortunate it is that America’s soils were untouched at home during World War II. So many towns and cities are still rebuilding after being 80-90% decimated during that war! Their history and cultures are so complex and complicated! Being German AND Scotch-Irish, I discovered I relate more to the Scotch-Irish side of my ancestry.
Framing commitment. Another war that did rearrange the United States was the Civil War! I am sooo appreciative I was not born until 1951! During my research of the only remaining one room schoolhouse in Duval County sitting at the Walter Jones Park in Mandarin, I have met fascinating people who have helped me understand this school’s beginnings in 1868 and its contributions that carry on into today. We humans have wasted tons of time when we could have been loving and understanding one another over disagreements trying to find social justice balance.
Framing awe. My friend, Verna, has been determined to beat her cancer this year. I have accompanied her to treatments and continually shake my head in shame that I could not have done what she is doing. Tearing up her body to save it with chemotherapy and radiation! Color me proud!
All in all learning continues to make me hungry, to salivate for more. There is so much to do and explore. As I enter my medicare year (gasp.ugh.grrr.), I will continue to see how my bucket list can be fulfilled. How did you frame 2015 for yourself?