November 25, 2023

I’m getting antsy. I had to spend a lot of my time going for back therapy – across town – 3 days/ week. Now, I’m better – not completely, but almost, and I suddenly have all this free time. I mean…really free! 

It’s a blessing. And I’m constantly reciting my gratitudes. “I’m walking without a cane. I have the time and money to live my life the way I want. I’m free to visit and travel. I’m healthy. And so on…” And then, there’s this nagging feeling that I should be doing … something.

Mornings are a beautiful thing. If I wake up in the middle of the night and I’m just…wide awake, I don’t have to worry about rushing out the door. I take some form of herbal remedy and enjoy myself. I take a hot bath, read my book, do some writing, watch an episode of a favorite sitcom (Modern Family or Life in Pieces is my current binge) with those glasses that block the blue light (I turn the screen all the way to dim also) so I don’t wake myself back up too much. And about 2 hours later, I’m back to sleep until I wake up. Glorious. 

My morning is so peaceful. I have several books that are lined up on the table next to the couch for those chilly mornings, or I take them outside and feed the birds in my yard.  Finally, I get to sip my coffee. I have a little top that I put on my mug and it does a pretty good job of keeping the coffee hot. Coffee. No frills. No sugar. A touch of half and half. The kind we get from cows. Sorry, everyone, but almond or oat or coconut or goat milk just doesn’t cut it. I sip slowly, breathing in the aroma of the coffee with every sip, which I think is even better than the taste. The next thing I know…it’s 3 hours later. Time for a walk, or exercise, or maybe breakfast first, unless I have to go somewhere (most of the things I do now are strategically scheduled at 10 a.m or later). 

So yes, I’m loving this whole thing. As I get older, I get slower, more deliberate, more peaceful. 

And then, the restlessness sets in. I have a few things that I’ve signed up to do over the months. The thing is, I miss my work. Not my actual job, but everything that went with it. The built in socializing, the students, the busy-ness, and doing things that I know how to do well. Having people need me. Working my skill sets. Teaching and mentoring and editing papers and explaining how division and fractions are actually the same thing. Overseeing grand projects that my students worked on, like integrating sustainable ideas into their creations. Problem solving. Being creative every single day. And on and on. 

Now, I feel purposeless. I recently had a conversation with a friend about purpose. I said that I had determined my purpose years ago; that my purposes weren’t about the job I was doing, but loftier and more expansive – inspiring people, service to the earth and to people, bringing humor and perspective to people. Those things were the purpose behind the things I did, the career I chose, the joy or wisdom I could impart. 

So, I know these things intellectually, but now, it feels like everything I’m doing is superfluous or something to keep me busy. I realize that there are a zillion organizations that could use me as a volunteer, so I’m searching for the next thing. 

I realize that there are classes I can take to learn art or lectures I can attend. There are a zillion things I could be doing. But here’s the thing. Ironically, I’m too tired to figure it all out. I’m actually tired of constantly making an effort; one of the reasons I retired. 

I think I’m trying too hard. On the one hand, I’m feeling really ungrounded. Antsy. Wanting my life to have some boundaries or containment. 

On the other hand, I’m like an amoeba – amorphous and permeable. This is where I pivot, where I sit in gratitude and realize how much potential my life has, how exciting it is to live in the question, wondering what’s next. 

Slowly, I’m allowing my life to unfold. I’ve started to move away from the need to take my old skill sets and bring them to life again. They’re always there if I need to call upon them or integrate them. But I’m opening to spirit, attempting not to push against the flow. Breathe. And allow. I’ve often been one to make stuff happen. Be in the Doing. (an oxymoron, I think). And now, I have to Be in the Being. 

I’ve always loved challenges, and I realize now that to Let Go (and some would say ‘Let God’) is my greatest challenge. I am opening to things that I know nothing about. Reinvention of the self. Novelty. Keeping it fresh. I’m just sending out good vibes and thought forms to the universe, releasing attachment to the outcomes, and stepping into awe, never knowing exactly how and what will show up, or when. 

At least, that’s the goal. 

Liked it? Take a second to support Robin Engel on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!

Leave a comment