Thanks for checking in. Yes, the plan is ON TRACK for moving back to Nova Scotia for simpler living semi-retirement in spring of next year. January has included a couple flurries of cleaning and, after I donate more footwear, I will consider my clothing purge (following guidelines in The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up) 100% complete. I haven’t been writing much lately, but I’ve been thinking a lot like peeling onions—going layer after layer as I question where I’ve accepted the norm in society rather than examining alternatives or being more vocal about what I feel is right. More on all that later.
The first month of the year also had a sense of winding down …
One evening as I was leaving my office to go home, I stopped to look out the window at the other high rise office and apartment towers and at the moon, all brightly lit and I thought: remember this. In a couple years, you will be looking out at forest, at water, at the darkness far away from a city and this will seem like a dream.
On a weekend, I went for a walk in the local botanical gardens. I’d only been there once before, 15 years ago. I conjured up a bit of how I felt then. In 2001 because tech work was so new to me, I never felt relaxed on the weekends (or the weeks). I always felt like I should be working. Like I was so far behind I couldn’t not worry. Like I was going to get a phone call asking me to come into the office. The whole weekend I was thinking about Monday morning. And on top of that was the opinion that since I was less happy than before, I must finally have got my shit together and become a grown up. No wonder I didn’t go back to the gardens until this month!
The other feeling I can touch from those days: always wanting to buy a little something as a distraction. Evenings and weekends were full of eating out and wandering in stores as a way to suppress the constant sense of unease.
Of course I’ve become more comfortable in my jobs since then, but after figuring out my semi-retirement plan, I think I’ve become the most effective at work I’ve ever been. Sure, I still get a lot of irrational worrying thoughts and I still procrastinate and I still distract myself too much, but I’m more content overall now than I’ve ever been before. So when I look back on NOW in 5 or 10 years, how will it feel? Will I be so much more content in 2021 that I’ll remember this time as uneasy? Or will I be challenged by SLSR and less happy? One way or the other, I hope I’m there to find out.
References and related links:
- SLSR: simpler living semi-retirement.
- The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo