The Incredible Lightness of Being

Let’s face it….we live in a goal oriented society. Think about it. What is the standard question at a job interview? Where do you see yourself in 5 years. What is the title of the best selling self help book of the last decade? The Purpose Driven Life. Even in our  leisure time we set goals. Of course you have a bucket list. Don’t we all?

I recently retired. For the first time in my adult life, my time was my own. No place I had to be. No challenges to meet. No achievements to gain. Liberating. right?

Not so much. I began to obsess about what I should be doing. I should be doing volunteer work. I should sign up for that Tai Chi class. I should create a beautiful garden. I should be productive. As the shoulds piled up, the guilt piled up exponentially. Retirement wasn’t as fun as I had imagined.

Then it hit me. I was asking the wrong question. Instead of asking what should I do, I needed to ask, what do I want to do and what don’t I want to do? Guess what….I don’t want to work, even as a volunteer. I don’t want to find a group of lady friends to have lunch with. I don’t want to learn a new skill. I don’t want to achieve anything.

I want to sip tea and read all day. I want to make necklaces and give them away to perfect strangers. I want to take the occasional walk alone. I want quiet and serenity and solitude. I want to give my introverted soul what it was denied all those hectic years in the corporate world.

So be warned……if some lady offers you a free necklace, she’s not crazy or trying to run a scam. She is just pursuing her own version of bliss.


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