How fast this anniversary rolled around! I was keeping track, so it didn't really surprise me. I knew it was coming. But what surprises me is the ensuing year since the Marker established itself. The anniversary is my one year retirement from my day job, a job that was eliminated, thereby eliminating me from the office. At first I considered looking for another job -- something part time. But if you haven't noticed, jobs are a bit scarce right now...especially for my age group. So I accepted retirement gracefully, if not cautiously. How long would this last? Could I afford to do it? I didn't ask myself what I would do...I had known that answer for over ten years. Write full time!
I guess I had the stock phrase 'don't quit your day job' in the back of my mind during the first few months of Freedom. My exact plan of my non-nine-to-five day was quickly abandoned. I didn't dawdle over a cuppa in the morning while scanning the newspaper (I don't drink hot liquids in the spring and summer and I don't get the newspaper), I didn't have a set day to grocery shop or wash clothes or bake or do housework, (all that came when I felt like it or Necessity dictated I do it), and I didn't spend hours in the garden or photographing my groundhogs et al or eating lunch with friends. I've been more nonchalant about most things in my life, now. No need to follow the clock or calendar for some things. The laundry gets done when I need clean clothes and I grocery shop when I'm tired of dining on stale heels of bread and scrounging around in the fridge for something -- anything! -- to eat. It's kinda nice.
Research for another book has occupied some of my time. Research for McLaren and Taylor & Graham...hopefully I will need the research for the next Taylor & Graham.... One of my more interesting bits of research happened when I contacted a guy in England -- he's with a sword dance troupe. I hope to meet up with him next summer when I go over. And I may meet a professor I've been emailing on the subject of spirit animals. If nothing else, my retirement has been interesting so far!
So, no, my retirement has not been what I thought it would be when I envisioned this years ago. It's better than I imagined it to be. The only sticky wicket I see right now is the future of Taylor & Graham. But if I can get that resolved to my happiness, then I will keep writing two books a year and giving talks and book signings. The whole of my life until my Freedom was preparing me for the glorious last third of my life. And I'm grateful it did! Can't wait to see what this next year brings me....