10. Reboot/ Restart/ New Life

It’s been almost a year since I retired from my-day job.  After more than 25 years I became no longer defined by my profession (Emergency Medical Cargiver). I was suddenly free to be something else. Anything I wanted to be. The next obvious question came up: what do I want to be?

The answer took a while; is still in progress really. I needed to invest some time to gather myself, and discover what was next for me. Leisure bores me silly, unless there’s a lot of football on TV. And Agatha Christie Inspector Poirot mysteries. I have friends who love to travel, but I’m not awfully interested in that. A little bit, once in a while, is plenty. What I am interested in, what I do love, is work. Not hard stressful joyless work chasing the almighty buck – but interesting, challenging, motivating, inspiring, joyful, satisfying work. Work where I can learn things. Discover things.

The question: “What do I want to be?” is gradually but progressively answering itself. I’m putting more time and energy into my small business, and it is growing. I’m writing and publishing, which feels good. I’m taking some classes at Berkeley City College that I enjoy, making and exhibiting artwork.

And I’m coaching young writers in a volunteer program in Berkeley School District called “Writer Coach Connection.” There are teams of us, and we go to Berkeley high schools and middle schools to personally coach and mentor young writers one-on-one. We are not teachers – they have their own teachers and assignments. We just help them “find their voice” as writers and learn the tools with which to express what they want to say in a way that enables other people to “get it.” The “getting it” is crucial at this time our world’s history. Communication is human society’s life-blood. The ability to express oneself clearly and strongly in writing is an absolutely essential skill for everyone growing up in the computer age. Without it they would be voiceless and powerless. These are great kids. I’m sure I was not nearly that smart when I was in seventh grade. I love doing this. I am learning more than I am teaching; this really is a two-way a gift, and I think I’m making out like a bandit in this deal..

Naturally this means I’m reading more, so today I got some new glasses, finally admitting that yes, I need glasses. Dang it, but it’s true. So I decided to get some frames with personality. I went to a store in Berkeley that had a Two-fer special and several hundred different kinds of frames to choose from. What fun! I spent about 45 minutes trying on glasses and having a great time of it, giggling to myself from time to time.

Some of the frames, only Elvis or Elton John would wear. Others were not quite so outrageous, but just something you would not seriously consider putting on your face. Just for fun, I did anyway. Of those I tried on just for fun, some, surprisingly, were not half bad. In fact, surprisingly, were kind of great. Finally I decided on the two pairs I liked and I bought them.  One, a modest pretty wire-rim style. This pair will be the “every-day me.” And one pair I didn’t think I would have chosen but when I tried them on,  I said “Oh. Hey. That’s different…” These will be the “published author me.”

I expect good things from the year 2012, And I’m gearing up for it. Bring it on. Reboot, restart, it can only get better.


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