Goodness, I’ve let the trials and tribulations of life get in my way. It’s been ages since I’ve written about anything. It’s cold, still some snow on the ground, we had carpeting issues in the house, and there are changes at my church that are weakening my connection and therefore the support I’ve relied upon while I go through my life change due to my severe sensitivity to synthetic fragrance chemicals. Oh, and I tried going dairy free, and cut back on gluten as well, thinking it might help with my fragrance sensitivity, but this just made me feel deprived. But hey–only two more weeks till spring! Even though this seems like it’s been a long winter, it also feels like “wow! it’s almost over already!!” I recently read an explanation of why time flies by as you get older. Wish I could give credit for this, but I read so many things (love that internet!) that I can’t remember what site I saw it on. If you know, would you let me know?
The article, that I’m soooo ad libbing, talked about being a little kid, and how when you’re 5 or 10 years old, a month is a long time. Remember how summer break seemed to last forever and you were actually glad to be going back to school because you were so bored? If not, you had a lot of planned events in your life! I didn’t. My summers consisted of pretty much just gardening and housework, riding my bike and playing with the neighbor kids, running through the sprinklers and reading books. Oh, and the 2 week vacation that I could hardly wait to get home from because we drove everywhere for a gazillion hours, and I couldn’t read or I’d get carsick. No portable DVD players back then. And very little TV time either, when we were home, because there wasn’t much to watch. No world wide web either. Ok, I’m talking about back in the dark ages.
So here’s the thought process: Around age 35, time starts getting away from you. When you’re 55, that month zooms by quickly. When you’re 75, I hear it zooms past seemingly in the blink of an eye. Here’s the rationale–it’s all in regards to ratios. When you’re 5, a month is 1/60 of your entire existence outside your mother’s womb. When you’re 35, that month is 1/420 of your life, 55 = 1/660 of you being here, and so on. As you get older, that month is just a drop in a really big measuring cup, if you’re lucky enough to live a long time. We’re also busier living our lives, as we get older. Have you noticed? There are more and more things that you need to do, want to do, get asked to do, asked to participate in, expected to participate in… When I read this article (source?????) it all seemed so logical. Clarity hit. And that helped me not stress as much about how time flies by. Suddenly, that flitting time thing is just part of life, something to keep in mind and work around, but not worry about. I’ve been semi-housebound for over a year, and was beating myself up about how I haven’t “accomplished” much of anything. Other than reconnecting with my creative side as well as nature, making a stronger home base, finding out who my true friends are, discovering healthier alternatives in our synthetic (fake) world, working on getting healthier and fit, and getting caught up on my sleep. Well, that’s a lot when you break it down!
I’ve officially begun disability retirement. That’s what they call it when you can’t teach anymore due to health issue. So odd, to have only taught for 10 years, but be retired. For over a year, I was without my income in our two income household. Thank goodness we had decent savings and retirement accounts to draw from. It was scary for a while, watching new withdrawals occurring from those accounts for every day living. We cut back where we were willing, always thinking this was going to miraculously improve and I could go back to work. It really rearranged my thought process about what we really needed to buy. I discovered how wasteful I/we had been living, even though I thought we were frugal. I’m thinking maybe I was supposed to learn that lesson, that my comfort isn’t so dependent upon the newest, best, tastiest. I’m discovering less costly ways to do stuff–mercy, we frittered away a lot over the years!! And now that I’m “retired,” we can breathe a bit easier, be a bit less stressed about money, yet utilize the skills of living more simply.
My liaison at the school system retirement program said the supervisor didn’t hesitate signing my request, as I had many doctors confirming my status and my “story” was so sad. Wow–my story is sad according to a supervisor with authority who’s seen it all. This actually helped me a lot, because I recognized that the sadness of this saga wasn’t just in my head, like a pity party. It’s for real. You know, it’s still hard to wrap my head around the fact that the sophomore girls who intentionally sprayed my classroom to make me have a allergic reactions so they wouldn’t have to do homework (!) or take tests (!) or take finals (!) were never brought to the light, and will always know that they caused a life altering health issue in my life. Do you think they’ll remember with the glee that I saw other students boast about “breaking” a teacher?? Bet they will. Maybe not all of them, but most of them. Here’s something–there’s another plan for me that I don’t know about yet. Still opening up to find out what that is…
All those moments really do matter as they’re pieces of the whole. And Happiness IS the Journey, not the Destination, after all. (One of my mantras that I keep forgetting about, ironically!! So my framed version is now sitting next to my desk, eye level.) Remember this as you wonder where your time goes. And remember to do the important stuff in life, not just the time wasters.
With warm wishes on your journey,