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Things open up a bit

Here are some of the unexpected and strangely immediate effects of Not Having To Go To Work On Monday.


  • I sat and watched a whole movie--an obscure, tiny, foreign film--yesterday without the slightest sense of distraction or boredom. Mind you, it was a very good movie, but in recent years my attention span has been so fragmented that only the most pitch-perfectly fannish thing, preferably no more than 42 minutes long, has been able to keep me from clicking away.

  • I keep looking for reasons to take short bike rides and walks. To my surprise and relief, my desire to leave the house at least a couple of times a day is significantly greater than it was when my only destination was work or unavoidable errands.

  • I eagerly signed up for a moderated discussion about Justice Sonia Sotomayor's autobiography. It's the sort of thing that I would have been vaguely interested in before, but which would never have risen to the "actual doing" threshold because it would never be more important to me than private, personal, quiet time.

  • I have signed up for a French conversation meetup. This one I don't know if I'll actually go to, since it requires a degree of extraversion that I can't usually muster, but I didn't instantly rule it out. That's the amazing thing.

  • I've re-edited a swath of Restraint, and there's progress on other swaths. It doesn't seem impossible. I think I can get it into agent-query-ready condition in the next couple of months.

It feels a bit like, I don't know, being able to leaf through a whole book whose pages were formerly clipped together. I knew all those things were there--the interests that didn't quite rise to the level of passions, the curiosity, the desire to learn something new--but I just couldn't unclip them. It was too disappointing, the feeling of being an unmotivated loser because I couldn't find the time and energy to pursue any of them.

Now I'm turning over the pages (at a leisurely, luxurious pace) and it's like my brain is coming back online. I can go and discuss gender and justice in Sotomayor's story. I want to find out what happens to Pim in North Sea Texas--and discuss it and think about it. There's room in my brain to brush up on my very-rusty French. I really do have time to write.



I don't have to limit myself anymore to just the top priorities: work, food, transportation, sleep, and a thin sliver of stress-relief in the form of easy hobbies. It's like suddenly being wealthy after many years of just-above-subsistence. Or like moving into a house after living for years in a place not quite big enough to stand up straight in. Or changing into clothes that aren't too tight.

Things are opening up in such unexpected ways, and it's wonderful.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comments.

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( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
lyrstzha
Jan. 4th, 2014 09:29 am (UTC)
That does sound wonderful! I'm happy retirement is proving so fruitful and freeing for you.
emeraldsedai
Jan. 5th, 2014 04:03 am (UTC)
I took a 20-mile bike ride today (2.5 times my usual day's distance) just because it was a nice day and I was in the mood, and I had the time. It's pretty fantastic.
decemberleaf
Jan. 4th, 2014 01:14 pm (UTC)
"[I]t's like my brain is coming back online." Yes!! And exciting and quite lovely, just what a new phase of life is all about (or "should be" anyway!). I'm loving your descriptions of it.
emeraldsedai
Jan. 5th, 2014 04:04 am (UTC)
It's really a surprise. This whole retirement thing, though I'm not really doing anything extraordinary, is already proving to be an adventure.
(Deleted comment)
emeraldsedai
Jan. 5th, 2014 04:04 am (UTC)
\o/
executrix
Jan. 4th, 2014 02:22 pm (UTC)
Glad to hear all of it, but especially WRT Restraint--I'm one of the club that says an answer to "What's the next step?" involves the letters "agent" "serial" and "numbers".
emeraldsedai
Jan. 5th, 2014 04:05 am (UTC)
Hold that lovely, lovely thought! Thank you for your encouragement.
peacockdress
Jan. 4th, 2014 03:38 pm (UTC)
That's fantastic! Yes, the fragmentation of one's attention is very frustrating, and a battle I'm always fighting too. It's wonderful to live vicariously through your freedom.
emeraldsedai
Jan. 5th, 2014 04:07 am (UTC)
Hi! And thank you. I so much admire your self-motivated way of life and art. You seem so passion-driven, which I never felt I could do (and keep a roof over my head). It's pretty wonderful to start exploring my own passions. And even my mild interests.
peacockdress
Jan. 5th, 2014 04:40 pm (UTC)
You see my at my best, and your vision re-inspires me. It's a cyclical process.

And by the way, I didn't mention that I'm very excited to hear about further progress on Restraint. I really can see that becoming a wonderful phenomenon - it could become very big. The first gay period drama? That would be electric. And absolutely possible at this point in history. Pitch, pitch, pitch!

(And not even the first, in fact, if you count Brideshead Revisited.)
emeraldsedai
Jan. 5th, 2014 10:15 pm (UTC)
I love that cyclical process and I'm honored to be part of it, in any little way I can.

I really can see that becoming a wonderful phenomenon - it could become very big. The first gay period drama? That would be electric.

Hold that beautiful thought for me!

donutsweeper
Jan. 4th, 2014 06:02 pm (UTC)
It does sound just utterly wonderful! Congrats on reaching that milestone!
emeraldsedai
Jan. 5th, 2014 04:07 am (UTC)
Thank you. It's turning out to be adventurous in very unexpected ways.
twasadark
Jan. 5th, 2014 12:09 am (UTC)
Awesome! You deserve it!
emeraldsedai
Jan. 5th, 2014 04:08 am (UTC)
It's very kind of you to say so. Not sure how much "deserving" comes into it, but man, did I ever need it! :D
helenajust
Jan. 8th, 2014 07:21 pm (UTC)
That's wonderful! I'm only surprised that you've reached this point so quickly. I wonder if that's because you've been preparing yourself for retirement, consciously letting go of everything to do with work. for some time.
emeraldsedai
Jan. 8th, 2014 08:13 pm (UTC)
That's it exactly. I've been on the "glide path," mentally, for months. It helped a lot that the final weeks of work were the holiday season, too.
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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