Listen to your heart
Comment from a fellow teacher retiree upon the release of my website . . . “I thought you'd be toting your golf clubs through Florida or Arizona by now! You've gone in a whole other direction.” He is surprised and honestly, so am I. So why am I not somewhere warm and sunny enjoying my long-time passion of golf, instead of inside my house at my computer, wearing three layers to endure the below-freezing cold temperatures, staring out at waist deep snow? All I can say is, “I believe I am where I am supposed to be.”
My retirement in June 2014 from 44 years in public education has given me a surprising sense of peace and purpose. I have learned to follow my inner voice, pay attention to my intuition, and fear not. A specific incident revealed my retirement path and peeled away the stress of a lifetime of work. On the plane to a family reunion the day after my official last day of school, I plugged in my music and experienced what I now know was a “Soul Journey.” Basking in the well-wishes of my co-workers, family, and friends, I was on a natural high. (Really, it was natural.) My mind wandered into the past, as Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and Neil Diamond rocked away in my ears, and I entered a state of dreamlike awareness - not sleeping, but not really awake.
It was a Pulp Fiction kind of journey, disjointed, but connected by the string of people who appeared along the way, people who had influenced my development in life – deceased husband, close relatives, friends, and some brief acquaintances. By the time I landed, I was inflated to a super-natural high, vowing to pay forward the same kind of support that had been given me. I try to “Make someone’s day, every day.” Perhaps it’s just a smile to a stranger, lending a helping hand to a neighbor, sitting with a friend during chemo infusion, cooking (my favorite) for my family and friends, encouraging a young person in his/her career, or supporting my family and friends. This vow and my newly recognized inner voice guide my every day.
As a result, I am much more open to what comes floating by and attracts my attention, like the SCBWI conference in NY in February. My inner voice (from the heart) echoed, “You know you have always wanted to write. It’s now or never.” So, I scratched my plans to play golf and visit friends in Florida this winter and registered for the conference. I couldn’t afford both (from the head). So here I am, experiencing the wildest New England winter since arriving, compelled to share my experiences to encourage more expressions of gratitude in the world and to perhaps make your day and loving every minute.
Advice whether or not you ask: Listen to both your heart and your head, but act on your heart and you will be where you are supposed to be.
2/24/2015 10:06:32 am
It's funny how we live in a society that values the workings of the head and typically dismisses prods of the heart. Like almost all of us here in western society, this is how I got started both at home and in school. It led to a fiscally rewarding yet emotionally sterile career in the sciences. I worked for several large manufacturing companies in multiple industries (defense, computers, chemicals, tire & rubber, pharmaceuticals), made lots of money, travelled all over the world, met hundreds of brilliant and interesting people, and yet we were all living in our heads! We had a connection, but it wasn't that powerful; it was limited and lacking. It was thoughts, ideas, words, projects, program, manuals, etc. It was work. It wasn't that much fun.
2/24/2015 11:24:42 am
I find I'm rarely more open to the whims of fate than when I'm traveling alone. There's something about reveling in the journey without explicitly focusing on the destination that amplifies the faintest suggestions of the universe. When you can put aside the urgent, you start to focus on the important. Easier said than done.
2/10/2021 07:42:47 pm
Loved readiing this thank you
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Random Reflections by Etta
Blogging about transitions, education, and life. Giving advice, whether or not you ask. Current topic: Whatever is on my mind.