The following posting was written before I made the very recent commitment to Cherry Hill. The blog itself wasn’t ready then. I decided to post this anyway, as it sets the theme for me. Hope it does for you as well.
It took me six months to get used to the idea that I was going to turn 60. I did it by planning a large ritual celebration and dinner party for friends on my 60th birthday. In one part of the ritual, women of different ages talked about the challenges and joys of their own particular ages. My role consisted of formally acknowledging my age and strengthening bonds with my community. I remember saying that, after being divorced for 35 years, I finally would admit that I probably would never be partnered again and, sadly, I believed I might not even ever make love again.
Five months later, my future husband moved in with me.
Now I’m beginning to deal with my retirement, which is scheduled for June, 2011. I will have been a university professor for 26 years. It is how I identify myself. Oh, I’ve been other things – a folksinger, a novelist, a puppeteer, even a diamond courier – but I have identified most and longest with being an academic.
I read somewhere that the self isn’t something that can be found, it is created. In my case, what I did became who I was.
Now I sense I am approaching the abyss of non-being. People ask me what I will do when I retire. I wonder, who I will be?