I learned about 10 years ago that I can retrain my mind so that I don't worry so much; not anticipate the worst that can happen. Somewhere along the line, I had learned to believe that if you imagined the worst that could happen, it certain would NOT happen. For the most part, I found that credo to live by true, but, it was an exhausting and demanding credo.
Then, ten years ago, DH was approaching his first retirement. We had just moved to Turlock, bought a home, and in 18 months, he would be retired and looking for a second career path. I knew that no matter what, this retirement was inevitable, so I decided it was time to not worry so much about what it would mean financially but to turn my thoughts to acceptance.
This mental retraining was hard work. I was swimming up the stream against the very credo that had sustained me for too many years - if you expect the worst, you won't be disappointed when things don't go as bad as they might have. So - how did I manage this?
Well, I knew what I feared so RECOGNITION had been achieved. Once the fear was recognized and acknowledged, I was able to start seeing it in all of its disguises. Once I was able to see my fears and face them, I could turn away from them and as they say "Let go and let God". I was amazed at how well it worked. Not immediately, but, eventually it worked.
Talking yourself out of negative, self-defeating thoughts is sort of like reverse brainwashing, except this time you are literally washing your brain of the thing that holds you back. When the day came for Don's final day of work and more to the point, the following Monday when he did not have to get up for that long commute, all was peaceful within me. I knew and believed that we would be alright. Ten years later and his second and final retirement a year past, I have learned the lesson and I worry a lot less these days.
So now it is my turn. Retirement looms. I have 2 1/2 years to go and I want it so bad I can taste it. But, I learned something else along the way of retraining my fears and disconnecting from them; I also learned that you have to do a bit of planning. I don't mean financial planning, thought that is a given. This plan comes under the heading of "What will I do now that I'm all grown up?"
Certainly, I can kick back. Lord knows, I love to kick it. Give me a book, a cup of coffee, good music, my journal and a serene setting and I'm in heaven. Give me a walk in any sort of weather and my camera will go to work. Give me time to actually have the energy to follow-up on creative inspiration and I'm there. So what will I be doing?
Yesterday I was having coffee with my friend, Elaine, and I told her that I had always had this dream of having a little hole in the wall shop filled with books and treasures. It would be a place where people could come for coffee and tea, a comfortable chair to settle in for a while, a sort of retreat away from home. Elaine says put it out there and it can happen. Not news of course but a good affirmation nonetheless.
Having my own shop would give me a place to present my own work as well. Small books of poetry, my photography, greeting cards, etc. Since I'm still working, I can't do this, however, I can PLAN. The first step was opening my Etsy store. Currently I have a few crocheted items posted and now some of my photography is up.
And then the universe opened up another door - a show. Elaine is developing into a promoter and she has a plan that includes me. Beyond that, there isn't too much to say except that I will be in a show. What an exciting possibility to look forward to.
So, I have a plan. Develop my Etsy store, improve my digital knowledge, put together my poetry into small books, and most importantly, develop consistency and discipline so that I can succeed in my vision.