My sense of time is in upheaval.
Having stepped out of the full-time work-a-day world, I also stepped out of the routines and rhythms that grounded day-to-day life.
And, I’m okay with that.
I hear this is a common experience (I was going to say affliction, but it’s anything but an affliction!) when one leaves the regular work world.
‘What day is it?’, one of my retired friends often asks. Having worked for forty years, he says that ‘in retirement’ everyday seems like it’s the weekend. In fact, the idea of a weekday – vs a weekend day, begins to lose its meaning.
I have loved letting go of the routines that defined my ‘regular’ working life. And, have welcomed the opportunity to let my day, my week, my time take its shape from more internal drives, more natural rhythms. What routines would naturally emerge? Without the needed imposition of schedules, how would I chose to schedule my week?
It’s been a revealing exploration.
And, I should begin by saying, that I’m a person who resists routine. Can’t. Stand. Routine. That is to say, I know I need it, we all need it, (and, I certainly have lived with routine for decades) but my starting point is to resist. (I know. Just like a kid! And, it’s been like this forever!)
So, what joy it was to have no routines at all! You know, to march to the beat of my own inner drummer! Lovely.
When to get up in the morning. When to spend time outdoors. When to see my friends and family. When to grocery shop. And, bank. When to push and when to rest. All of life, the mundane and the amazing, how would it naturally flow.
I was like a kid. A kid on vacation. Sleep in? Check! Relax? Check! See friends? Check! Go with the flow? Check!
I mean it wasn’t all R&R…there was some ‘drive’ in there. But for the most part, for about six months, it was a very gentle, go-with-the-flow schedule. It was definitely about wide open space. I would make only one commitment – where I had to ‘show up’ – a week. That’s all. And, the rest would emerge and unfold as it needed to. I need groceries – time to go to the store. I need to get out of the city – time to book a few days in the country. It was very organic. And, schedule-free.
Consistently, through it all, there was photography. It was not an imposed requirement I put on myself. It was what I wanted to do. Almost every day. The pure pleasure of seeing the world through my viewfinder. To see what beauty I might discover. What amazing sight to be seen right in the midst of the familiar. In the midst of where I live. In my neighbourhood. At the park. At the beach. In my city. Seeing the familiar with new eyes. And, seeing the unfamiliar – country roads, new landscapes, with joy.
And, when you’re in the midst of your passion, there is no time. It is not week day, nor weekend. It is just the moment. It is now.
And, then, one steps back into a ‘schedule’. The dog to the vet, the repairman to be met at the door. The banking. And, on.
I have discovered a couple of important things during this time of wide open space, in taking this approach to my schedule – photography has taken root. It is part of who I am. Given the space, photography has emerged as something really important to me. It will be part of my life, scheduled, or not. It will not be crowded out by other things. It is fundamental.
I have also discovered how important it is to give my self this schedule-free experience. This freedom. This ‘wide open space’ experience. It was not rebellion. It was necessity.
As time moves on, my ‘schedule’ is beginning to fill. Less wide open space, more commitments. And, I’m okay with that, too. For now. But, I will pay close attention to the rhythms of life. The cycles. And, I will listen carefully for the next call for schedule-free time. Like photography, it, too, has become fundamental.
Linking up with the gorgeous community of women over at Vision and Verb. Click the link below and have a visit over there.