A Process of Reinvention

 

The plan was for me to retire from my teaching career after twenty years, at least. Probably closer to thirty. 

To retire because I chose to. Because the time was right.

The reality was different. I retired due to a disability after a twelve-year teaching career. 

Everything changed. Not just my daily routines. But my identity.

I had to reinvent myself, in a sense. 

Recently, I finished my second read of Claire Cook’s Never Too Late: Your Roadmap to Reinvention (Without Getting Lost Along the Way). The first time I read it was a year after I left teaching. 

Now I re-read it, simply for a refresher. A little burst of encouragement to help me get out of my comfort zone and try some new things. 

This week, I’d like to share just a few of the book’s gems with you.

“Life can be ridiculously tough. And when it is, we have two choices: give up or be tougher.”

“  ‘Of course you’re afraid,’ a character in my novel Time Flies says. ‘We’re all afraid. There are only two choices: afraid and boring.’ “

“If Plan A doesn’t work, the alphabet has 25 more letters. (204 if you’re in Japan!)”

All I Can Do is Take It Step By Step

I recently finished reading Claire Cook’s The Wildwater Walking Club: Step By Step. It was a fun, easy read. Exactly what I wanted. 

The book is meant to make readers feel good. To transport readers into another world, Noreen’s world, as she walks with Tess and Rosie and navigates life as a newly certified health coach. 

So, why then, were there times I felt sad? 

Why did this feel-good book leave me feeling a bit down at times?

It took me a while to figure it out. 

And then I realized – it’s the walking. (Which is a big part of the book.)

I no longer know the easy joy and pleasure that comes from going on a daily walk.

I do continue to walk each day in my neighborhood, but they’re not always joyful. Not always pleasurable. 

I walk. Certainly not at a quick pace. And not to count my steps. 

But to walk. To exercise. To spend time with my family outdoors. To observe our neighborhood.

But my walking is … I struggle for the right word. Difficult? (Sometimes.) Unpredictable? (Sometimes.) Pain-inducing? (Sometimes.) Exhausting. (Sometimes.)

I don’t always experience more pain after a walk, but sometimes I do.

Sometimes I experience random pain during a walk. A step off a curb that sends a jolt up and down my left leg.

A sudden gripping pain in my calf, that causes me to stop and wait and hope it will pass so I can continue walking. But then the walking has a bit of limping to it. 

If I walk while in pain, it’s still walking. 

And so I keep doing it. 

Because some days are better than others. 

And I walk, step by step, hoping for one of those better-pain days.