Well, I made it. It's been exactly one year since I retired from HP. So I have an urge to capture, to enumerate, what has transpired in my life since then. That's how my brain works (and I come by it naturally - you should see letters I receive from my mother and sister! Lists, lists, enumeration, accomplishment, work).
But it's so hard to put into words. I have opened new doors, and they will continue to be presented to me; we make choices every day.
Do I miss HP? Well, sort of. I miss the people I knew through work, of course. Sometimes I miss program management. It is a skill, and perhaps a talent. But if I were to answer in a word, the word would be, "No".
Would I go back to work in the high-tech world? That is a door that hasn't been presented to me yet.
I spent this past year educating my sons: kindergarten and first grade. They are learning how to read and write and do math in their heads. We are learning about planets and rocks and cultures (we're in Spain as I write this). We play with words and numbers and believe that art is whatever you decide it is.
Life is like that as well. I suppose that is what I've learned.
I have had a few minor feelings of panic. I have new definitions of who I am and to whom I am attached and what I do with a day. Some people are thrilled to hear what I'm doing; I've also been attacked verbally by more than one.
I had a life with money that flowed like a river; now it is a trickle, deftly managed. The water is precious and it sustains life; generally we ignore it and go on about our process of learning.
Thinking on what I need most, I have worked on making new friends, talking to God, giving to my community, and being with my children when they need me most. I no longer have an adult partner, and that is different for me, harder for the children, and makes me appreciate and love my friends even more.
We have a new church, where everyone knows our name and asks how we've been when we were not present. I feel known and loved in that church; it feels as if I have always belonged there but had not reached that door. In July I will go on a mission to Guatemala with people from our new church. I am thrilled that this door will open and take thirteen of us through it.
Still I knit, and design, and teach others this wonderful craft. Next year my designs will probably appear in more publications. The trick is always balance of those things I love to do and the time I've been given.
I continue to breathe deeply of the air from the redwoods, to bake bread, to read out loud, to sing in the car, and to write poetry. I hug and tickle my boys and assure them that it will not break my heart when they no longer want to hold my hand and sit in my lap. We are all growing up in our own ways.
There is a new possibility for my future, a different career than I ever would have thought myself brave enough to attempt. The URL is here: http://www.suchavoice.com/Pages/Talent_FactPage.cfm?TalentID=2822
And you just never know, I could have a completely different story to tell a year from now.
Thank you for checking up on me! You know how to reach me.