So how about unwinding?
- Definition: relax after a period of work or tension.
- Synonyms: relax, loosen up, ease up, slow down, de-stress, unbend, put one’s feet up, sit back, take it easy, mellow out, hang loose.
Unwinding on My PathForeWord
In my case unwinding is stepping back from my freelance business to just a few clients and spending the bulk of my time living and enjoying life. All of which brings to mind a quote from my blog entry Living Life, written right at the beginning of my post retirement search for my PathForeWord.
How does one overcome the feeling of responsibility to be at work every day? How does one learn anew the art of living life?
My learning anew has involved very active hobbies, volunteering with Scouting, and building a small freelance writing business. But, it hasn’t involved near enough time with my wife exploring this great country and the world. Or for that matter, just taking the time for a cup of coffee at a nearby cafe and lingering through the morning.
That growing recognition, prompted in part by watching a few friends enter their retirement, has motivated me to step back and to do some unwinding.
Work and Responsibility
Moving back to the first part of that quote, I haven’t really overcome the feeling of responsibility. I’ve always been driven by the Parable of the Talents and concerned that I’m not investing my God given talents wisely. Much of that drive will now go into the other aspects of my PathForeWord: hobbies, volunteering, and writing for the fun of it.
On the topic of writing, I’ve defined a new personal project, writing a creative nonfiction account of my family’s history starting in the 1700s with their migration from Germany to the Volga region of Russia and then to the USA. While that project won’t generate income, it will keep me occupied doing quite a bit of research and writing a creative, engaging story. I guess that’s part of what unwinding means, at least to me.
Learning on My PathForeWord
In preparation for this project, I’m taking coursework on Writing Creative Nonfiction at The Great Courses. The course consists of 24 thirty-minute video lectures along with a course guidebook.
For those of you scratching your head about “creative” nonfiction. Here’s the course definition: The art of bringing all the strategies of storytelling to the narration of factual events. It certainly covers factual elements of the where, when, who, and what of the situation. But the emphasis on the “why” comes from the chosen perspective of the storyteller. There is also character development and narrative arc that can be applied to engage the audience’s attention. It should be fun and hopefully end with a book that’s both informative and entertaining. At least I hope my family will read it.
You may have caught my blog entry on a gold watch awarded on the 25th anniversary of a relative’s work with the same company. That article addressed the changing workplace and the dynamics at play that moved career responsibility from employers to individuals. Well, next year I’ll be celebrating my 50th anniversary of full time employment, beginning with my U.S. Air Force enlistment right after high school. Of course, I’d been working part time in grocery stores since I was old enough to help out at my grandfathers store. But that anniversary is as good a time as any to do some serious unwinding in the world of work.
There’s another anniversary that Karen and I will celebrate next year, our 30th wedding anniversary. That, too, is a good time to unwind my work and spend more quality time with my bride.
Of course, I also plan to continue with my amateur radio hobbies and to press forward on Scouting activities, including this weekend’s Jamboree on the Air and Jamboree on the Internet. Plus, I’m looking forward to the amateur radio operation at the World Scout Jamboree in 2019.
As you can tell my unwinding will still involve quite a bit of learning, writing, and working. That will now be spread across the areas that I choose and the time that I choose, rather than the dynamics of client requirements. I’ll be just as demanding no doubt. But demanding only those things I feel are important and worthwhile.
I will still write this blog from time to time as well as my K5ND amateur radio blog. In fact, I may even have more time for both blogs.
Have fun on your PathForeWord and stay tuned for further news from my PathForeWord.