There is a popular expression seen in various forms. I remember it most from “The Sound of Music.” To paraphrase, “When God closes a door, somewhere He opens a window.” Since I believe firmly in that idea, I suppose it’s why I’m not experiencing great sadness at the prospect of my retirement from teaching. I view it as moving on to the next great thing in my life.
Speaking of moving on…this summer marks the first in more than ten summers that I will not be at Big Bowman. Making the decision wasn’t easy but it wasn’t terribly difficult either. I had a great run at the lake and created loads of memories to add to those from my childhood. But, as I keep reminding myself and am now believing, Jay Gatsby was correct in not going back. It will never be the same. I always “got it” in my head but am now absorbing it in my heart.
Truthfully I’ve spent far too much of my life being what I’ve felt others wanted me to be. Due to circumstances beyond my control, I’ve HAD to be something that wasn’t the real me. Though I’m still finding the “real” me, I now have the courage to embrace and recover my base personality. It is indeed a humbling process.
Part of this awareness surrounds the fact that I put everything and everyone else first in my thoughts and feelings. I am in the process of learning to put myself first and acknowledging that it doesn’t mean I’m selfish. For years I’ve “managed” health issues without being proactive. And I find myself in a situation now where I must do more than maintain the status quo. I must take my health back. That’s the tricky part. It’s hard, harder than most things I’ve ever done. I’m learning to make it a slow process but I’m not a patient person where I am involved. Enough.
But I am working at it because this wonderful window is stretching forward before me. And I’m excited, so excited. Why? Because I will be able to combine a few of my very best skills in my future endeavor. I love history and research, I love making people happy and I love to write.
I give thanks for being allowed to enjoy Big Bowman for so long. And I am more than thankful as I continue to watch the window to my wonderful future open wide.