But a new friend of mine has been an amazing inspiration. She's wonderfully relaxed, easy-going, and seems always to be "living in the moment" - to me, she's the epitome of "zen" and a wonderful example of a life well lived. If only I could live that way, right?
A couple weeks ago, in a conversation with the Voluntary Simplicity discussion group in which we both take part, she told us about a time in her life when she had no job, no money, and no home; and what a wonderful and liberating time in her life it turned out to be. Somehow "the universe," she said, "just has a way of taking care of us."
Her words struck me. They stayed with me, laying heavy on my heart that night. And as I reflected on what she had said, I realized that the whole experience, which could have been frightening or deeply depressing for her, turned out to be incredibly liberating. And here I am with the perfect opportunity to live freely, letting the experiences of the day lead me along adventure after adventure... and what am I doing? I'm micro-managing myself to death. Way to go, Heather! Hmm. You know, my friend also says that people tend to find their way into our lives when we most need their kindness and guidance. Message received, my friend. Message received...
I woke up the very next morning and deleted every single to-do list from my laptop dashboard. Granted, I have a general idea of what I'll do each day based on visual cues (i.e. if there's a pile of laundry on the floor, it must be time to do laundry), but more than ever, I'm letting the day take me where it will - whether than be in my garden, housework, reading, baking bread, or wandering around town on a bicycle (or a little of everything).
Without my to-do lists these last couple weeks, I still get most things done. There were a couple times that things fell through the cracks, but strangely enough the world didn't fall apart. Go figure.
Now 10 months into my "retirement," I'm finally learning to be at peace; I'm learning to be free; I'm learning to let go... It feels REALLY good!