Monday, August 10, 2009

Neighbors--and some thoughts on fear

I meant to post a lot earlier, but about 7:30 I wandered out to the porch with a book and a glass of wine. Sue came by to pick up a book I had for her and went home to get a glass of wine; Cathy, who lives on the other side of Sue, came by walking her dog and I gave her a small bottle of red wine. And we sat and talked for over an hour. We'd been to see Julie & Julia together, so we talked about the movie, and about the school across the street--this morning people wanting to transfer their children from out of the district were camped out on the lawn, and I wondered why there were all those cars on my street. Now I know. We talked about ethnic food--Cathy comes from Czech people, and I from German and British. Sue's parents won't eat lamb, which she and I adore. It was a far-ranging discussion, and I love that neighborhood spontaneity.
But I meant to blog tonight about fear. After battling agoraphobia, in one form or another, most of my life, I know about fear. I once thought of writing a memoir about agoraphobia and living a full and rich life in spite of it but I decided exploring my own mind too deeply would have a bad effect. But nowadays when I do yoga, I end with a relaxation session that turns into prayer. After I concentrate on relaxing every muscle in my body (down to the tiny ones around my ears and knees), I ask the Lord to clear my mind of worries. Since I've retired, I find I have only two major worries: one is to improve my self-confidence in walking. A few years ago I walked blocks and blocks in the neighborhood with confidence; now I have a hard time walking to my neighbors. I used to be nervous when driving, but that has gone away, replaced by this walking thing. I had it when I was in my thirties--couldn't walk across an empty parking lot to save myself--and it went away, so I'm expecting it to do that again. I do feel I am so much more relaxed since I retired--and so many fewer worries to ask to be rerlieved of--but I am stiill more comfortable walking next to someone or something--a wall, a bush, etc.
The other worry I have is boredom--strange thing to say, but I'm afraid my busy retirement schedule will slow down. Right now I'm doing a lot of work for the press--some contract and some pro bono--and I have lunch appointments almost every day. But I still fear, as I always did, waking up and thinking "What will I do today?" I don't really think that will happen--I will always have writing projects, but I still worry about it. For me, writing projects are only good if there's an end goal in sight, like publication. I don't write just to amuse myself.
Meantime, I have that cookbook to edit. I woke up this morning, swearing I would finish the Mexican food chapter before I went to lunch but here it is, after ten o'clock, and I haven't touched it, though I've done lots of other good things. Sometimes I think I postpone projects so I won't run out of things to do, but that's dumb. I have to get that chapter done. Maybe tomorrow--but then I have breakfast and lunch dates and am keeping Jacob in the evening. Why do I ever think retirement could be boring?

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