We’ve been home for a few weeks now, and, after getting caught up on household chores and reconnecting with friends and family, it was my intention to write one or two more blog posts to complete our latest journey.
But last week I’d decided to spend a day sorting through the huge box of photos and memorabilia to see if I could downsize a little more. In so doing, I came across a very old photo of some people that I’m sure could be the grandparents that I never knew. I scanned it, along with many others so that I could look at it more closely later.
Then, after I got into bed, I got thinking about it, and wondering who these people could be. I had some ideas, but needed to check out some dates on the Family Tree. So, instead of getting to travel writing in the morning, I logged into Ancestry.ca and looked for clues to solve the mystery. Most of my ideas were eliminated by date discrepancies, but while searching some people, I discovered other hints for other family members, and then I was gone. To me, researching family history is like a big jigsaw puzzle. Once I find one piece, I can’t stop. I’m drawn to find more. Before I knew it, three hours had passed and I hadn’t even started to write! But I have no regrets. Genealogy is just another one of my passions. I actually created another blog about it a few years ago, but then posted only twice, and never made it known.
I took a break to make some lunch, and as I worked, I thought of the long To-do list that I always have running through my mind:
Write travel blog posts
Update/improve my website, monetize it perhaps
Make photo books
Develop new blog: Unfolding Our Past
Then I asked myself, “Why do I put these burdens upon myself?” What difference will it make if I do none of them? I don’t expect to earn a living from any of them, because technically I’m retired. So why can’t I just relax and enjoyment retirement? But then, what does retirement mean? It should mean having the freedom to do whatever you want, right? For some, that might mean reading a book, watching TV, playing games or doing nothing at all, but for others, like me, it means having the time to pursue passions that keep the mind and body active, that give pleasure. That’s why I want to do these things, and more.
What does retirement mean to you? Do artists ever retire?
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Very interesting questions, “do artists ever retire?”
I feel the conventional definition of a societal retirement (i.e. leaving work at 65 years old and getting biweekly pensions) is not applicable to an artist. If anything, I feel as an aspiring writer, we probably go through multiple ‘retirements” and “come-backs” throughout our career; we take breaks from our arts, learn and be stimulated by other interests, and come back to our main brush strokes to transform our arts. I can relate to this process as I have periods of hiatus followed by a renewed inspiration.
Very well put, Calvin! I think we all agree. Thanks.
Thank you for sharing! Beautiful post.
The fellow that is second from the left sure looks like your brother Robert. Definitely a member of your family!
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I agree. Wish I could figure out who he is!
Thanks for commenting, Christine. I think you’re entirely right! And it’s so much easier to write when doing it just because we feel like it. Same goes for all the other tasks we take on.
No, I don’t think artists ever retire, Judy. They just figure out different ways to keep their passion alive. You are doing that, and whether you are writing travel stories, memoir, or family history, it’s all writing, which you love. Whether you post it; whether you make any money at it (which is becoming increasingly difficult), the important thing is that you keep doing it. Once you start, you never know where the writing will take you. That’s a journey worth writing about in itself that may cover all of your passions.
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