I was fortunate enough, a couple weeks ago, to go and spend a week at one of our provincial parks here in Saskatchewan. Cypress Hills Interprovincial park is close to where I grew up and is a place I often go for inspiration and rest. Before arriving at the park, I wondered if I knew what I was doing? Would I really find inspiration here? I was planning to write and finish some songs. As soon as I arrived and got unpacked I realized that I was right to come, that I did know what I was doing. I remembered how important it is to respect my own process. We each find creativity and inspiration in different ways. I find that generally I need lots of space in my life and with creativity it is the same thing. It continues to be something I need to learn over and over again- to respect myself, to listen to what I do need and realize that I do know.
In a similar vein, I have had several people tell me what it will be like when I retire. This comes from people who may or may not be retired. I confess that I don’t quite understand our need to think we know how it is for other people. What I have realized, as I get nearer to my last work day (as an RN), is that I had no idea what it was like for my wife when she was retiring. I saw her change a lot after she retired. I knew she was stressed at her job but had no real idea how stressed.
Yesterday, I finally looked at the SHEPP website- the folks who are managing my retirement money. I kept hesitating, not quite doing this last step on the road to retirement. I am going today to get the paperwork filled out so that I will be able to retire in just over three months. It felt overwhelming to realize that in such a short time I will be able to lay down this burden I have carried all these years- the burden and often joy of caring for others. My expectations of myself as a nurse have been so high- well I guess that makes sense since I have very high expectations of myself period.
Perhaps the lesson for me is to realize that I can’t really know what it is like for other people. My experience is different but I can bring kindness with me as I go through my day. May you find kindness, for yourself and others, as you venture through your day, week, month.
Yours in creativity and music,