Taking the Summer Off

Sometimes the most important discussions occur in the least likely places. A McDonald’s on Rt. 422 in Exeter this morning was such a place. Over coffee (mine) and egg and bacon bagels (his), I told Morgan that I feel guilty about not working—not because he’s my main support. It’s more that I’m not “going out there and doing something important.” I told him I felt that way when I would be at Heather’s apartment in Everett, Washington for vacation and watched people walk down the street to the courthouse, carrying briefcases—guilty because I was just sitting there, even if it was my vacation.

So now after almost two years of retirement, I’m still feeling that way.

Even after three semesters of college courses, I’m still feeling that way.

Could it be because I’m taking the summer off from those courses?

Well, not really.

I’m hoping to do one of M.I.T.’s free online courses—the one on medieval history.

I want to finish one of my half-written novels—and maybe even my memoir.

And I want to read—I have a pile of books that I seem to add to daily.

And what about those college courses?

Degree?

Yes, I’d like one.

But what will I do with it?

Although I sometimes feel like I “should” be doing something, I don’t want the daily grind of a job. I endured that for too many years—too many years of a profession I never really wanted.

Would the degree make me a better person?

Would I feel the need to go on to a graduate degree?

Would I ever be satisfied?

Probably not.

The one person I’m trying to impress has been gone for almost twenty years—the man who said I could never finish anything so why should he pay for my college education.

So maybe I’ll prove him right and not get a degree.

Maybe I’ll just keep taking classes that interest me.

Maybe that will be enough.

Maybe it really IS the journey.


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