“Part of me is afraid to let go of this other thing, which was so hugely successful. But on the other hand, I have to move ahead, or else my feet are stuck in the cement. I feel like I’m capable of writing other kinds of music, and I’m at a transitional time in my life.”
Billy Joel quotes (American Pianist, Singer and Song Writer, b.1949)
June 30th 2012 – I transition once again in my life. I think back through the many times I have experienced this feeling of temporary unsteadiness — like crossing a 4-lane highway on foot at rush hour. Scary – but I’ve always known I could do it – no matter what.
When I left home at age 18 to go to college I stepped on the train heading for the unknown — I watched my mom and dad waving goodbye as I started my journey south to Atlanta, leaving the comfort and familiarity of home. Atlanta was a whole new world, but a wonderful one that I didn’t want to leave either. But in my junior year I got married and headed west to Chicago. We didn’t know a soul there, and what a totally different environment this was. Adjustment to married life had its stresses and strains, but I made some lifelong friends and started a wonderful family — many good memories still linger from going through this change.
After seven years in Chicago we headed back to the south hoping for new and better opportunities. But life had more twists and turns in store. One of the biggest transitions in my life was the most tumultuous and the most life changing. As I ended a 30 year marriage, starting life again with more unknowns, the mad dash across that 4-lane highway made my heart pound, my hair gray, and my knees weak. But here I am years later and I am OK.
That brings me to my most recent transition from almost 40 years in a career I have loved but I was ready for a move to a life of some leisure, creative moments, and a sense of control of what has been a hectic work life up until now. As I walked through that door called retirement I had some anxiety. I worried that I wouldn’t have enough money and would have to go to work as a greeter at Walmart. I worried that I might be bored stupid or become a couch potato. But those worries were short-lived. Of all the transitions in my life this has been the easiest and most joyful. Despite the anxiousness I was ready to make the mad dash, but this time it felt like an Olympic runner at the start of a 100 yard dash. It has been exhilarating so far. I am looking forward to every day. I have set up my calendar of events for the rest of the year and thinking beyond. I have become involved in groups in the community and I am thoroughly enjoying my favorite passion – writing — almost every day. This feeling of freedom is hard to explain but so easy to enjoy. I was ready; I put my business affairs in order, I planned my next phase, and like a runner, I took the position and waited to hear the sound “GO!!”
So here I am — basking in the joy of silence in the morning (no alarm clocks, horns honking, car doors slamming as employees make the mad dash for the time clock) — silence only interrupted by singing birds and an occasional dog barking. I’m just loving it!
And as Billy Joel so aptly put it — “I feel like I’m capable of writing other kinds of music, as I’m at a transitional time in my life.”
The Turtle Queen