Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Changing Over

It's the end of the year, and many people are changing over a lot of things--calendars, tax numbers, insurance deductibles, license plates, etc. But in your personal life, what are you changing over?
--I walked for the first time at the community center a couple of weeks ago, something I have been fighting over in my mind. I began walking this last summer with some neighbors--quite enjoyable, but now we have inclement weather. One suggested we do the laps at the community center. I wasn't ready for that change over! I just retired over a year ago, and I'm not that old! I just couldn't do that. Well, the day came when that one friendly neighbor, Mary, invited me and caught me at the right time saying, "You don't have to, you know."
--"Yes, I have to!" I said to myself. The night before I was walking from the restaurant to our car, and I realized I wasn't walking as confident as I was when I did walk every day for about a mile.
--During my first walk at the community center, I met some other neighbors who were younger than I was, and others I didn't know were saying, "Good morning" to me-- nice. The Christmas tree festival adorned the halls of the community center, and it was nice having to pass them, too. I noticed something new every time I passed them.
--The town library connects to the center and two of just said, "I love the library!" We stopped in to check on things since we usually go there anyway. I found that a whole slew of new audio CDs were on the shelves--have to check one out now!!! To say the least, this change over wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. By the way, I've signed up for T'ai Chi ("Meditation in Motion") in January and February at the center. It just took a little push to get over this hurdle of change. Where will this journey lead me?
--My next change over is big! I started with my 11th writers notebook in June of 2010, and I'm at the end of days--end of pages, I mean. I have maybe 5 more pages to go. I love this writers notebook--full of favorite things and events, and the way it's made. I use to start over every school year, but that is not the case now due to retirement. I have just run out of pages, something I've never done before this notebook. The new year will begin in over a week and that would be a good time to start anew. I've been collecting new notebooks and some have been gifts. It's just hard to start over. A clean slate is a good thing, but it's just that--untouched, blank, no feeling of ownership. Which notebook will I choose? What event will lead me to my first entry?
--The third change over will be my word for the year. I chose "glass" this year, and it did well for me with ideas for posts. I found my word by looking at ice last January while shoveling snow, and now the year ends with me reading a book about a Russian ballerina in the cold St. Petersburg of the 1800's. I am reminded again of my grandparents who were from Russia and how they had endured the frigid and icy life style of that country which even now gives me another idea for a post. Funny, how just one word can bring up so many ideas or thoughts . What will be my new word? And what by-gone events, feelings, or reflections will be surfacing on my posts?
--The last change over is taking its time. I've gone from a full time teacher of 22 years to a retired person. It's been a year and a half since leaving the classroom, but I'm still maintaining my teacher friends through reading and writing groups. I visit my old school less and less, however, and am losing touch with the "school talk" I use to feel comfortable with. I don't know the new terminology/methods or see any school kids I know anymore at my old school. I'm becoming someone new--again. I'm not sure who yet. Who will I become even at this stage of the game?
--Change is never over, so I'll just keep riding the wave.


  1. I love these lines:
    "I'm becoming someone new--again. I'm not sure who yet. Who will I become even at this stage of the game?"
    We are always changing, taking on new challenges and opening ourselves to new adventures. You have your arms open wide, Tam - you will ride the wave to wonderful new adventures. Happy Holidays to you!

  2. Oh Tam, I love hearing what you have to say every time! We must be close in age & although I'm not retired yet, I am out of the classroom & moving toward that day soon enough. I enjoyed the way you wound through the pieces connected to change, from the eventful walking to the notebook evolution to choosing/using your word for the year. I tried to begin a word last year, but didn't follow it after March. You've inspired me to try again. I hope you have a marvelous Christmas. (I'm still waiting for more rock stories!)

  3. I loved this post! So many directions for change. Some tentative. Some less so. I am making changes, too. Although I am not yet retired I am realizing that I need to shift priorities and dedicate more time to my family rather than always focusing on school-related things. It has been a difficult change because I am becoming someone different but it it has been good.

  4. Your last sentence says it all. I like how you took time to look back and think forward. So many possibilities lay ahead.

  5. Living life is always bringing changes. When I was younger I didn't like all the changes, but as I've grown older I understand that to move ahead I have to embrace changes. It sounds to me that you've got some good changes happening in the new year. Enjoy these days and the changes they bring.

  6. Thanks for sharing your reflections of the changes you're encountering at this time of year. I, too, have begun thinking about what my new word for next year will be. My life hasn't had as many changes as yours - outward ones, but the inward ones accumulate!