Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Notes from Somewhere over the Rainbow...

"Billy is spastic in time, has no control over where he is going next, and the trips aren't necessarily fun. He is in a constant state of stage fright, he says, because he never knows what part of his life he is going to have to act in next." (23) Slaughterhouse 5

My former tekkie colleagues who have read this blog in the past know that I retired from my teaching job last June. My life has been somewhat "Billy Pilgrimesque" in that, now that I'm legitimately unemployed, I often have these time-travelling mental experiences of who I am and what I am doing with my time. Let me try to explain.

For 29.2 odd years of my life I've needed a mental front-end loader to get me up, get me dressed, and get me out the door to work. I'm not a morning person. This is how I've survived teaching until about noon each day. Now I can park the loader, but I'm more than a little lost without it. Often I get this overwhelming panic that I'm going to be late - and then realize "for what?"

I can walk pretty much where I need to just like I could in high school and university. Sometimes, en route, I revert to this pre-working self. I like her. I love being in Saskatoon with my feet on the ground that I've trodden all my life. The landscape alternately confirms and shatters my sense of where and who I am in time and space.

I have to say, one of the biggest reasons I liked teaching was for my creativity fix. Those adrenaline rushes were wonderful. Other than taking photos I haven't really found a substitute; the rush made the drudgery of the front-end loader life worthwhile. I love teaching and much of what it entails, but I don't have the energy to keep up with the grind. Creativity takes energy.

Am I old? Mentally I can feel 18 to 22 again, but physically my body tells me I'm not. I hurt. "I ache in the places where I used to play," as Leonard Cohen put so eloquently. I love listening to my iPod, but I worry about hearing loss. I'm a step-grandmother, but the kiddies aren't anywhere nearby for me to dote on. My hair hasn't even turned grey! I swallow pills, and I have to watch what I eat.

I'm sitting writing this post about the time I would have been starting work for 29.2 odd years. I'm fighting the urge to go back to bed. The sunshine and blue sky beckon me, and I know I'll have much more pep if I shower and get dressed. Maybe I'll finally make the NIA class at Lawson Civic Centre today...