Summer of 2016: Reflections

In Chapter 4 of It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again, Julia Cameron says:

When we retire (or no longer work onsite), we lose our familiar daily touchstones, the crossing guard we waved hello to, the man at the security desk who knew our name, the cashier in the cafeteria, the midmorning coffee break routine we looked forward to. We were accustomed to friendly faces and kindly greetings. Retired (or whatever), we need to generate new touchstones. I ask newly retired people to make a list of twenty-five things they love. This list, deceptively simple, often becomes a source of new and old touchstones.

Exactly! I’ve been having these feelings and at first I couldn’t pinpoint why. Of course, it makes so much sense. And this is why Facebook just didn’t work for me. It was fun to post an update or a photo and have people come by and hit “like” but it wasn’t the same as somebody stopping by your cube to chat or to wave as they went by or invite you out for coffee or lunch. This is what I’ve been missing. I enjoyed that interaction with my peers.

While I’m no longer surrounded by peers, I get a similar feeling when I’m out walking the neighborhood. For example, one guy is out jogging and waves or says, “Two miles if you follow the sidewalk.” Or the neighbor across the street waves when I’m sitting on the porch and he pulls into his driveway. Or I’m wearing my Disney visor, and the neighbor kids smile and say “hi” to me as I walk by. These moments are priceless.

Just like the “Summer of 2015,” one of the main purposes of blogging the “Summer of 2016,” is to remember those times in my life when I was very independent and satisfied with that. I worked swing shift at a major printing company in San Francisco designing and writing copy so I had the days free to explore, walk, sunbathe by the pool, watch soap operas (before TiVo or even VCRs), or make travel plans. I was content doing that without the internet, without email, without social media.

Thankfully, we do have the internet and I can blog about it. 🙂

Ironically, one of my clients is a San Francisco company and I’m designing and writing copy for them on a freelance basis in my home office in Las Vegas. (You might have noticed I change my blog design quite frequently – that’s the designer in me.) So it brings back those memories of living that lifestyle when I was in my 20s, and I can kinda re-create it here this summer like I did last summer.