Crossing the finish line. I've heard that line in sports, corporate meetings, and while discussing retirement planning. What does it really mean, though? In sports, crossing the finish line means you didn't have some crazy hamstring pull throughout your race, and made it, literally, across a line drawn on the ground. Good for you! The training paid off. Corporate finish lines abound, from achieving a new product launch, or beating out the competition. Then there's retirement planning - the finish line being the day that you finally walk out of your job to begin those life goals - retirement.
I Googled two very common words to find their dictionary definitions while pondering the idea of crossing a finish line. One word was "work". The definition is: activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result. The other word was "retirement". One definition is: ceasing to work. So, if Google was in charge of the world, and sometimes I think it could be, I can surmise that when we retire, we no longer work or make any effort to achieve purpose. Eek. And double Eek. I know that's not really true, as I've met some really amazing seniors who are still running their businesses into their eighties, or learning how to build houses, or breeding dogs.
Anyhow. Back to the retirement thing. Covid took away my main livelihood, one of the unfortunate side effects for folks like me who work in the arts with groups of people. I know I'll return to that, someday. But as one inches towards retirement, a year or two can make a giant difference. Time marching along, but with you stuck in place, like a hamster in a wheel, running around, maybe sweating a bit, but not really achieving anything. After a short time to grieve the loss of my work, I started painting to pass the time. I then started discovering that painting and messing about with glue and paper was a tiny bit addicting. But now it was starting to have purpose: to stop me from going crazy!
Along the way, it's prepared me for a new journey with Bent Tree Arts. I'm super lucky. I have some rather amazing allies in my new art working life, supporting me in doing what I love. Guides who are willing and able to help me figure it out. I can't be more thankful for their experience and wisdom, and their advice to not take this stuff all too seriously.
I'm just heading out of the gate, with the finish line no where in sight. That suits me just fine.