What? Me Retired?

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Last week when a friend asked me if I was making visual art or writing, I caught myself saying, “No, I’m retired.” Even though I haven’t been painting or writing much these days, I haven’t considered myself retired. I’m still busy as a bee and can’t seem to tell you where the days go. Since then I’ve found myself using that word more often, especially when it’s time to get up in the morning and I tell myself, “Oh, there’s plenty of time. After all, you are retired.”

Interestingly, I’ve recently talked to two artist friends my age or a bit older, and they tell me they aren’t making art either. They, like me are simply letting the days unfold before them and are enjoying things they haven’t done in a long while, like sleep in, travel, and not worry about tomorrow.

So I’m beginning to think that maybe I really am retired. I’m taking it easy, working on getting the kinks worked out of my stiff body, and enjoying extra sleep time. It’s time for lots of reading, writing in my journal, and eating foods grown on the lush farms all around me. Virginia Peaches are just coming in and their sweet juiciness is what summer is all about. Our farmer’s market is the place to go early on Saturday mornings if you want to fill your frig with the best veggies. It’s also where I often catch up with friends I haven’t seen in a while.

As a way of testing whether or not I’m retired, I’m taking some time off here and blogging only when I have something important or inspiring to say. Though we’re mostly at home this summer, we’re eyeing a lovely cruise up the New England and Canadian coast, then down the St. Lawrence Seaway in the fall. And who knows what else will present itself? I’m opening up my life and my days by leaning into the breeze and seeing where it takes me. I’m not giving up the visual art and writing ghosts at all. I’m simply allowing my muse the extra time and space she needs to fly.

See you next time! And have a wonderful summer!


  1. Oh Joan, your words resonate. I find myself taking more time to to just be, and not do,do, do. Going with the flow, as they say. I’l be doing a lot of porch-sitting and smelling the roses.
    Enjoy your summer and these precious moments.

  2. Joan Rough says:

    Thanks, Kathy. I’ve been thinking of you a lot lately and hope all is going well. Enjoy the sitting and your beautiful roses.

  3. Sister! We are moving to the motion of the same rhythms. Looking forward to Scandinavian travels and then ten months in Pittsburgh. Easy does it. 🙂 Blessings to you and Bill this summer. Hope to connect this way occasionally.

  4. Joan Rough says:

    Yes we are!! I’m sending blessings right back to you. You have been part to the inspiration that has brought me to this point!

  5. Joan — “I’m opening up my life and my days by leaning into the breeze and seeing where it takes me.”

    My hat is off to YOU!

  6. I’m joining in as I wait for luggage after our flight home to Florida. Our PA duties completed now, we look forward to celebrating our 50th in a cooler clime very soon. Watch for my blog post about retirement coming soon. Same topic, different slant.

  7. Joan Rough says:

    Can’t wait to hear what you plan on doing, Marian. I bet you’re glad the PA duties are done now. That was a lot of work!

  8. Francine Brady says:

    My motto these days is:


  9. There’s definitely a recurring theme here! I decided a few months ago that this summer was going to be one of more reading, more lawn swing time, and more enjoying it as it comes. Simple happy.

    • Joan Rough says:

      You are right, Linda. Could it have to do with age? Simple and happy is my style. These days the world is moving too fast and is much too complicated.

  10. Joan, it sounds like you are “filling your creative well”. There’s so much to be said for that “being” energy. The world needs more of it, so we need to embody it when we’re called to it, I believe!