Are you a sprinter or a marathoner?
I’m mostly a sprinter.
For fun, I recently tracked my tenure in all the jobs I’ve ever held.
Even though I’ve been an educator all my life, it’s also true that the longest job I ever held continuously was eight years as president of Goshen College.
It so happens that I’ve been blogging about memoir for eight years also. That rhythm suggests change is imminent.
Here’s the breakdown of the last eight years.
Since then, I’ve blogged about Magical Memoir Moments.
If you’ve been following this blog, you may have picked up some hints about my next sprint.
After taking a Lenten Sabbatical from blogging last year, I said:
In the midst of contemplation, I got an exciting new idea for a new writing project. I felt that familiar “powerful pulsing of love in the veins,” a feeling I have known since childhood and now associate with all creative work. I have been buzzing with gratitude for the gift of inspiration, even if it comes to naught or goes into directions I can’t foresee.
The electrical feeling of touching God’s garment can never be dismissed. As long as I have it, I’ll never feel old. I’ll be working on this new idea for weeks or months before I can talk about it. For now, I just want to report that I wasn’t expecting it and that I’m enjoying it. By getting calmer, I also got more excited.
Then I listened to Isabel Allende give a TED Talk on passion, and I learned a new word from her:
“‘Retirement’ in Spanish,” says Allende, “is “jubilación.” Jubilation, celebration.”
It’s viewed as a gift because: “Unless you are ill or very poor, you have choices.”
I was so inspired by this talk that I wrote a letter to Isabel Allende.
Imagine my excitement when she wrote back to me!
I sat with the idea of Jubilación, connecting it to the idea I first called “encore vocation” during my sabbatical,
wondering how it would re-enter my life again.
Then I went to a writer’s workshop at Whidbey Island.
While I was there, I recognized the Serendipity of place.
I remembered my mission:
“To prepare for the hour of my death. One good day at a time. And to help others do the same.”
It had been over ten years since that original statement came to me. That’s a long sprint!
My writing, moving forward, will evolve more directly toward that mission.
I’ve been given a wonderful gift to enable that work.
On December 18, 2015, I received word that I have been awarded the Kilian McDowell Fellowship at the Collegeville Institute next fall.
My topic? Jubilación: Vocation in the Third Act of Life
I look forward to taking many laps around this lake:
I might even sprint!
Are you a sprinter or a marathoner? Do you see a pattern in the rhythms of time in your life? What questions or comments do you have about Jubilación?