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Writing

A Blank Slate

Big Grove Township School #1, Jan. 29, 2011.

These days of contagion seem like a blank slate. By leaving the workforce after the coronavirus pandemic was declared, I found a form of freedom in each day’s beginning.

I hadn’t planned it, yet the pandemic forced my retirement. With our pensions and health care, mostly from Social Security and Medicare, we have adequate financial means to survive without paid work.

Each day begins with a chance to do what I want. I have a daily outline, though, so I know what tasks I told myself would be next.

Once the pandemic recedes, I may return to part time work for the socialization it provides. That is, if I can find people with whom I would enjoy working. Any additional income will find a place to be spent, yet income would not be the main objective.

For now the focus is on writing. I should get more disciplined and stick to my outlines. That seems too much like work. In January, my average daily output was 2,179 words. With editing, that number will be reduced in the final product. During the last draft before starting another section, editing takes more time. Partly it is figuring out what to say and how to draw on resources. Mostly it is reaching for a form of satisfaction in the written words.

There is a good month of winter remaining before I set up the greenhouse and plant cruciferous vegetable seedlings. There’s no time to dally on a blank page. I’m young enough to believe I can do what I want today and tomorrow. At the same time the work ahead is clear and will occupy my days.

For a moment I’ll bask in this moment, when the day seems like an endless expanse ready to be traveled. That alone can make life worth living.

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