June 11th, 2007

new year

Early Retirement

So I've been thinking about retirement. What would that mean? Number One Son asked. It would mean I wouldn't have to do any more of those fucking art fairs, was what sprang immediately to mind. So I think after twenty years, it is time after the Art Fair On the Square in July to just say no. No more art fairs. This one, punt.

And since my kid is in college, my career as a Professional Mom is winding down. It also means ditching all the stuff I thought I should have done and haven't, all the careers I forgot to have. Get out of jail free! My ambitions were great, and they are hard to give up, but I'm tired, and I can't do all the everythings that were possible when I was sixteen. If I had a proper day job I could retire on disability, but just being gentle with myself will have to do.

Mr S seems to be having a great time in retirement. Today he puttered around doing professional-level grounds maintenance in the back garden, and then went out to the shop. He says the rule (he made it) for him and his buddy at the shop is, No Production Work. If someone wants them to fabricate several of something, No, just one, and if someone wants them to build another cool thing like the one they did already, No, they've already done it. (The latest was a shiny steel piece to fit a special brake into a motorcycle wheel that was the wrong size for it, very pretty and sculptural and useful too, although I am a little fuzzy on the functional details.)

So I had a long talk with Dr Talk about what is it I want to do in my early retirement, and we decided it is really more of a career change. I am going to Make Books. That is what I have always wanted to do, and everything else has been good practice but a little too unfocussed. Hardly anyone can make a living from it, but I don't need to do that. And it is a very wide field. Anything can be in a book.

I know my friends will be happy to see what I come up with. You may offer me any encouragement you like.