The other day I was dreaming about ways to letterpress print on a textured surface. I am getting tired of plain white backgrounds.
Then, I watched a few videos, took some notes, updated photos in the Etsy shop, and answered emails about our upcoming Write-On letter writing workshop at Kickshaws.
But wait. I will be 66 soon. Why am I still trying to run a business? Why am I still trying to build community? Shouldn’t I be relaxing in retirement?
Actually, I do relax. With my mom in town, life has changed. But I find myself drawn back to connections.
Somewhere around 1988 or 90, I bought my first computer and hooked it to the internet as soon as I could figure out how to do that. Suddenly I could learn anywhere, and I could share what I was learning with others.
I’ve always been fascinated by entrepreneurship. But more than that, fascinated by what makes people connect. I am inspired by Seth Godin, or books by Simon Sinek or Jason Fried
The Heath brothers and Daniel Pink challenged my way of thinking about ideas, Clayton M. Christensen on disruption… well, you see where I’m going. I love to learn (and to think about how we learn).
Brene Brown came into my life about ten years ago, and recently as I’ve thought about storytelling, Bernadette Jiwa.
It is never too late to learn. To create. To do anything.
Why stop now? I can’t imagine a better retirement. How lucky I am.
When I’ve spent too many nights waking to dark thoughts, tossing and turning in the wee hours, I know it’s time to write.
Often getting the words on paper is all I need. I suppose that’s why I love printing so much. Whether it’s a powerful quote or an affirmation for a friend, the cards and prints make me feel more at peace with the world.
Today I received a love card in the mail from a friend from Turks and Caicos. It told me she was thinking of me– and of our time together. That’s also why I’m excited about our Write On evening, a chance to celebrate Letter Writing Month. On the 17th, we’ll gather at Kickshaws Market in Fredericksburg to write letters– to friends, senior citizens, or even women going through breast cancer treatment. Doing this as a group allows connections that we need so much these days. And knowing that someone will get a card in the mail just as I did today makes me happy.
All you have is now, this moment to make someone feel good. And I know you’ll feel better about yourself and the world, too.
The world is too much with us, said William Wordsworth. Some days this poem resonates clearly, as depressing as it is.
But recognizing this, I can soon muddle around in the emotions and come out the other side. I don’t need to stay there. And, as Wordsworth found, getting outside in nature helps. The sun on my face, the crisp air.
Focus on this day, this moment. It gets better.
If you’re like me, you try to hold everything together. Were you raised like I was with the saying, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all?”
I’ve discovered the last few years I need to stop being a stoic. When a friend of mine at camp mentioned her father’s favorite line, I asked if I could print it. The card now sits in one of my wooden stands on my mantel where it reminds me that it’s ok to cry, to be unhappy, or yes, to howl.
Once the emotions pour out, I am a new woman.
…the less I sleep
…the more I worry
…and the more aches appear
But I haven’t stopped loving to learn.
The thing about letterpress printing is each time I ink up the press, I have something I need to figure out. Maybe it’s the paper. Is the ink too cold? What about the packing? Is that metal letter chipped? Why is it printing more on one side than the other?
At first, I feel frustration rising. And then I remind myself: you got this. I take some time and figure out what the problem is, and then…. Ta da! I love the feeling of success, too! I wish I’d discovered this early in my life. But I’m going to enjoy the time I have left with it.
Before the arthritis kicks in too much. #gettingoldhurts