My name is Julie, and I’m finishing up my first year as a retired elementary school teacher. I was working part time in education for the last school year, so I’m just heading into the first “real” year of retirement. Now, I’m pondering what I can use my (what used to feel like abundant) skills for. I’m finding it’s hard to define the new me without the titles I used to have. I’m a wife to a delightful, loving and supportive husband, and a mom to 3 amazing grown kids. I’m a sister, a daughter, a friend-all things I love. But, when people say, “What do you do?” it’s hard to answer with any of those. It feels like for what I’m doing to have value, there must be a salary. Before, I could think about all I’d accomplished in my professional life by just glancing at the framed awards and achievements and feel pretty good about myself. Although I’ve still got many fine qualities and a wonderful life, I am feeling like a teenager again as I contemplate ‘what does it all mean, and where do I fit in?’ At my age it seems a little self indulgent to spend time trying to figure out who I really am. But, that’s the conversation inside my head these days.
And how, you wonder, do I get from all that to a blog called “Sending Love Notes?” Well, as I’m thinking about myself in this new phase, I’m working hard on the difficult skill of appreciating and loving myself just the way I am. It occurs to me that almost all of us spend what seems to be our whole lives trying to do that. I send notes and and make cards to encourage the friends around me to see their beauty, strength and power, and to be as kind to themselves as they are to the other people they love. So, I’m going to start a business of sending out notes and cards and little works of art that are centered around that theme of loving yourself exactly as you are in your messy, confusing, wonderful life. We can work together on the message and I’ll put it in the mail for you, or send it to you to pass on to someone who needs it.