A tabula rasa was like the Roman version of Etch a Sketch. It was a wax covered tablet that you drew on with a stick or your finger. Then you heated it up and voila a clean slate! Off you go again.
I’m thinking of my retirement as a clean slate, a new start where I can create a vision of how I want to spend my time. Of course it’s not completely empty. Some things are firmly etched on there already: looking after the house and my family, self-care practices such as exercise and meditation, making and growing things and learning a language. But a lot of the slate is still clean.
The problem is that I could fill it easy. I need to earn a bit of money and have many plans for side hustles. There’s still so much that I want to learn. For instance I have a mad idea that I’d like to revisit the quantum mechanics that I studied at a basic level during my first degree. There’s plenty of volunteering opportunities that float my boat, crafts I’d like to try, places that I want to visit…..
But hang on! I’m mindful of the fact that, if I am not careful, I could replace the stresses of working life with different ones. I remember being incredulous when my retired in-laws told me that they didn’t have a moment to spare. But now I see that it could be easily done. A clean slate is a thing to behold. So much potential but there’s a need for planning. So I am going to take it gently and add in those new activities slowly. There’s not room for everything at once and no need at all to rush to fill it. And now I am not beholden to an employer I can always choose to heat the wax and start over again if I please.