When I retired in January 2020 I was full of hopes, dreams and ambition. Finally I could concentrate on the subjects I felt passionate about, plant medicine and the environment. I started strong with a presentation at the public library and then the pandemic hit. I was a bit frustrated about the limitations but opted to use the down time to study botany and ecology in more depth. I began my work for North Carolina environmental educator certification thinking “a few months will get me through the book learning parts and then I can be more active”! Months have rolled by and I have reminded myself to have patience, continue to study and be ready for when things open up again. Nine months pass and I have to ask myself “is this patience or procrastination?”. I am in a constant state of waiting, but for what?. It’s becoming clear that I may to to rethink my plan, be more flexible and adjust my thinking. As I attend multiple Zoom session weekly, it is apparent there is a new way. I’m an elder with a strong history of stubbornness. I don’t want a new way. I want to see people face to face and talk about the subjects that are meaningful to me. I want to educate in a hands on manner, not just on a screen! So again I ask myself, and the world at large, when does patience become less of a virtue and more of a crutch? Should we all be looking for a new normal and a different way to approach things?
I can’t say I love the idea of us all living in our little silos with our only communication being electronic. I long for faces and personal interactions. Sadly, that is not safe right now. I remind myself I have an actual web domain that I can use as a platform. I still prefer blog to vlog. Videos scare the bejeezus out of me. But why? Is it so different from being there in person? My inner ambivert says “yes, so different”. Every misspoken word and error recorded for all of history. I can attend my own recorded webinar and critique every inch of it. I would rather “wing it” and hope other peoples memories are as short as mine.
So as we round the corner on 2020 and head into the next year with no change I will strive to be more flexible. At the very least publish on this blog more often. And continue to study, study and study some more. We will all get through this and I’m sure the world is due a change. Let’s be flexible and not let our very honorable patience grow into procrastination. We only get one life and taking a whole year (or more) off seems wasteful and not in any of our best interest. Time to change and grow no matter how old we think we are. I can adjust and learn a new way of doing things. Old dogs ARE capable of new tricks.