This is one of my favorite photos of the glorious Oregon Coast. If Nature never stops changing, why should we? Below is a list of some of the changes I have experienced.

  1. I hated running and cycling when I was growing up. By the time I was 21 years old, I loved both those activities.
  2. I had no interest in playing an instrument when I was growing up. I have now been playing the piano for almost 50 years. I also play the guitar and sing.
  3. For the first 20-25 years of my life, I did not always pay attention to time and would sometimes show up late. I now show up 30 minutes early!
  4. For the first 44 years of my life, I loved action movies and thriller books. I now much prefer to read more inspiring works that have more intrinsic value.
  5. For the first ten years of my special education work, I also taught tennis and worked some very long hours. COVID changed all of that as I realized I wanted more balance in my life. 
  6. For many years, I did not think twice about driving here and there and everywhere to teach tennis. Now, I want to spend that time on my bike. 
  7. For the first twenty years of my life, I did not think much about nutrition and environmental practices. Now, those are two of the most important concerns in my life. 
  8. For the first 12 years of my special education work, I really thought I would never retire, at least by choice. The last two years have changed my mind about that!

Balance, balance, balance! If COVID taught me anything, it taught me about balance. I now want to have time to ride my bike, spend time with Setsuko, run, stretch, lift weights, hike and camp and photograph nature, support Setsuko's family, play tennis with Setsuko, play music, write, do research, spend time with friends, and do environmental work. I also have to admit that I have grown tired of the special education bureaucracy and the limited focus on actual teaching. I no longer want to spend so much time doing case management!

The bottom line? I do not want to work 40-60 hours per week. I want to have a more flexible schedule and I want to have more balance in my life!


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