|Susan Linder Orkin|
At my recent college reunion, amidst all the people who talked about reinventing themselves, Susan Linder Orkin of New York City offered a different take. This is the relaxed, centered, content version of moving on. And it’s one that, for sure, I am totally unable to attain right now.
Speaking on a panel with Becky Burckmyer (who recently launched a B&B) and yours truly (loving writing this blog and still editing and coaching writing), Susan announced:
“I’m here because I’m doing nothing and I’m just loving it.” (Sound familiar?)
With a social work degree from Bryn Mawr College, Susan spent her career developing and managing programs for at-risk populations. You might say she gave at the office.
“I always worked full or part time and adored it,” she said. “I thought work was play and I much preferred it over child rearing.” But when she and her husband became “weary of work in which the routine overtook creativity," they finally retired.
"Now I feel I’m enrolled in my own university, majoring in music and minoring in French and literature… I’ve been taking piano lessons as well as chamber music (which I had never done before), courses on Moby Dick and The Illiad, concerts, theater, museums, and, oh, I have two grandchildren. I’ve never been happier.
"Guilt? I don’t feel any."
As for identity, said Susan, "I don’t feel any need to be anybody special at a cocktail party."
"I don’t know ... It’s kind of great."
She had fans in the audience. "The number of people who came up to me after the panel and said they loved what I said was huge (maybe 20 people) -- it must have struck a chord."
Hmm... I'm nowhere near this Nirvana some eight months after leaving my job.
Any thoughts on what we might call "slow food for thought?"