This year my high school graduating class is having a 50th year reunion.
I have mixed feelings about this.
I was never in the 'in' crowd at school. I suppose I might have been considered a bit of a nerd. I actually liked school - for the most part. I enjoyed reading. I did my homework. Usually at the last minute because I've always worked best to deadline.
The other day I talked to some people in my graduating class and when asked if I would be attending the reunion I said that I might be out of town. And was met with a rather disparaging, negative comment. I turned to the person and told him that it would depend because I might be out of town. "Because I am still working after all".
As a self-employed person for the past 40 mumble years, I have not accrued wealth - or at least not in terms of money - nor a comfortable pension plan. I get whatever the federal government gives anybody in Canada. But it's every month, and I have a level of financial security I have not had for too many years to count.
I turn 68 this year. Many of my peers have been 'retired' for several years. But why should I retire from something I love to do? So long as I am physically able, I see no reason to 'retire'.
Or do I?
The past 10 years have been...difficult. My health has suffered. I have just come off a year plus episode of cancer related fatigue. I find it more and more difficult to get up and get going like I used to be able to do.
I run out of steam.
Is this what aging is? Is this what getting 'old' is? Is this why people 'retire'? That they just get...tired?
The craft fair circuit is physically demanding. The market for hand made goods is changing. Faith Popcorn predicted it way back in the 1990's - that people are saturated with 'things' and that as the baby boomers aged, they would not be buying material goods but small, consumable luxuries.
Vendors at craft fairs are increasingly selling food or other consumables - like personal care products. They have enough place mats. Enough scarves. Enough pottery. Art for their walls. They buy chocolate. Spices. Pre-mixed soup makings. Soap.
This year I will do two craft fairs here in Prince George and instead of Vancouver, I've applied to do the large show in Calgary, Art Market. I took a sabbatical from that show for two years and feel it might be time to try it again. Plus I would have a week between the 2nd show here and going to Calgary, to rest after two back to back shows.
Because I don't have the energy I had. I need to be sensible about my health. And I need to think about where I want to spend what energy I do have.
So I am not looking at teaching for guilds much anymore. I am putting my energy into other venues. On line teaching - perhaps - if it works out (and why I may be out of town in August.) The Olds program. Finishing The Intentional Weaver.
I have no children. My branch of the family tree ends here when I do. But my ego wants to leave something of me behind. My textiles will return to dust. But perhaps some of my knowledge will live on...