Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Semi-Retirement, The Fork in the Road, and Choosing Truth over Comfort

Recently I have realized that I have saved enough to revert back to being an adjunct professor. I enjoy working on the Fashion After 50 website; I have additional online teaching possibilities that I don't fully use.

But I like comfort. I like the extras that working full-time allows, even when the restrictions -- no vacations except a week (five days) after every four-month term,  have to punch a time clock like a kid on her first job, responsibilities that crowd out my creative work and make it more challenging to exercise -- cramp the possibilities of growing fully into who I am.

As so often is the case, a serendipitous nudge seems to point in a certain direction.

Writes Alice Gardner, in her wonderful little book, Life Beyond Belief, Everyday Living as Spiritual Practice:

"If there was one factor most responsible for the continued awakening of those who seek the truth, it would have to be that of consistently choosing to seek truth over the comforts that appear to be available along the way.

"Each stage of development that we move through has its own kind of comforts inherent in it and we may be tempted to settle for those comforts instead of some far-away-sounding spiritual destination that mind isn't even sure exists. (p. 129)

 "By what means can we avoid these kinds of diversions?

"There is, of course, not a method, but only a cultivating of an awareness of our deepest intentions and a willingness to look inside ourselves to find our own most authentic responses to each moment.

"If there was anything that might be called a method to deal with how to make the little decisions in life without compromising truth for comfort, it would be to unearth this internal navigation system [that each person has] and be true to it and to ourselves in all of the little day-to-day decisions that come along, as well as the occasional major decisions." (p. 130)

That seems to be an answer of sorts, and I have a timeline for easing back into adjunct work in a way that will cause, hopefully, the least financial disruption to my goals.