Riva Capellari

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Located in Brookside in the heart of Kansas City

Random-Sporadic – My September Canvas

Growing up in Michigan, Labor Day was the cut off for summer and the beginning of the school year. Nowadays that distinction belongs to the month of August, but even after teaching so many years here in Missouri, that lingering memory of stretching summer out til the end of Labor Day Monday, bubbles up inside the kid in me. I no longer teach school and have no high school students in my private studio anymore, so the start of the school semester touches me little. That being the case, I needed to find another topic for this month that more closely adhered to my present situation. So here it is…..random sporadic.

I came up with this strategy some years ago and have found it to be a rather successful one. Basically I filter through my “to do” list sporadically at random moments. To an outside eye this may seem dysfunctional but it has proven to be quite a winning combination for me. While this game plan has primarily been relegated to tasks, it has now become a directive for what I will do after I close down my current studio December 14th.

Subconsciously, cognitive bits and pieces have been flying around in my head, eventually coalescing into a solid “AHA” moment. My pact years ago with a friend and fellow voice teacher, that we would both stop teaching at age 70, has come due – the gig is now up. Realizing I was less than a year away from the finish line and had no exit plan, I cavalierly grabbed the calendar, pointed a finger on the second Wednesday of December and declared it shut down day.

How did this occur? After all these years? Conversations with retired friends. Sticking to my guns. Finding myself saying more than once, “How much longer do I want to do this?” In the end, the answer was, til December 14th.

Retirement? Hmmmmm-not so fast. This is where the random sporadic comes in. I will have no schedule but will be open to random opportunities that may come along. I may work with clients sporadically during the month. I will fill my everyday life with many things in no particular order. I will follow no bulleted agenda or eat the same time everyday. I will wake up ready for the spontaneous to occur or bask in the languid pleasures of doing nothing.

Between COVID and this sweltering summer, I have had quite the practice of being cloistered inside my house, relying on my sense of self to propel me through the days without another person keeping me company (who knows, I might get a cat). My reduced teaching studio introduced me to long stretches of non-regulated time. It has been quite a protracted rehearsal period so my performance after December 14th should be primed for success.

I have already broken out the travel catalogs, putting stars next to tours that sound exciting. I am (randomly and sporadically) cleaning out my house with a vengence (very little is sacred at this point), leveling my belongings down to the essentials. Thinking ahead to when the things I do only in my spare time become the things I do all the time.

As you can see, I am still not comfortable with the term “retirement”. It has too much baggage in our culture so I will be re-labeling my after December 14th life. When I figure that one out, I will let you know.

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