It’s Friday morning, and how different Fridays feel now that I have retired (since the end of May). How different life feels. Yes, there was an intense grieving process with the end of my career. It felt like the end of an era, and also the end of the way that I had become accustomed to defining myself, as much as I thought that I had not defined myself by my career. I am grateful to have been able to be a social worker in my working life, but now the question becomes “Who am I now?” And my age also factors into this. I realize that I am much more aware of the end of life…..mortality becomes more real each year. Yet, I am still here, still very much alive. And I still have life to live. I have things to contribute. And it is time to get to know myself once again on a deeper level….to talk with myself and ask “How are you? How has your life been so far? What dreams and hopes do you still have? What brings you joy? What is your passion? How would you like to spend whatever time you have left in this body and on this earth?” I get answers as I slow down to listen. I want to write. I want to laugh. I want to acknowledge and use my voice in every way – in ways that I have been taught to keep it quiet.. (dear God, I even signed up for voice lessons!) I am still here. I am still so very much here.