On July 31, 2019, I ended a chapter of my life. I devoted more than 20 years to working with people who had hepatitis C. About half of that time was as a nurse at Stanford Medical Center; all of it was as a writer and outspoken advocate for those affected by a virus that kills more people annually in the United States than all 60 reportable infectious diseases combined. It was hard to let go, but there are wonderful people doing great things in the hepatitis field; it is a good time to move on.
One might say that I am retiring from hep C work, and that would be accurate. However, I am not retiring from meaningful work. I prefer to use Dr. Ruth’s term ‘rewiring.’ (Dr. Ruth is a famous sex therapist known for her radio show, Sexually Speaking,)
Rewiring means that I am redirecting my energy and time towards other passions, passions that have been there a long time. What are these passions? There’s the rub; there are many, and at my age, I don’t have time to follow them all.
Writing tops the list. Exploring issues around health, aging and death make excellent subject matters. All of this rests on living a life of intention. For me, this means meaningful relationships, living simply and mindfully, giving rather than taking, and spreading as much love as I can.
The particulars will unfold as I explore this process of rewiring. As I do, I would love to hear from you. What are you learning from life? What is working, what isn’t? What is your vision for yourself? As Mary Oliver wrote in her poem The Summer Day, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”