Winter in a small New England town. I am snowed in, it is after five. So what do you do if it is after five, and you just turned fifty five, and suddenly realized that there is nothing you have to do, or ought to do, or should do, just what you want to do - and you have no idea what this is?
I built my house, planted my trees, brought up my children, has been very lucky to have it all done together with a great partner, sharing laughs and tears on the way, and still have him around to brighten my days, but the debts, personal and financial, are now paid, and we are both free to do what we want - but what is it that I want to do?
From nine to five (unless it is seven a.m. to midnight, although I do my best to minimize those days), I am a busy professional, but after I put in my eight hours and put down my fires du jour, I am done for the day. Time to do something for myself - if I only knew what it is.
My problem is that probably for the first time in my life I do not have a problem! I am relatively healthy (not running marathons, but do 10 minutes on the StairMaster without breaking sweat), relatively comfortable (cannot retire yet, but not suffering either), nobody depends on me to take care of them in any way, and this leaves me with this absolute treasure on my hands - free time. How do I spend it with fun and profit? I do not mean pecuniary profit, but profit for me as a human being?
So I asked my husband to pour me a glass of Navarro Pinot Noir (I never pour wine myself, one of our small rituals; he is in charge of the wine cellar, and does a good job of it, so a glass of sensual California red or perky New Zealand white is always there when I need it), and started to think - what do I want to do?
My first project is translating reminiscences of A. N. Krylov: a gem of Russian memoir literature that had 10 editions in Russia, but was never published in any other language.