April Wednesday

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Little Geranium seedlings, grown from seeds from the geranium I grew from seeds 2 years ago.  Oh, it is fun to watch these grow.

I am now four months into retirement.  It is far more challenging than I had anticipated.  Some days are awesome (like today) and some are pretty horrid.

There are things I have realized about myself that I really didn’t know before.  I think I am just hard wired to have good days and bad.  Regardless of what’s going on.  I don’t always feel great.  But I am always trying to find a way to.  Gratitude is my No. 1 tool.

I need at least a scintilla of structure.  Mass daily keeps me busy in the morning, but some mornings upon arrival home, I feel incredibly disheartened.  Because I need something to do.  Something concrete, with a beginning and an end (definitely NOT housework, because I have NOT developed a taste for it).  I sewed a blouse over the weekend.  It was good to be busy, but it is my idea of a colossal waste of money because patterns and fabric are not cheap.  For about $50 and two days of labor, I have a blouse that is primitive at best.  It is comfortable so I may actually wear it around the house but believe me when I tell you that $50 is not a reasonable price for a “house blouse.”  Knitting is also relatively expensive, but I do really enjoy it and most of the time I really like the finished product.

Today I am having lunch with my old boss – THAT boss from my 17 months in the job “downtown” where I mostly lost my mind.  I do really like her even though she was undoubtedly the worst boss I ever had.  She was new to management and frequently tells me I taught her a lot.  The price I paid for that was very high, but those years are now over, and I can’t wait to see her at lunch today.

My AA life is an entirely different story.  I don’t have enough time or energy to write about it this morning.  But I do need to do so soon.  And hope to God no one from my home group still reads this.

Love you all… thanks so much for reading and commenting.

Posted in Garden, Gratitude, Knitting, Mass, Retirement | 1 Comment

New Bike

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There’s my beautiful new bike.  It has a carbon fiber frame and is very light.  It is also just all around very nice.  I took it out for 10 miles yesterday and it was like an entirely different sport than riding the bikes I own.  I blasted up hills like I was rocket propelled!  A good bike really does make a difference!  If you have anything negative to say about the bike, please don’t share with me because I spent WAY more money than I ever intended on this thing and I am in love.  Don’t rain on my parade, please.

I wrote to the race director of the olympic distance tri I wanted to register for.  I was looking for their course limit.  He suggested I try a sprint distance.  Well, yeah, I am going to do that too.  I will look for another olympic distance in the meantime.

I weigh less than I have since 1994, and I am probably in the best shape I have been in since my late 30s.  Yes, I am 65, but I really believe I am going to be able to do awesome things this summer.  And I actually have the time to train!  Imagine that!

I really do fluctuate between utter joy – like yesterday when I was out in the sunshine riding this beautiful bike around a beautiful place.  And today, the worry came back to get me with a bit of a vengeance.  I hit my head on my front door with quite a bit of force (very long story about a deadbolt that sticks) and started crying about that.  And then – when I was leaving the house and backed my car out of the garage, an extension ladder I have been MEANING to move just crashed down upon my brand new automobile.  It made the most ungodly noise.  It wasn’t as bad as it sounded, but my car is definitely worse for that little incident.   It had already sustained its first dent in a grocery store parking lot, but this is a bit worse than that.

It all feels too much from time to time.  Having extremely limited resources can cause all sorts of fear.  But there is ENOUGH.  There is always ENOUGH.  I just have to remember that.  God has always cared for me, I have never gone hungry or gone without much of anything.

Even when I smoked cigarettes, I never went without my requisite cigarettes.  And they are so expensive!

On Monday when I was debating the merits of buying the bike, I sat down and calculated the expense of smoking 2 packs of cigarettes a day (which I used to do) and then I added a 12 pack of beer a day.  I could pay for my bike in 75 days of the savings from not doing that!  Which doesn’t make sense really, but it does to me.

I have a lifestyle that does not involve packs and bottles per day.  I am spending the money for my healthy lifestyle.  That makes sense to me!

Thanks for listening….

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Comments

Pay Day

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So excited about being able to scoop my hair into a ponytail.  Small thing, sure.  But it sure is nice.

A lifelong dream of mine was to wear my hair in a bun when I got “old.”  I think I am probably that age now, though I don’t think of myself as old – it is all relative, isn’t it?  When I left State employment in 2015, my hair was so short, the back of it was actually shaved!  SHAVED!

2016 was my year of paying dues.  Suffering in anticipation of some future pay day.

I had a job, the job was sheer torture in so many ways.   I live about as far west as you can and still be considered in the Denver metro.  The job was about as far east as can still be considered the Denver metro.  The commute was a slog across the city.  I tried going north, I tried going south.  I tried going south and east on toll roads.  In the end, I drove straight through the hell that is Denver traffic.  Twice a day.  Some days I spent over 3 hours in the car.  It drove me CRAZY.  I tried to accept it, I tried audio books, I tried praying.  I even tried knitting while stopped – which was a lot.  I tried public transportation.  It just was no fun no matter what I did.

The days were spent in a small windowless office which felt like a coffin most of the time.  I essentially had nothing to do.  There were times I saved all my work for one day a week, and it still didn’t take all day.  It might have been 4 hours of work per 40 hours.  I had endless time with nothing to do.  My boss was aware of this and assured me that it would change in time.  I didn’t stay long enough for the change.  I found the end of the internet.  I had always thought it was endless.  I never thought you could find the end of the rabbit hole… but I did.  Every single day.  I read every single thing that I could even be remotely in.

There were positives to the job.

  • I worked with a great group of people.  I liked them and they liked me.  After the end of my State career, it was so refreshing to be with people who weren’t involved in palace intrigue, and strange dishonest strategies to destroy people and gain power.  They were just nice, competent, intelligent, hard-working people.  We all got along and had fun occasionally.
  • I had time and space to grieve the loss of my sister.  I spent hours and days in my office looking through every single e-mail, every photograph, and every text.  I cried and cried and cried.
  • There was a trail across the street from the office and I took a walk nearly every day.
  • I got a paycheck every other Friday!!!  In addition to my pension!!!  I spent hours in my office budgeting and strategizing.  I made all sorts of graphics of my debt and the progress towards eliminating it.

I just put my nose down and spent that year getting my life ready for retirement.  Oh!  And I grew my shaved hair out to the point where it actually goes in a pony tail now!  Some day it will go in a bun!  (then I will probably cut it off!)

Now I wake up in the morning and thank God I don’t have to go to work.  I get up and go to an AA meeting and thank God that I am and have been sober.  I get to go to Mass after that.  The rest of the day is usually free for me to fill up as I please.  I work out for a minimum of 70 minutes a day.  Usually on the treadmill, because I am a freak of nature and actually LOVE the treadmill.  As the weather turns to spring, I am sure I will head outside more – particularly if I am training for a tri!  I knit – a lot.

I get to meet friends for lunches and dinners.  When a sponsee wants to meet with me, I ask what time works for HER!  And I can work around that.  It turns out I have a lot more friends than I ever realized.  I never had time for them before.  It is so delightful to sit over a cup of coffee or a meal and not be in a hurry for any reason.  When the folks at church ask me to do something (which is happening more and more), I say the magic word – YES.

I am so very grateful.  I really never saw my life as paying dues for a later date – except last year.  But it turns out it really was.

It is now payday.  And I am loving it.  Thank you God.

Posted in Aging, Friends, Gratitude, Hair, Retirement, Sobriety, sponsee, Work | 4 Comments

Snowy Tuesday Morning

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There’s a little mouse I knit for my cat, with a little bit of organic catnip placed strategically inside.  I hid it from her for a half a day because I knew she would “ruin” it, and I thought it was so freaking cute.  But I did give it to her, and she has indeed loved it into a state of ruin.

I just read one of my favorite blogs, my friend is starting his triathlon training in earnest.  Inspired, I immediately wanted to jump on my bike and ride to the pool (in a blizzard) and get going on my training.  I love triathlon training and events.

There are several triathlons I want to do this summer.  There is an olympic distance in July, and the women’s sprint triathlon in August.  There is another sprint that is very near home that I would love to do in September.

There is a problem this year:  I need a new bike.  When I got my bike tuned up last summer, I was told it was not going to last much longer.  In fact, the technician was worried it wouldn’t get me through my race in August.  Thankfully she was wrong, and the bike made it through the year.  I have no such dreams for this year.  I need a new bike.

Bikes are expensive.  My income is now small.  I can buy one, but I wonder if this is really good use of my money.  (Just writing that makes me feel sick.)

At the age of 65 and forward, fitness is everything.

A nearby shop has a 2016 model bike reduced from $1500. to $1000.  I looked at it and walked away, which took all the self-control I had.  I have now been thinking about it for 8 days.  I really want that bike.  I really want to be a triathlete.  I want to train for triathlons.  I need a decent bike.

I still don’t know what I should do.  I will pray some more.

Meanwhile, the snow is piling up outside.  The trees are bending low, but none have broken – yet.  The lilac bush in the backyard is nearly laying flat on the ground.  I am so tired of agonizing over that thing every year.  Though I love it, if Mother Nature wants to break it, kill it, or just kill all the buds as it does most years, I will just accept it!

Thanks for reading this random thing…

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

So Sick

IMG_1893.JPGI have got a terrible cold.  I have thought perhaps it was the flu because I have been in bed or on couch since Sunday afternoon.  But I had my flu shot, and I seriously don’t want to have the flu, because I need for this to be over – STAT!

I think this is where my more negative attitude was coming from last week.  Looking forward so much to having my “normal” life back soon.  Oh, it is so good.

(photo is kitty keeping me company)

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Saturday Morning

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Went over to Red Rocks a couple of days this week to do the stairs.  It is such a good workout, and restorative mentally as well.  The mountain air, the other people, and the history of the place are very special.

(I am realizing, with horror, that I write like our president talks, lots of adjectives, not many substantive descriptions.  I will apply my former skill at writing and pay more attention to what I am doing.  OK?  I promise you, many are saying it will be tremendous, and I will make my blog great again.  Millions love it, I have heard it is the best blog in the blogosphere.)

I thought I would post today to break up the tedium of my post-retirement happy, happy posts.  This is one of the days when I don’t feel so peaceful and joyous, though most days I feel downright ecstatic at the idea of never working again.

There are many household tasks that are not getting done.  I have several phone calls to make that I have been procrastinating for weeks or even months.  There is a rocking chair on my front porch that was painted white many years ago – until a hail storm beat most of the white off of it.  I kept it in the garage for years, waiting to be painted, but dragged it back out for a halloween decoration.  It is a disaster not attractive and makes the house look like a loser lives here somewhat unkempt.  The fence in my back yard needs to be painted.  Perhaps I should build a wall instead and get Mexico to pay for it?

The days seem to evaporate.  There are times, like this morning, when I feel that I am a loser accomplishing nothing.  The days of feeling like I am resting and recouping from a long career seem to be over.

Yesterday one of my AA acquaintances told me it took him 9 months to get his bearings after he retired.  It is now 3 months for me.  Perhaps I can give it 6 more months to see how it feels.

Gosh, it sounds like I should use today to paint that silly rocking chair.  If I get it done, I will post the picture of the tremendous chair!

 

Posted in Junk-blogging, Retirement | 4 Comments

Friday

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This is a photo from my outing the other day.  I was mostly on trails, walking and running. In this photo, you can see Red Rocks Amphitheater in the center.  It always amazes me to see it, just sitting there.

I might work on sewing a blouse today.  I bought the fabric and pattern about a month ago, and they are just sitting on my sewing machine waiting.  The sweater took a lot of time and effort, so I didn’t feel I could start another project at the same time.  Except of course for the pair of socks I am knitting.  Socks, I love knitting socks.  They were relief knitting.  The sweater was intense.  Socks are comforting.

It sort of amazes me that I worked so hard for so long and in the end, I get to do what I always wanted.  I always wanted to be a housewife.  I am not good at being married, so that had to be abandoned.  But now after all the years I have worked, I have a pension and am providing for myself without working… and I get to be a homemaker.  I always felt that was my highest calling.

Seems anachronistic in this world of Women’s Rights, and Women’s Grand Accomplishments.

I am grateful that I got to get an education, I am glad to look at the wall and see my Bachelors and Masters degrees.  I am glad that I had a wonderful career for as long as I did.  And then I am incredibly grateful that somehow I hung in there for the last 5 or so years when it was not enjoyable at all.  Being in the workplace as a 60+ woman was as unpleasant as anything else I have ever done.

And now I am thrilled, absolutely thrilled, that I get to go to a meeting and church in the morning.  That I get to come home and decide what I am going to do after that.  Today I may start that blouse.  Or I may go to the yarn shop and decide on my next knitting project.  Which must be a bright colored thing that may have lace, but may not have structure.  No sleeves to pick up and knit.  No side seams.  No neckline to pick up. I just want to knit something beautiful that is fun to knit.

I am more grateful than words could begin to express.  God has been so very good to me.

Posted in Gratitude, History, Retirement | 6 Comments