Ringing in the New Year: looking ahead in 2017

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We rang in the new year quietly with a mildly alcoholic drink and a movie.  No late night parties for us or big celebrations in a bar or hotel ballroom.  Maybe it’s because we’re not in our twenties anymore or just that we enjoy being at home with our canine friends.  Whatever the reason, we were satisfied with our quiet evening at home.  We are at the point where we didn’t even have to explain to each other why we spent our evening at home.  Our priorities had changed.   Continue reading

When life slows down . . .

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Those of you who have been following my blog know that I was in a car accident a few weeks ago.  It’s actually more like four, but hey, who’s counting?  The doctor says I had a concussion, even though I didn’t actually hit anything.   Apparently my brains sloshed around inside my skull.  I am much better now, but I still say and do things that are a bit off, and get really tired by about 5 PM.   While I took the doctor’s guidance seriously, it’s been hard for me to do less, move less, and think less.  I am not reading, except short news stories, and not exercising much.   There are things I have to do:  I have to water my plants, and answer emails, and keep up with projects and clients related to work.  As for the rest of my normally productive, busy life, I’ve had to put it on hold.   What happens when life slows down? Continue reading

Absence makes the heart grow fonder

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There is an old adage that says absence makes the heart grow fonder.    I was thinking about this recently because my husband is away for a while.   When he travels he says that I don’t miss him, while he misses me.  That isn’t exactly true.  What happens is that I adjust to him being away, which in my book means that if I think too much about missing him I have a harder time during the separation. Continue reading

Groundhog Day: the day after

 

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Bill Murray in Groundhog Day

 In the movie   Groundhog Day Bill Murray plays a weatherman who wakes up to discover that each day is February 2nd and is forced to relive it over and over again.   Finally, after what seems like a lifetime of anger, bitterness, nastiness, depression, and a lot of humor, he changes his fate by changing his behavior.  I never tire of watching this movie.  It has such a feel good message of redemption through personal growth.

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Getting organized the Japanese way

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I recently heard about a book that promised to change your life.  It’s called “the life-changing magic of tidying up:  the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing” by Marie Kondo.  I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.   I put my name on a list of over 100 waiting to read it at the library and a few days ago I received an email that  a copy was available. Continue reading

Survivor’s guilt: am I good enough without a real job?

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A few days ago I hit day sixty of my post-retirement life.  A lot has happened in two months.  I moved, left my career and friends in the DC area, got to know a new community and neighbors, and started working with a volunteer organization.  I’ve kept busy and engaged with all kinds of tasks, but every once in a while I think about that prior life when my value came from my job title and the size of my office and the number of people I managed.  What is my value now?  Am I a success or a failure? Continue reading

Weeds as a metaphor for life

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I don’t like dandelions.  I don’t like crabgrass either or other weeds, but my dislike for dandelions is extreme.   For the past two weeks I have been outside every day with my forked tongue garden tool digging up the dandies.  They yield willingly to me after a rain or in the early morning when the ground is soft.  When the grass turns brown from lack of rain, the dandies thrive in spite of it, sticking out their dandelion tongues at me in defiance.  See, they say, I will grow in any weather in any soil and   Continue reading

Busyness, boredom, and the meaning of life

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Shiloh relaxing at home

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday.  I’m not at work and the days follow each other with nothing to distinguish them.  Which days are better?  The ones in which I get a lot done or the ones in which I relax and do not.  What does it mean to get something done?   Does it matter what I do each day?   The short answer is that is does matter to me.  In some parallel universe is another me watching what I am doing with my time, or more importantly, judging me for what I am not doing.  So, being busy becomes “good” and doing nothing is not. Continue reading