Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Right Here, Right Now

While on a girlfriend road trip two years ago, my Alaska buddies asked me if I was going to retire when I turned 60. Uh, no, I said. I'm working for medical insurance. They reminded me that I had worked in Tier 2 for the State of Alaska and since I had vested I would qualify for retirement at age sixty. When I got home from that trip, I did a little research and here I am, 3 days away from retirement thanks to the State of Alaska, my ex-mother-in-law (who encouraged me to work for the state), and those girlfriends who were looking out for me. I pushed legal papers at the attorney general's office which was perhaps the most boring job I've ever had. 
Today I turned 60.
It feels weird to say that. I don't feel like what I imagined 60 to be. I did a little body inventory this morning. Besides the tiny ache in my fingers from what I can only surmise to be inflammation, or arthritis trying to come on, I feel healthy. Oh, and that pesky presbylarynx I was recently diagnosed with.  I was sitting with my cup of coffee, looking out the window, when a strong sense of connection to my past came wooshing in.
I have so much to say.
I have so much to say that it falls apart when I think about how I would go about saying it. My writer friends who read this know exactly what I mean. Trying to reel it in and write it so it makes sense and maybe can help someone else who has struggled with life decisions is like nailing jello to a tree.
I don't need to have a near death experience to have my life  flash before my eyes. It happens to me on a frequent basis. One day while I lived in Alaska, while riding the bus to work at my state job, I looked out the window and thought shit, is this all there is? I just didn't buy it. I was unhappy. Things would go so far downhill from that moment and I didn't even know it.
But I survived.
I only have 9 minutes remaining to finish this post before I have to get ready for work. I can hardly wait for my time to be my own.
This story to be continued.
love, susan


Monday, May 27, 2019

Monday Upsides: Indecision

 This would have been my last Monday working at the county attorney's office but for the holiday. Four days left and my days will be different for awhile. People keep asking me what I'm going to do after I'm not working. The only thing I can say is I'll do exactly what I do now when I'm not working but more of it, ya know? I picture taking a longer route for my morning walks with Remi. A life goal is to try wearing her out, and topping my personal best on the Fitbit. I don't know what that number is but let me just set it at 15,000 steps, right here right now.
We're not sure exactly what our next step is to be. We need to really sit down and have some serious conversations about it. The time is right to sell this place and move to a smaller abode where maintenance is far less. Yuma, Arizona is high on our radar. The thought of moving is really daunting, especially with 3 dogs. We have big items that need to be sold or donated. I'm personally not in a hurry to make decisions about it but the thought of living another winter like this last one where we had 8 snow storms in a month ... well ... you know. I see no reason to stay through that. But, it could happen. I was talking with a good friend yesterday and she said they had thought about selling their place but then talked it through and changed their minds. I feel like we haven't processed completely yet what we need to process.
The Denver road trip is so close that I am thinking about it constantly. My friend from Alaska and I have not seen each other for two years now. The way I am figuring it, we'll have approximately 35+ hours of  road time to talk to our hearts' content. I love that kind of undivided attention.
The hubs has been doing some outdoor painting. He thinks the stake I placed in my herb garden is a perfect place for hanging his painting glove while he rests. (eye roll inserted here) Regardless of what our next move is to be, we have a wagon load of work to be done around this place.  I am up for living in a place where there is far less maintenance to do.
Only 4 working days remain.
The sun is shining and there is a slight breeze. Perfect weather.
My work clothes are all clean and hung up today.
We haven't gotten into another war yet.
My 60th birthday is this week!
We have choices to make and time to make them.
I'll be writing a final Monday upside next week and then I will move on to something else. Got ideas?
love, susan
The hubs was painting this week.

We're working on some chair time this weekend.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Monday Upsides: Don't Stop This Train

Book Club was on my mind this morning as I was walking my dogs. We recently read Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. I had heard it before (audible) but if I haven't said this before, the beauty of getting old is that everything is new. Movies, books, conversations. My memory is not what it used to be. I loved this book the first time I listened to it and I loved it again this time. If you are a creative, this book will speak to you.
One of the questions we discussed in book club was what inspires you? I'm not very quick with my answers to questions like that. Seasons inspire me in different ways. I'm inspired in the dark winters to write more. Summer light causes me to spend a lot more time outdoors with my camera, where I see everything. But on my morning walk today, it came to me that music is an all-season inspiration for me. I listen to a set playlist every morning on my walks until I can't stand it any longer and change it up. John Mayer, Van Halen, Tom Petty, Fleetwood Mac, Bob Seger, etc.
John Mayer wrote a song that I identify with called Stop This Train. I'll leave you with my favorite lines from this song below but they are even better when he is singing them. I'm his number one fan.
Monday Upsides:
  • This is my last working Monday. We have a holiday next week and the 31st is my last working day. It's getting very real.
  • The sun is shining today.
  • My cactus are blooming.
  • I am back into my Bright Lines Eating book. I've gained 23 lbs. since last July. I am not a quitter so I am simply back at it ... one day at a time.
  • At least I have stretchy skirts I still fit into.
  • All my medical insurance cards have arrived. We are covered!
Stop this train (John Mayer)
I want to get off and go home again
I can't take the speed it's moving in
I know I can't
But, honestly, won't someone stop this train?
So scared of getting older
I'm only good at being young
So I play the numbers game
To find a way to say that life has just begun
Had a talk with my old man
Said, "Help me understand"
He said, "Turn sixty-eight
Had a talk with my old man
Said, "Help me understand"
He said, "Turn sixty-eight
You'll renegotiate"
"Don't stop this train
Don't for a minute change the place you're in
And don't think I couldn't ever understand
I tried my hand
John, honestly, we'll never stop this train"
love, susan

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

What Up Wednesday!

❡ Since the sun has arrived, my world has been busy.  Here it is Wednesday and I never got my Monday Upsides written.  The time between now and my last day of work seems to be dragging like ... I don't know what. Slow motion. That's what it feels like. ❡ Late last week, I received my medical insurance cards from the State of Alaska, which means we are officially covered starting June 1. When I applied for retirement through the State of Alaska back in January, I was ahead of the game but then it was sit and wait time. They don't really communicate very well so I had to trust the process. Over the years, I've become good at that. Still. I did worry a little about it. We cannot afford to be without medical insurance. Luckily, through my current job, I am covered through the end of June, so if things got messed up with my retirement, at least I could beg for my job back. But, alas, there will be no begging. ❡  Can I just say ... I am ready to move on to what's next in my life.   Well meaning people have asked me what are you going to do when you don't work anymore? I can't help it, I think it's an odd question if you know me. My life is so full beyond my work hours. But, since they ask, I give them a run down. Read, write, photography, walk the dogs, made fabulous meals for the hubs, wash my car, etc. You know. All the things you never have enough time for. There is a whole blog post waiting to be written about time anxiety. ❡  But for now, I need to get through the next 2-1/2 weeks. After that, I have a week off and then heading out on a road trip adventure with a good friend for 11 days. ❡  I'm upping my Fitbit game since the weather is better and my dogs never balk at going for a walk. I long for the day when I can go a little further than yesterday. I put on 14,000 steps yesterday! WHAAAT?  Yes, I did.  ❡  Well, that's it for now. Later gater.  love, susan

Monday, May 6, 2019

Monday Upsides: Too Many to List

Only 4 weeks of work left. I am not going to lie ... it has not been easy to keep going. I think partly because I haven't had much on my evening calendar, the days are a little slower. Meeting up with a friend tonight after work. Hoping to put some other events on my calendar this week. I like having something to look forward to on a daily, weekly, monthly, yearly basis. Not to future trip but just knowing there are fun things ahead helps get through the days. Yesterday, I drove out to the farm and took photos of 3 rescue pitbulls. I have gained a great appreciation for this breed because of my volunteer work. They are characters. They come in all sizes and I sure like the small ones.  We had a friend from the west side visit this weekend. I got some weeding done on my real estate, and slipped a nap in yesterday. We also took a road trip to Walla Walla to share an omelet at a local café  (The Maple Counter Café) I have been wanting to try. It was worth the drive. 
The sun is shining and we're going into the 80's this week.
The ibuprofen I took last night before bed helped with my aching back after weeding.
Change is in the air.
I've got ideas.
After today, I have 2 Mondays left. My last week is a holiday week!

Got upsides this week?  Tell me!

love, susan

You Made My Day, Dude!

A couple weeks ago while I was driving back to Portland after spending the night on the Oregon coast, we came up on some road construction ...