Friday, May 19, 2017

Presto-Chango 1...2...3...

Alternative Work Schedule.
In my case, I'll be working from home full time.  Still keeping the same hours as if I were in the office, but not making that 2hr drive to and from.

What this really means: I'm going to live in my mother's house for the next ~year.  It's not permanent, and it's a good way to hit the RESET button on my life and my finances.  The final move is 2 months out & already I'm downsizing.  Removing tons of items from my closets & making arrangements to drop them off at one or another thrift shops, or have them picked up.  I've wanted  to ditch the awful furniture I purchased right after my DH died for a long time.  I don't know what I was thinking at the time, but this stuff is awful and just has to go. I plan to replace it in some form when I move back out on my own.

Sounds like I'm all hyped up and ready to go on this move, right? But the truth is, I'm not; there's a lot of anxiety surrounding this decision. We lived in the country when I was growing up, and the thing I remember most about it is the isolation. The difference is, now everything is within a 10 minute drive, I have my phone and the internet and I'll be able to stay connected to friends and family.

There are issues with the house. The biggest issue is that, well, it's hers. Then there's the leak in the master bath, the skunks that have taken up residence under the house, the constant insects, and the acre of land that must be maintained. But this will help me decide whether I want to work toward owning my own place (much smaller), or whether I'm really more interested in finding a condo and focusing on travel. Whichever I decide, it will be at least a year out. I'll be spending that time working on paying off some credit card debt and padding my savings account.

I'm talking a lot here about the financial end of this deal, but there is something more important for me that will happen.  TIME.  No driving, no running from here to there constantly in an all fired hurry, etc.  I'm looking forward to downtime - there's been precious little of that in my life.
Here are my intentions/goals for this move:
  • breathe
  • write
  • garden 
  • take up watercolors
  • work on genealogy 
  • cook
  • Think
  • Rest
  • Renew

What's on your horizon?

Monday, April 3, 2017

Changing roles

For the past ~6 yrs I have volunteered at a small WWII museum. I've done just about everything there: office/admin work, maintained mailing lists, composed the quarterly newsletter, docent, cleaner, chairperson of various events, liaison with local associated groups. But after this past year's worth of high anxiety and divided focus, and the most recent event (my SIL almost died last week), I decided that it's time to let go of the Museum, and put my focus on my family and my writing.

This is not to say that spending so much time at the Museum was bad or the wrong thing to do. Quite the opposite! I've learned more there than I could possibly have imagined while working there, and not all of it has to do with facts and events.  Actually, most of the things I've learned have to do with interacting with others, issues of protocol, budgeting, event logistics, etc. And I've expanded my knowledge of WWII history.

I've also learned a good bit about how I operate under stress, what I can handle and what I can't. I've discovered that I don't multi-task nearly as well now as I did when I was younger. I need real focus in order to do something well. I certainly don't work well when I have someone standing behind me, staring over my shoulder, and others in the room carrying on raucous conversation. And when I have one ear on the front door, waiting to greet random visitors, while composing a letter of thanks or condolence, or personal invitation to an event.

I've gone through several nicknames over the years, Drama Queen being the latest, and the least favorite. I never expected that my life would turn into a soap opera! I never expected that High Drama to bleed over into every aspect of my life.I never expected to have anxiety-induced high blood pressure, either.

I'm looking forward to expanding my weekends to include more down time, reading, writing, relaxing, focusing on the grand-kids and family. I want to pick up a yoga or tai chi class.  And I expect I will still be involved with some of the Museum's events; I just won't be the one in charge.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Jealous again

I've been reading on several other blogs lately about Retirement. 

Yep, retirement.

And I know in my heart that I will never - N E V E R - be able to retire from working.

The closer I get to that age (and I'm very close) the more I despise working in the corporate atmosphere.  I don't want it to be all about the money.  I want to enjoy what I do!  I mean really, don't we all? 

Hehehe.  Yeah.  I hear ya.  The cost of medical bills alone is enough to keep me working to the grave.

But still I dream, and yearn for the retirement that would allow some (minor) travel, and a home of my own, and time to devote to volunteering and writing and all those other things that ... well, are in reality never gonna happen.

And so, the hideous green toothed, wretched-hearted beast is clawing its way through my psyche again.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Always in motion is the Future

Yoda said that the future is always in motion.
Today I have motion sickness...  just a slight nausea from staring at the rolling waves of the future for too long.

The ancient Norse mythology says that the Old Man wove the skein of your life long ago...  but I feel like mine is in danger of unraveling.

The yoga instructor reminds us to simply breathe.  B R E A T H E  Let the waters/energy/emotion flow around you.  Stay in the moment. 

Some days that's just too damn difficult.

So... because I can....  here is a lovely photo to help relax the mind & remind us to just B R E A T H E.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Reading days

I'm deep into WWII and Cold War history lately, and my lovely SIL found these for me.  All topics I love:
Churchill (of course), spies & planes.

The top book in the photo adds to my current collection of Churchill material & I'll work my way through it slowly, like a textbook.

The second book (A Covert Afair) is the story of Julia and Paul Child as undercover spies in the OSS.  Betcha didn't know about that!  :-)

The last lovely coffee-table sized tome is all about the British Warplanes of WWII.  A subject near & dear to my heart.

Here's hoping you received a stack of lovelies to enjoy throughout the next year, and your list for next year includes authors not on the best-seller list.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Happy Holidays!

It's been a crazy roller coaster of a year.  Lots of ups (London trip!) and downs (my mother's health) and overall stress (global weather upheavals, terrorism & the US Presidential elections, to name a few).

I don't know about you, but I'm ready for this year to end, so we can get a reboot & start over in 2017.

Wishing you a holiday filled with love, peace, joy and wonder.  Hoping for a new year of excitement, adventure, contentment and dreams fulfilled.

Saturday, November 26, 2016


I remember at high school graduation, my long-distance boyfriend had driven down for the event, and we had a relationship-ending disagreement.  I remember standing on the front porch in the dark, crying my eyes out.  And Daddy held onto me and said "you try too hard."

I think Daddy was right.

All my life, in just about everything I've done, I try too hard.
I care too much.
I want too much.
I love too much.

I'm spending some serious time with my mother now, aiding her rehabilitation from that devastating injury, and she is angry with me.  She fights against me.  Because I make her do what the therapists want her to do.   The walker that she despises is now a permanent part of her life.  It is problematic because her home is not ADA compliant - the doors are too narrow.  Ditto the closets, the pantry, and the bathrooms.

As long as I'm here with her, she is fairly safe.  But when my time here is done (3 more weeks), we are going to have to look long and hard at a permanent solution for her.  She is too independent for a nursing home, but I'm not sure how we could pay for an assisted living facility.

There are many questions I cannot answer at this time.  I can only focus on the jobs I'm doing:  HR job accommodation that allows me to work remotely, half days, until Dec 9, and the more important job of taking care of her.

Edited for updates

She  took another fall, one that will change her living circumstances permanently.  My sisters and I are playing round-robin staying with her at the hospital, and frantically trying to figure out where she will go from there.  The options are slim, and grim.

She sews in her sleep....  matching the edges of sheet and blanket with eyes closed, tilting her head, saying quite clearly to "turn on that light".... and moving the invisible needle deftly along the seam line.

I've been feeling horribly guilty that I was not able to do anything about this accident; I was with her, yet she stubbornly refused to ask for help.  That choice is on her, but dealing with the consequences is on us.

The writing is on hold while I juggle my job and my responsibilities.  There are no holiday preparations, no feasting, no gift-buying.  There is only this.

I dreamed of flying last night - soaring effortlessly through the night sky, with my mother beside me, wings outstretched and bliss on her face.  She will be free soon, and her spirit will fly home.

Stretch your wings, Mama.  Catch the wind & soar!  Fly....