18 July 2017

Two Weeks Later

Two weeks later and it still feels like a vacation.  I'm still waking up ridiculously early (4:48 am today).  Sometimes I manage to get back to sleep, but not often enough.  Sometimes I resort to an over-the-counter sleep aid to keep me in bed longer.  Actually, it's kind of funny.  I react strongly to most medications so I always use my pill chopper for these.  They break in half easily with just one's fingers, but then I use the chopper to quarter them.  A quarter dose of an OTC sleep aid.  Talk about light weight!  (Of course, I mean my drug metabolism... not my corporeal weight.  Obvs.)

I made a list of big projects that need doing and hung it on the wall in the dining room (where I am sitting right now.)  So far I have crossed one thing off: Remove carpet from stairs.  Now I have to sand the stairs, replace two treads, and paint.  It's interesting to see signs of previous owners in old houses.  I note that someone else loved the color green.  The stairs were green at one point!  But, when I bought the house, the edges of the stairs had been painted a light-sucking dark brown and a dark brown carpet was nailed up the middle.  And, wow, did they use a lot of nails!  Still, it's all pulled up and it went out with the weekly garbage collection.  (Dusts off hands with satisfaction!)

Weeding the yard is on the list, and it is one that will never be crossed off.  I'm pacing myself on that one.  I'm trying to keep up with the front yard first, since I don't want my neighbors to be too unhappy with me.  But, the back yard needs attention too.  Sometimes I don't even want to go outside because it all feels so overwhelming.  Like I said, I'm pacing myself and trying to just keep at it.  This may sound like an excuse, but some of the 'weeds' are native wildflowers and I intentionally let those go longer because the bees and other pollinators need them.  This in not bullshit!  I am trying to tread that line between flowering and seeding -- I pull them when they are getting close.  At least, that is my goal.  The results is... scruffy looking.  I will never have a manicured yard and I don't want one. That's not my style.  I like a more wild looking garden, one that looks like it might hold a secret or two.  But, I live in the city.  People expect the front yard to be presentable.

Last Friday was my first payday without a paycheck.  That was disconcerting.  It took me about half the day to figure out what was bugging me.  My pension checks have not stated coming yet so I have been more frugal than usual.  My final check was bigger than usual since it included my vacation cash out, but it's a reality check to look at the bank balance and miss out on that every two week payday.  On the plus side, I have taught two self defense classes since I retired and I do get paid for that.

One great thing about being retired is the ability to say Yes.  Being free of the constraints of the M-F day shift allows for all kinds of different activities.  I've had lunch out with friends a couple of times, and impromptu get togethers with some of my neighbors who are teachers.  So freeing!  And, just sitting on my front porch watching the rhythm of the neighborhood is extremely pleasant.  (Just fyi, I've always been moderately good at saying No.)

I haven't created a schedule or structure for myself yet.  I had thought that it would be healthy and productive to do so, but so far I'm just... unwinding, I guess.  It feels strange to be without a schedule.  But, I will adapt!  I'm thinking that the morning might contain some aerobic exercise, like a brisk walk.  Coffee and toast, newspaper, blog reading and then a walk.  After that, the project list.  Maybe.  We'll see what happens.

I've got loads more to say about other subjects (family, T, friends, etc) but I think this is enough for one post.  Pretty soon I'll be boring you all to tears with the excruciating minutia of my pedestrian life.  Looking forward to that?   :-)

Thanks for reading, women!

01 July 2017

First of July, 2017

I had cake and champagne for dinner last night.


And it was good!

Instead of the Costco sheet cake that I was expecting, there were fancy layer cakes from a local bakery. Ooh! My only request had been for a lemon flavored cake.  There were two lemon cakes!  And a chocolate cake, a vanilla bean cake, and a latte cake.  I think I only missed the vanilla.  Lol!

I wasn't expecting anything but cake and fellowship, but there were gifts and a very nice send off speech from my division chief.  Naturally, I got a little teary.  But, I managed to clamp that shit down!  Jeez!  Don't want to go out on a watery note.  No Sally Fields moment for me!

So, that was Wednesday.  I had odds and ends to finish up on Thursday and Friday.  My office will be completely disassembled next week since another department is going to 'borrow' it for a few months while they undergo a remodel.  I hope my department gets the office back!  If not, the doctors in my division won't have an onsite support presence.  So.  Yes.  Hmm.  I'm drawing a breath now, and letting it out.  And, yes, all of that is none of my concern now.  Ha!

Anyway, the last two days were pleasant and low key with lots of hugs and heartfelt testimonials from coworkers and friends.  On Friday I had lunch with two of my favorite gals.  One is my birthday buddy, and we'll never lose touch.  But, I want to stay in contact with some of my now-former coworkers.  I handed out my email address to a number of people.  A very select number of people.  You know, you spend more awake time with your coworkers than with your family.  I hope you like some of them.  I've been lucky enough to have met some great people and maintained long friendships with quite a few coworkers.

So, after an uplifting and heart-warming send off, I called T from the bus as I was heading home.  She had called me earlier when I was in the middle of a conversation with three other people and couldn't talk with her.  Instead of congratulating me, she chose to be snippy and complain that I hadn't gotten right back to her.  Oh, for fuck's holy sake!  I'm close to done.

But, here's the thing.  I went home (caught the #70 at Lloyd Center!  Woot!) and I said, don't let this petty bullshit color your day.  And, I didn't!  I carried in my extra bag of gifts and last minute stuff from the office, kicked off my shoes, popped open the bubbly and took a glass outside to enjoy the afternoon/evening.  I had some celebratory texts and emails to respond to, and then I just relaxed and listened to the neighborhood unwinding (and had cake for dinner!).  It was incredibly restorative.  I could feel the tension draining out of my body.  In fact, I ended up being so emotionally and physically exhausted that I went to bed just before 9 pm.  I needed it!

This morning, I am still feeling pretty danged good.  I suspect that the first week will feel like the average summer 'vacation', and I'll be ready to go back to work on the following Monday.  But, I will create a schedule or a structure to my day and hold to that until I leave behind the automatic work pattern.

It will take me a while to settle into the new reality, but I am looking forward to exploring just how that evolves.  Stay tuned here, friends, I hope to be more regular with blog posts.  Gonna up my blog fiber!  Hahahaha....  sorry!

Ok, I'm having cake and champagne again (after a lunch of kahlua pork and rice).  I'm heading out to the porch to watch the world go by.  After a bit, I'll get back to work, uh, play.  Whatever!