Windy Wednesday

It’s a chilly day in paradise today.

Kat and I took our usual walk this morning.  The cold wind was doing a good job of blowing the leaves off of the trees.
Dominic arrived to spend a few hours with Kat and I.    After lunch, we will venture out to the playhouse for some Play-Doh creativity.
I will try to finish my latest read later this afternoon.  This is a great book.  I just finished a chapter on the importance of walking for one’s mental and emotional health.   I could not agree more.

Time to put together some lunch for Dom.  I made an Apple Crisp yesterday, so at least desert is ready.

Dan was serving desert last night 🙄. I swear I peeled lots of apples for this. Either they really cooked down or I tossed Kat way more slices than I thought I had. 🤦

Keep safe – and warm!

Elmo

I have been reading various books, searching for advice on how to make the most of my upcoming retirement. One gets into a routine, working five days a week – forty nine weeks of the year – for decades . Building a new routine that will keep my mind sharp, my body healthy and my emotions upbeat, in an unstructured environment, is going to take some effort.

A few days ago I started reading “The Alter Ego” by Todd Herman. The first few chapters were a bit difficult to get into. This book seemed a little clinical and academic to me and probably not what I was looking for, as motivation goes. I was also fairly dubious that Mr. Herman was going to get me to a place where I could believe I had this alter ego, super hero, in me. To be honest, I am not there yet – or to the point in the book where Mr. Herman explains how to find or create one’s own super hero.

I have however gotten to the chapter where Mr. Herman explains how to deal with negative inner dialogue. That is an issue I have struggled with for years. “I am not smart enough – strong enough – graceful enough” “what if I fail – what if, what if, what if “. I have read enough self help books to know this type of inner dialogue is not helpful. Knowing that and ridding myself of it, has been another story. But Mr. Herman offered a unique approach.

Mr. Herman identifies this negative inner dialogue as coming from ‘the enemy within’. He explains how giving this enemy a name, a personality and a physical appearance, gives you the power to vanquish it. This was an ‘aha’ moment for me. Out of the blue, I thought “Elmo, F…. off”. I’m not the type to be crude, so that was rather shocking and I have no idea why Elmo, but it worked. All of the ‘not enough’s and ‘what if’s’ vanished and I am hopeful that if, or when, they return I will have the power to silence them.

Obviously, I am going to finish this book and maybe I will even find my alter ego. Honestly I am happy just enjoying my newfound confidence and peace of mind with Elmo and his chatter gone.

If you are trying to get a handle on a situation in your life, I would recommend this book – “The Alter Ego” by Todd Herman. Actually, I would recommend Elmo, too. He’s always been a favourite with my children (when they were children) and their children.

The Joy of Reading

I love to read. I learned to read when I was three, being a part of my older siblings evening homework routine. As my mother drilled my sisters and brother in their alphabet, numbers, spelling and reading, I learned along with them.

Over the years, I have read for entertainment, education and necessity. I have read a number of self-help books, particularly enjoying those by Wayne Dyer and Louise Hay. When I began my countdown to retirement, my Kobo account was my go to place. Unfortunately most of the books that came up were financial planning guides. Obviously finances are a major part of retirement but that was not what I was looking for and I did not want to start obsessing over how or if we would survive financially. We are not wealthy by any means, but we have a modest lifestyle and will have the pension income to sustain it.

Failing to find a how to guide for preparing myself for retirement, I chose “Moment of Lift” by Melinda Gates. I found this book to be authentic and well worth the read. I would absolutely recommend it to anyone. I have never been a diehard feminist but I was drawn to her explanation of the movement and definitely agreed with the value she places on women in society.

On a personal note, I was led to question how I would self-identify once I retire. I have always described myself in terms of my relationships – daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother and by my occupation. I have not given a lot of thought to who I am, the type of person I am or my particular abilities. I believe this is a good time to delve a little deeper into myself to determine who I am and my path for the foreseeable future.

My mother lived to be ninety-five. Obviously there is no guarantee that I will follow suit, but it is definitely worth consideration. If I have another thirty or so years left, there is a lot more that I can do with my life or I can just let the time slip away. For me wasting a good thirty years is just not an option.