September 30th – Aging Gratefully

My aging Mother with her aging family๐Ÿ’ž

Today is the final day of September. I cannot allow this month to end without sharing a ‘piece of my mind’ on the subject of aging. Fortunately, I have some firsthand experience on this topic to draw from. So, let us begin!

Memory – Quantity wise, as we age we have more memories, so we can be more selective about which ones we dwell on. ๐Ÿ˜ Quality wise, our memory is not as reliable as it once was. This can be good or bad depending on the situation. It is frustrating as we search for our glasses every single morning! It can be a blessing as we can forget people, places, and events that we did not care for in the first place – or even when we forget what we had for supper yesterday. Who cares? That just gives us the option of enjoying the same meal three days in a row. ๐Ÿ‘

Finances – There is one financial term that is typically referred to in retirement that drives me batty! ‘Fixed Income’. I am fortunate that my husband still works, we live a very modest lifestyle, and we live in a country that has financial programs to help the aged. I know that there are those who are worse or better off than me in retirement. But seriously, how many people are not living on a ‘Fixed Income’? In all of my years of working, never once did I have the opportunity to demand a pay increase because my utility bills, my cost of food, or because any of my costs increased. Very few employers have an automatic ‘cost of living’ increase built into their wage package. Those that do rarely, if ever, cover the actual increased costs of living, nor do these increases kick in every time a cost increase comes into effect. Many seniors struggle financially, but so do many younger people – many singles, many young people starting out in adulthood, many in low paying positions, many parents providing for families. These people cannot afford to have their taxes hiked to support raising pensions every time there is a cost increase. They, like seniors, are on ‘fixed incomes’ and are struggling to make the same cutbacks that we all are to meet their financial obligations.

Harvest – Yesterday, I posted a quote by Robert Louis Stevenson on my blog. “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.” I used to think that retirement was the time to reap the rewards of life. I still do, to a point. Going into retirement, many of us have much to show for our working years. Our home is paid off, our relationships are solid, our family is self sufficient, our retirement income is secure. But, there was one thing that I discovered when I retired. I planted a lot of seeds (time, money, effort, love) in my life before retirement – in my kids, my marriage, my grandkids, my career, my home, etc. But, I did not plant a lot of seeds in myself – not in my health, not in my skills or my hobbies, not in considering, much less developing, my own interests. I do not regret any of the seeds that I did plant but when I retired and my family was grown and self-sufficient, I was so excited to be be free! And I was free, sometimes painfully so. It has taken two years – two years of walking, thinking, starting and stopping, but I am finally planting seeds in me. I am so grateful that retirement has given me the time and inclination to do this! It will be interesting to see what I harvest as these next years unfold.

That is about it for my thoughts on retirement. I personally recommend aging and retirement! It is great, even when the struggle is real.

Take care and have a great day๐Ÿ’ž

August 25th – Time Flies!

It seems like we were just cleaning the patios and planting the garden and here we are with autumn bearing down on us! The seasons seem to pass faster every year. ๐Ÿ˜ณ

Dan emptied the pool this morning ๐Ÿ˜ฅ
Grandpa’s Bleeding Heart is done for the year. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ
The wildflowers around the birdbath are looking rough.

I have never been a fan of autumn but there is still much to be grateful for. I am grateful for the fresh garden produce that we are enjoying every day, grateful that I have Dan to manage much of the heavy fall cleaning, grateful that I am not facing a winter of dark and icy drives to work (YAY), grateful for the end of mosquitoes and other bugs, and of course I am grateful that I am still here to enjoy each and every day!

Kat’s new food chock full of goodness and fresh garden vegetables and herbs.
At least the petunias are still blooming!

Wishing everyone a great day. Take care and see you tomorrow!

August 1st – Gearing up for Gratitude!

Of all the themes that I could choose to go with for August, I have decided to go with ‘GRATITUDE’.

Gratitude ๐Ÿค—

I am relatively confident that two of the first words my parents taught me to say were “Thank You!”. It was not that they were looking for personal gratification. They were just very determined to teach us the true values in life. The values that enrich our lives. The values that make the best of times better and the worst of times tolerable. Respect, dignity, kindness, honesty, humility, and of course ‘gratitude’. Values that would make us strong enough to make the most of life, because my parents wanted us to have more than life – they wanted us to have great lives.

It did not take me long to understand that gratitude was more than words. Genuine gratitude was a feeling. A powerful, feel good feeling. I knew how important gratitude was.

That being said, there have been times in my life when I have definitely struggled to ‘feel’ grateful. Times when I was too busy, too tired, too angry, too sad, just too distracted to feel grateful. I knew it was important, I said the right words, but I could not feel them.

During my ungrateful periods, I would try to feel more grateful. I read books on gratitude. I followed the exercises in the books. I once tried to start each day by compiling a list of ten things that I was grateful for.

I am NOT a morning person. I struggle to like my dog first thing in the morning. But, this was important so I was determined to start each day (for a solid month!) by listing ten things that I was grateful for. By day three, I was thinking “Cool, I have ten toes, let’s go with that”.

Being grateful for my toes – even that wierd long one. WTF! I don’t even have ten normal toes! So not feeling grateful for my toes. ๐Ÿฅบ

Throughout my life, it has definitely been a process, finding the means to be genuinely grateful on a regular basis. I am finally there. Retirement, and a year and a half of Covid, has given me the time and peace in my life to truly live a life of gratitude – even first thing in the morning. ๐Ÿฅณ

So, this month, I am committed to writing one blog each day, to share that and those for which I am most grateful. ๐Ÿ˜

I hope you will join me often and I hope that every post I share will be worthy of your time.

Have a great day and take care! See you tomorrow!

So grateful for our fur baby, Kat!

July 30th – Nap Magic

Today, I reached the epitome of retirement. I had an afternoon nap! That is about as decadent and retired as it gets. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Over the years, I have taken the occasional nap but it is generally the result of life threatening illness or a bit of meditation that went sideways. This was an honest to goodness, deliberate nap because I had a lousy night’s sleep. I typically sleep like a rock, but on the rare occasion that I do have a bad night, it is nothing to nap over. I am just happy knowing I do not have to drag my exhausted self to work the next day. ๐Ÿค—

Yet, here I am – napped out. Now what? I just hope I can still sleep tonight. Otherwise this could be the beginning of a long and slippery slope ending in regular afternoon naps. ๐Ÿ˜ด

This could ultimately be retirement with Dan and Kat one day. ๐Ÿ™„

Wishing everyone a great rest of the day and a magical long weekend if you are celebrating this weekend. Here, apparently it is Saskatchewan Day. ๐ŸŽŠ

Take care and I hope to see you tomorrow. ๐Ÿ’ž

Day 18 – Pretty Neat!

It is day eighteen of my June  ‘Accentuate the Positive’ challenge.  I am sure I could easily list eighteen things that I love about being retired, but one thing that I really appreciate is having the time and energy to keep our home and yard relatively neat and tidy.

I love having the kitchen sink and counter cleaned up after supper.  That wasn’t always a reality when I was working all day and then coming home to make supper. 
We can even see the table top at times!
Dolly and Dolly lounging in the guest room. (Our guests have tended to be young enough to appreciate them and the wallpaper).
Our room – sometimes in the winter I mess with Kat and spread her fuzzy blanket across the entire bed.  She spends the night trying to find the edge of it. ๐Ÿ˜‚
In Saskatchewan, we come from dust, we return to dust, and in between we collect dust.  Fortunately, I don’t mind dusting – especially my elephants. ๐Ÿ’ž
Neat and shiny!
Who let that dusty little dog in the clean livingroom? ๐Ÿ’ž

Eighteen days down, twelve to go – and our house is relatively neat and tidy!ย 

Wishing everyone a nice day! See you tomorrow! ๐Ÿ’–

Eight Days In!

Dan and I have been working out together every day – for eight days straight now!ย  It is still a lot of fun and somehow we are managing to get in a pretty good workout despite our limited space. My sister (Lorraine) thinks I should do a blog on how to workout in a small house without destroying the wall mount television and/or the kitchen sink. It is in the works! ๐Ÿ˜‰

We are also starting to put more health conciousness into our meals.  It’s not that hard when Dan is here to peel and chop.  Our snacks still need work. ๐Ÿ™„

Dinner salad – Lettuce, cucumbers, peppers, radishes, green onions, broccoli, spicy air frier pork, homemade croutons and sesame seeds.. mmmm!)
Bran, molasses, coconut & walnut muffins.  The molasses, coconut, and walnuts almost mask the taste of the bran. ๐Ÿ‘
Chilli with plenty of fresh vegetables – peppers, celery, onions, garlic, mushrooms, and canned tomatoes and kidney beans!

Between the workouts, the improved diet, the meditating, and the new mattress that we bought lately (to ensure a better night’s sleep), ย  it is looking like a healthier, happier life for both of us.ย  ๐Ÿ’ช

Keep well and stay safe๐Ÿ’ž

Living at the Speed of Life

There have been a lot of changes in my life since I retired a few months ago.ย  The majority of those changes have been within me – changes in attitude, changes in personality, changes in relationships.

One of the relationships that has changed most drastically is my relationship with time.ย ย  Time is still a significant, relevant part of my life.ย  I still have clocks in my house and, as much as my daily regular schedule has changed, it has changed to a new regular schedule.ย ย 

The thing is, before retirement time was one of my main sources of stress and frustration.ย ย  Hours in a classroom lasted longer than days during summer break.ย ย  Nine months of pregnancy lasted forever!ย  Years of infants, toddlers, tots,ย  and teens wereย  over way too soon.ย  A week at the office was interminable.ย  A weekend home was never long enough. The terrible years were endless and the good ones flew by.ย  There was no consistently to time – ever – and I never had time when I needed it most!

In retirement, time flows easily and smoothly.ย ย  I never feel suspended in time, nor do I feel pressured to do more than time allows.ย  Time passes –ย  the hours, the days, the weeks, the months – regularly and consistently and reassuringly.ย ย  Regardless of all that is or is not happening, time passes.ย ย  No longer a sources of stress or frustration, time is now a comforting measure of life.

Goodbye 2020

This year is winding down. For all of the challenges of 2020, people are excited for all of the possibilities of 2021. I guess that is human nature!

In 2020, I made peace my priority. In a difficult year, this priority served me amazingly well. It brought me into retirement. It allowed me time for walking miles and miles around our neighbourhood with our little dog, Kat. It brought me hours of relaxing in our yard this summer. It led me to a new and inspirational journey within, through meditation. It provided me with countless hours spent with my husband – a luxury after years of Monday thru Friday/ eight to four-thirty while Dan worked twenty-four/seven shifts. In half an hour, it will see us relaxing in the comfort of our own livingroom while we watch son Dan and his soon to be wife Amanda marry in their own home – hours away from us. Once again, in this year of pandemic, we are grateful for technology!

My path to peace in 2020 ๐Ÿ’ž

All the best as you ring out the old and wishing you a beautiful 2021! ๐Ÿฅ‚

Daily Routine

Another day of not accomplishing a whole lot.ย  I had my coffee, read my news, walked my dog, did dishes (where do they keep coming from?), did some housecleaning, fed the squirrels and birds, fed Kat (twice), killed fourteen bugs and did a bit of yardwork.ย ย ย  And, it is time to make supper. Where does my time go?

When I worked, I thought that the best thing about retirement would be having time to complete the ‘bigger’ home projects.ย  Now I feel like I am living the sequel to “Groundhog Day”.

Is this what retirement is supposed to be like?ย  I really thought it would be more productive. I used to be productive when I worked. There was always more work than hours in a day, but I always got it done!

I am thinking I should start making a to do list again every morning to get back on track. Or maybe that would be contrary to what retirement is meant to be?

Life in the retirement lane๐Ÿ‘ต

Bits and Pieces

It is hard to believe how busy one can be doing very little of consequence.ย ย  In my quest to putter around to keep occupied – without actually investing a lot of effort into my mission – Iย  managed to snap a few random shots to share.

Our Brown Eyed Susan finally bloomed ๐ŸŒž
Our lillies are still blooming
Puff the Magic Dragon ๐Ÿ‰
Dan refinished another garden ornament – originally a hummingbird feeder from Jennifer.
Wednesdays with Dom
A painting from Genie – I love the colors and the ELEPHANT! ๐Ÿ’—
Peace is my path ๐Ÿ˜‰

Keep well and have a great day ๐Ÿ’–