Blog, illness, retirement

Under the Weather but Not Down for the Count

Day 218

Well, the germs have strengthened. Last weekend I prayed that I would not catch my granddaughter’s bug while I was there helping out. My prayers were answered — I did not get sick…not then anyway. This morning I woke to a full on sore and scratchy throat. Enter warm salt water gargle. Now I have had my first cup of coffee and my oatmeal and I need to find the gumption to get up and do some things around here.

Last night our internet went out for several hours. It is one of the things we have learned to accept living in these foothills. We lose power, cell towers, and cable/internet frequently. So many trees and mountains are fodder for the severe storms that love to down trees in their wake. I wanted to write, but my energy was waning, so I just spent the idle time reading.

At least the weather is nice. Gloomy, cold days seem to make me feel worse. The sunshine urges me onward. I have chores that need my attention while hubby is out cleaning up the yard of leaves and branches.

Yesterday, I was offered the opportunity to do a little part-time work which I think I will take on. It will be fun to have some extra money to put toward a few special projects I have in mind. This work involves very little pressure or deadlines, so it should be enjoyable. I appreciate the consideration and the opportunity.

Retirement has phases I think. Now entering year three, I am ready for a little mental stimulation. The first year was just relaxing and adjusting. The second year was remodeling efforts and adventures. Now in the third there is a bit of a cruising speed that involves maintaining our life and our home, but room to do more. Who knows how long I will feel this way?

So that’s it for today. Time for that second cup of coffee and a nice hot shower. Ugh.

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meditation, retirement

How I Got Stuck in a Retirement Rut

Day 176

Image by David Cardinez from Pixabay

I have never regretted retiring early. Not one day. I was ready to leave the rat race long before. No, no regrets.

What I did fall into was a bit of a retirement rut. It was the first time in years hubby and I could relax away the morning together with no demands and no expectations. We took our time unpacking and we took our time evaluating what needed to be done in the house we bought.

The problem with relaxing is it is easy to do it too much. It’s just like eating. It is so enjoyable and releases those endorphins. It became so pleasurable that I lost my way a bit.

It takes an effort to recenter. We have changed our lifestyle. Now we enjoy our morning walk as well as our morning coffee. We spend more time cooking together and reducing all those too pleasurable sugar and fat laden desserts with healthier alternatives. Neither of us feels like we have sacrificed and we have lost weight as an unexpected outcome, so it was a win win situation.

I took some art classes soon after I retired. Unfortunately, I also had some close family members who were ill and as a result some difficult losses to contend with. Then when the work on the house started, it was all too much and too chaotic. I gave them up.

There is a leveling out now. It did not come for me without seeking it out. I have become very aware of my inner critic and my ego and am learning to hush their voices in my head. I am writing and have returned to taking classes. I am finding inspiration everywhere.

Retirement can be the most wonderful time of life. As I sit here writing this, I have the doors open. The birds and the wind-chimes in the background are very relaxing in their melodious harmony. I enjoyed my walk and my breakfast and look forward to my day.

The addition of morning meditation really seems to be helping me. I do not always understand what comes up. Some days it seems to just be chatter. No matter what happens during that hour, at the end I am fully awake and engaged — ready to start my day. What a welcome change!

As nice as it is, retirement does not come without ruts. They can be small or deep and mucky. It’s up to us to steer clear of them or find our way out of them.

retirement

Believing There is More

Day 166

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What is your story? Is it a litany of job titles and roles you have fulfilled throughout your life. Is it your heartaches, your successes, and your failures all rolled up into one big ball called your life? I certainly hope not.

I am in moving into my third year of retirement. For the first year I continued to work and one day, as I watched my husband relaxing, I asked myself why I was continuing to meet deadlines every day. I wasn’t stressed out and the work wasn’t hard, but I was still working. That isn’t the definition of retirement in my way of thinking.

Moving into this phase of my life was an adjustment. I kept trying to define myself based on the prior jobs I held or the accomplishments I achieved. I was still trying to measure up against some constantly moving yardstick that no one but me cared about.

So I quit. I retired from my retiree job.

I suddenly realized I was now free to be me. Undefined and unapologetically me. Rediscovering my authenticity was a journey for me – one I did not even realize I was taking.

So many of my friends and family are still in the workforce. So much of their lives revolve around their jobs — even outside their work hours. Work consumes much more than a 40-hour week in most households.

I mentioned yesterday that I am watching Love Rising. Kyle Cease talks about the things we do that bring us the greatest pleasure and joy in our lives – the 10’s. Then he asks what percentage of our day we spend on ‘the 10’s‘. Hmmm… My percentage was pretty low.

I am starting to realize how far I am moving away from my old story. I no longer identify with the woman who was. I am the woman who is. The wonderful part of this is who I am today may not be who I am tomorrow and that’s okay – it’s more than okay. It means I am open to all my dreams and aspirations. I am no longer blocked by my old story.

Of course, I am proud of the work life I held and the accomplishments of my life. Those are part of my old story and it’s a pretty good read, but I cannot define this part of my glorious life by those reflections in the mirror.

Today and tomorrow are bright and beautiful and an integral part of my new story. Hang on to your hats. It’s going to be a great ride.

 

Blog, retirement

I Do Not Miss Working

Day 159

I was fortunate to work in areas that I truly loved. Not all my jobs were my favorite and some of them were less than glamorous. Regardless, I generally enjoyed the work I was paid to do.

Visiting here with family reminds me what work life was like. Alarm clocks before daylight — even after those sleepless nights, the commutes in traffic and way too often there were accidents along the way.

Then waking children way before they are ready to get up is yet another challenge. You do a good bit of work before you ever walk out the door.

Add to that the endless list of tasks, all pressing with the same urgency each and every day. Ugh.

I like working, but I don’t like going to work.

I like reaping the benefits of my work life.

I like that I can decide to stay home on a rainy day if I choose.

I like taking vacations without asking permission.

I like going to the movies or the mall in the middle of the week.

I like eating lunch when I am hungry and not because ‘it’s time’.

I like taking naps any time the mood strikes me.

And I really like sleeping in…

Yep, I think I like this retirement gig ok.

Blog, Love, retirement

Lost and Found – Retirement Edition

Day 151

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Image by JanBaby on Pixabay

Last night I chatted with a couple of friends and we talked about writing short and concise statements surrounding a particular idea. The thought stayed with me most of the day, so I decided to throw together a little Lost and Found department describing what is lost and gained in this prized era of life we call retirement.

Our thoughts and ideas are shaped throughout our lives and we finally reach a plateau where we might be willing to surrender some of the hard-fought concepts of youth for the ideas of gained wisdom and experience.

Work Life

I lost the need to live by an alarm clock.
I lost my corporate wardrobe.
I lost the need to carry an ID around my neck.
I lost someone watching over my shoulder if I Googled anything non-business related.

I found the beauty of waking up naturally.
I found sweats and PJ’s and jeans that go well with hiking boots.
I found that people know who I am because they recognize me.
I found that no one really cares what bizarre things I might Google.

The Human Condition

I lost the need to wear makeup and dye my roots.
I lost the need to worry about being beautiful.
I lost the desire to compete for everything.
I lost gossipping.

I found that I like the way I look and I can wear my hair purple and blue.
I found that I am beautiful inside and out.
I found that I can achieve without taking someone else down.
I found that lifting people up can be very rewarding.

Love, Life, and Laughter

I lost the feeling of angst in relationships.
I lost thinking sexy was something physical.
I lost worrying about the future.
I lost needing to be something to everyone.

I found love can be comfortable and still remarkable.
I found the inside is much sexier than the outside.
I found happiness in experiencing today.
I found I no longer sweat the small stuff, especially if it is not my stuff.

alternative medicine, Blog, health, retirement

Alternative Healing

Day 150

Aches and pains seem to increase with this aging process. Every week there is some new little aggravating thing to contend with. In my head, I’m still in my 40’s, but a quick creak of the bones puts that fantasy to rest.

Some of it is self-inflicted. For example, when I had several months of recurring bouts of vertigo, I changed the way I sleep. The first vertigo attack came on early in the morning while I was sleeping. I thought sure I was having a stroke. The type of vertigo I have is called benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. My first attack was violent. The room felt as if it was spinning 100 mph and I was helpless to stop it.

I won’t go into all the details about my treatment other to say that I no longer allow myself to sleep on my right side. As a result, I have body aches from lying in one position all night long. And that brings me to my discussion on alternative treatments to treat arthritis pain, vertigo or aches associated with climbing up there in years.

Reiki

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Image from Pixabay.com

My daughter gave me a reiki session when I went to see her last fall. She said my chakras were way out of kilter (my word, not hers). It did seem to help a lot. Next week I am going to visit again and she has promised another Reiki session while I am visiting for which I am so thankful.

She suggested I try a session with their acupuncturist after I have my Reiki session with her. More about acupuncture below.

Chiropractic Care

I have always thought about seeing a chiropractor. I have an unfounded fear of a chiropractor breaking my old brittle bones. My granddaughter gets frequent adjustments but her chiropractor only does ART ( active release technique) which deals with soft tissue. People either love or hate chiropractors. I am always unnerved when I read the disclaimers saying improper chiropractic care can cause serious neck injuries or herniated disc injuries if done improperly. Yikes!

Cupping

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Image from Pixabay.com

I know very little about cupping except that my granddaughter, a serious swimmer, also has this treatment. It looks horrible and leaves a terrible mark for days. I am not sold on this one. When my daughter-in-law had it for the first time, it caused a vertigo attack. That, in itself, is enough for me to say no.

Acupuncture

I am not a fan of needles, but this I have given a great deal of consideration. I know people who swear acupuncture healed their vertigo. I also know people who have acupuncture as an ongoing treatment for chronic pain and they say it helps them a great deal.

Floating

Recently, the idea of sensory deprivation through floating has come to my attention. When I read that one hour of floating is the equivalent of four hours of sleep, it piques my interest. I watched a short video where a journalist was monitored by a doctor while floating. At the end of the 60 minutes, brain wave activity had slowed down as had respiration and heart rate – dramatically. I have a friend that swears by it, so it’s on my radar of things to consider. I do worry about it setting off my vertigo.

Time to Weigh In

I tend to resort to more Western medicine with the addition of things like massage and Reiki. But I am curious about other methods. So, if you have tried any of these alternative therapies, I would be interested in hearing about your experience.