Category Archives: Life Lessons

He’s Retired, so now what do I do with him…

Friday the 13th  2019 was the last day of work for Hubby.  Ross is his name but I do like the term Hubby so this is what I will likely stick with.

I’m not into the whole superstition thing but it is quite amazing how certain things learned from childhood hang around, like it being a bad luck day, don’t walk in front of a black cat, throw salt over your left shoulder or right, step over a crack or you’ll break your mothers back and that is all supposed to ward off bad things.

I grew up with all that vast knowledge, which didn’t mean much then, and even less now but someone has made mention of the date of Hubby’s retirement and that is what triggered all the memory quotes.

Well, no bad luck events took place and obviously Hubby didn’t take any notice of the date either. It was all about the dates lining up for the best possible scenario for holidays which began Friday and extending into January 23, 2020 which will be the official retirement date.

It was also all about dates and taxes.

Hubby had his farewell work event, cards and gifts given, hugs and best wishes and a boot out the door. Done.

Actually, he was well respected and will be missed by those who were supported by him and with those with whom he worked. Hubby assisted people in crisis, taught workshops on grief, loss and resiliency and emotional first aid…and much more. I wasn’t there and knew very few of ‘his people’ so will just leave it at that.

He’s taken his gift of new binoculars and packed them for our upcoming trip and is waiting for a new piece of luggage which may or may not arrive before we leave.

One of the gifts he received from his closest colleague is a wooden plaque of one of hubby’s favorite quotes, “Anyone who willingly enters into the pain of a stranger is truly a remarkable person” by Henri J.M. Nouwen. It sits prominently on our fireplace mantle.

We, as in me, our daughter TL, our son Ra and our daughter in law Ca, had our own event,  a family pizza making night and gave hubby some new bike shorts and a snazzy shirt… nice gift but really it is a motivational device to get him out of the house and staying active.

He likes bike riding so it won’t be a new experience – he will just look a lot better doing it.

If I know him… and I do, he will find some random patch and sew it or glue it onto his shirt.  It will be some gleaming adoration for the Chicago Blackhawks hockey team.

Since Friday….

Packing for our holiday.

Playing pickleball.

Packing for our holiday.

Shopping for Christmas gifts.

Packing for our holiday.

Hubby – Seeing the doctor for an ongoing (4 months) sinus infection, getting x-rays and blood-work done.

Pickleball workshop for people from Hubby’s work environment. That was fun. I and two of our pickleball friends assisted with reigning in the keener’s and encouraging the shyer ones.

Arranging plans for looking after our beloved Thomas the Cat…upcoming Vet appointment to get an anal gland expression done. Just imagine that for a minute.

The list for cleaning the house is growing…we have a person moving in and well, the house needs to be presentable.

There are still ten days until departure and events to attend, appetizer and drinks, friends to see, annual 24th extended family dinner and gift exchange, one more pair of baby booties to crochet, likely a last minute gift to buy, our immediate family breakfast, gift exchange and dinner, then our main tidy and pack day and we will be off…

But first, Hubby doesn’t know this yet. I have arranged a date for us. We are going for a manicure and a pedicure. This is all so self-serving of course.

Hubby will be switching shoes soon for flip flops and I may be sitting next to his feet on a lounge chair. I want to like what I see.

 

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Countdown is on…

So, it seems like a lazy, slow and rainy Saturday afternoon but at this house there is a countdown happening. With the countdown an endlessly long to-do list keeps updating itself.

In FIVE work days hubby is retiring. Just letting that statement sit there and I’m allowing it to percolate in my brain.

In trying not to panic…because where am I going to put him – as his office belongings are slowing taking over a mostly under used second bedroom space in our home.

This retirement process has been building for quite some time- the first discussions being, “Are you kidding? No way!”, to, “Oh, okay…”, with hours and hours of chats in between.

It’s rather exciting and obviously unknown at this point.

Plans for Christmas meals, gift buying and house cleaning in preparation for a holiday are underway and my mind swirls with details…

I like my alone morning time, he spends his days with the multitudes of people.

I enjoy quiet (he likes a radio on), I open the curtains, he may or may not get around to it, will he still kindly make my coffee then quietly leave the house 😊, is he going to expect lunch at home, are we going to go ‘everywhere’ together, do I have to invite him along when I take myself out for breakfast…do we report all our activities to each other…and on and on it goes.

How goes it for others…you out there?

Whats worked and not worked.

Come check it out sometime over the next few months-pretty sure its going to be a a creative journey.

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Filed under Life Lessons, retirement, Writer Writes

Facing Fears and Trying New Things

 

The idea of creating sixty-five activities or events came as I looked at a selfie picture on my phone, just before a walk over a bridge.

My husband Ross and I were camping at Whistler Mountain this summer with our son and his wife and one days’ adventure was to go on the gondolas and chair lifts then cross the recently finished suspension bridge called the Cloudraker Skybridge.

Check out whistlerblackcomb.com

 

Photo of me…

IMG_8799…just before taking the first steps onto the bridge.

 

 

As I’m not a lover of heights I was a bit nervous but determined to show a brave face and enjoy the trek.

Not quite a quarter of the way over I heard a lady say, “I think that’s far enough” and she turned back. I agreed, said, “I think so too” and was about to follow her when I realized others were also hanging onto the rail. Perhaps they weren’t gripping with all ten fingers like me and moaning quite as loud, but we were making progress as we inched along.

With my son appearing behind me and talking close to my ear, each step was an encouragement to succeed, being told I was doing well and that I indeed could do this. I wasn’t sure I believed him, but I kept walking and trying not to see through spaces in the slotted steel plank to the earth far below. I was simply trusting the massive structure to hold me and listened to the sound of my son’s voice.

Arriving to the safe side, a platform with a solid base…well, a solid wood floor with waist high railings, perched atop a leveled surface on the top of a mountain. I was able to take a deep breath and enjoy the view of the beautiful valley all around me.

I was verbally thankful that the next stage of development was not finished yet – a glass bottomed view point which will be just another several steps beyond the safe platform.

That is not on my bucket list of things to do or conquer.

My next concern was that eventually I would need to go back over the suspension bridge as there was no other option.

I overheard a girl about 10 years old telling the adult near by that in no way was she going back over that bridge again. I wanted to encourage the adult to call for a helicopter to come get the girl and that I’d offer to go along for the ride but knew the possibility wasn’t likely to happen.

And so, we set out…I hovered my left foot over the solid platform while I grabbed at the cold steel railing with my two hands again and waited, waited while my body and brain were synced up and then allowed my foot to drop down onto the walkway.

We walked forward and left the girl behind – not knowing how her people would get her moving.

On the firm ground of safety, I was euphoric.  I can’t say I enjoyed the journey but I can say I did the walk successfully and am proud of myself.

Reflecting on the photo and the trek across suspension bridge I’ve come up with the plan of exploring sixty-five new adventures over the next year to celebrate a birthday of the same number.

I’ve done the math and have included the suspension bridge as my first event. There will be sixty-four more at this time next year. It seems to work out to roughly one new item to explore, touch, feel, go to, do or experience per week. I may have to expand them or bunch them up but the goal is to manage sixty-five new things in the next year.

Come back and see what this official senior citizen is doing.

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Infectious Bacteria Stalkers-My Summer Saga

Eight

If you made it through all seven other readings of Infectious Bacteria Stalkers to this – the end of my summer saga of illness, I thank you for hanging in there with me.  Just knowing a few people cared, read and even made comments is comforting.

It’s been therapeutic for me to process with words, to consider what my journals had to say and to be grateful that time has passed.  In the middle of one writing day – about sitting outside and listening to the crows squawk and swooping around, a random story came wandering through my head about a crow family and I had to quickly write it down.

Stop by here again soon.  I plan to share Mr and Mrs Crow…

Until then, a parting thought…I’m well – and a subsequent visit to the ear, nose and throat specialists office – the one for my throat, tells me I have Laryngopharyngeal Reflux (stomach acid travels up into the throat) and that is why I lost my voice.

Now, to make sure I’m a compliant patient and after an Allergist doc suggested it,  I’m trying some medication even though I’ve cut the dose in half because it has its own uncomfortable digestive issues.

I’m sleeping on a pillow wedge so any mysterious acid that may be trying to creep up into my Eustachian tube and blocking it, won’t be able to.  I’ve decreased acidic foods and drinks (and trying to limit coffee – poor me) and making my own Kombucha drink to continue the gut healing – you’ll have to do the research on that yourself.

Water is acidic I’m told, so I use a gadget to make it alkaline and drinkable for me.

However, without any medical proof I’m convinced my sore throat, dry cough and loss of voice happened after a two-day reaction to a prescription nasal spray for an ongoing plugged ear. Then my vocal cords closed, briefly cutting off my air supply thus I ended up in emergency and overnight in ICU.  The rest of that story is in my previous writings.

The other ear, nose and throat specialist – the one for my ear, says my ear is likely plugged because of hearing loss.  I had a hearing test that I waited four months to have only to find out that wasn’t extensive enough so I’ll be having another one next April, along with an MRI sometime next July to ‘see what’s going on’.

Though, in the end of all the upcoming investigations and diagnosis may be correct,  life has been getting back to my normal. After the infections were controlled and my fractured rib(s) healed I’m writing, attending fitness classes, playing Pickleball and involved in facilitating a group at Freedom Session.  I am completely grateful that I’m able do it all.

Recently the postponed spring Whistler trip happened and I happily ate the meals others prepared and lazed around in comfort for several days.  Hubby and I were drenched when out walking in daily rain downpours and at the Scandinave Spas. I had a treatment by a registered massage therapist who worked on a spot on the left side of my neck for so long I nearly asked her to stop as it became uncomfortable.

An interesting outcome I noticed after a day or two is this – my ear was no longer plugged.

Humph, eh?  It may be a further interesting discovery and expensive waste of time next April and July when I get more tests to ‘see what’s going on’.

An added note to this whole saga is this…I hadn’t even finished writing this post about how great I feel when two days after the Whistler trip I woke up with a sore throat.  Again.  By the afternoon as I guiltily lay on a bed at my regular massage therapists office I knew the raw pain in my throat was quickly turning into a whopper of a head cold as I repeatedly asked for a tissue for my drippy nose.

And though it is two weeks later and still fighting the nasal drip with cough congestion and hoping this isn’t going to turn into a Winter Saga, I do not have a plugged ear.

 

 

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