move forward, live fully, breathe deeply....

there are so many areas in our lives in which we can get stuck...drowning in things, worry, anxiety. Here is my journey to live simply, with the fantastic freedom of 'less is more' as my mantra.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Retirement Adventures -- Has it really been One Year?

       Where has the time gone?? Getting used to being and living in the civilian world again has it's sunshine and shadow. First, the Colonel has to get used to life out of the uniform that so defined him for 28yrs (plus 4 more in college).  Getting used to the shirt and tie, the hair (oh!! The hair!!! Full Beard displayed daily now!!), the almost normal hours of 9 to 5 ...

How does someone know that the Colonel has been a Leader of young men? He guided and led men to become their best selves--by allowing ideas and innovation to be viewed, discussed, implemented or discarded. The Colonel quietly led, never boastful, never overbearing, taking the time to personally help those whom required the most gentleness.....doing the right thing when it would've been easier to let the system take over -- I can't go into detail, there is a need for privacy-- I just feel that it needed to be addressed here...

Now the Colonel's focus is a bit different. Presently it seems like he's "in the trenches" with his coworkers...some who would've been one of his soldiers in the past.  The salutes are gone now, replaced with a hard-won acceptance and trust that the Colonel is "one of the boys" ---an experienced, capable, resourceful coworker (who sometimes needs the help of others! And isn't afraid to ask!!)

Time passes and we change to accommodate the newness of it. The Colonel is doing well-- adjusting to the Retirement Adventure as quickly as possible--- sometimes we have to utilize patience a bit more than we'd like! Getting the military retirement and disability benefits have been a struggle --changing policies and new laws/policies/definitions make for a roller coaster ride that are long-lived and bumpy.  If you're leaving the military, make sure you begin your information gathering and out-processing in a timely manner!!! I believe there are new requirements that include mandatory classes --pay attention to your out-processing time lines!! Don't put things off!! -- the Colonel took a "new" course and didn't get everything required from the "old" set of courses/standards...and it affected Everything!

Accepting our new path is paramount to living fully, in this present circumstance. Some things just plain cost more....Health Insurance is not a rise (I am Always surprised when I visit the pharmacy!!). Being older means our bones start creaking! Our eyes become less focused! Our stamina is not what it once was! (Many years ago my home would be "put together" both inside & out within months--presently we're still (!!!) working on it at the 12+ month mark!). We can rant & rave about the awfulness or? We can just age gracefully, accepting what is....making the wisest choices to lessen the blow on our mind, spirit and bodies as well as pocketbooks.

Not a bed of roses by my standards...I have struggled mightily with depression over the last 5 to 6 years.  This last year has been a curse as well as a blessing.  I finally had enough. I finally felt like the time had come to get more than just the status quo of help.

So I had a little adventure that reminds me vaguely of the movie 28 Days with Sandra Bullock.  She had a substance abuse problem...mine was an eating disorder I had hidden for too many years and the depression.  I went off to take care of both. And am still on my path to healing.  I'm finding that it's very difficult to find professionals that work with eating disorders partly because it's difficult, and partly because people with eating disorders hide it and try to keep it a secret. I've decided for myself, that I am no longer willing to hide.  It's time to let go and trust God and myself to take care of this one precious life.  Whew!! Thanks for letting me get that off my chest....I've started to ask forgiveness of those I had separated myself from--through isolation and even flakiness over the years. There's some forgiveness, sometimes not.  It's okay. Either way, it's time to move forward. No more stagnation for me baby!!!!

So even though the leaves may be turning brown and dying...I am looking at this fall season as a time for renewal. A time for rest (of sorts) and time of clearing away the debris to make room for the new, healthier, brighter days ahead.  


                          The adventure continues!!!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Retirement Adventures continue on....My Birthday!!! Yay!!

Time flies doesn't it?? whether we're having fun or not....but this month has been a phenomenal month of fun, work, goal setting, weather whirlwinds, empty days, grayness-gone-wild!! haha...but it has been an adventure of my doing, and, in a way, undoing...

With the crazy winter weather we've all experienced this's been a great time for catching up on much needed fibromywhatsis was definitely calling for rest!!! though I tried on many occasions to participate in the "doing" of tasks...ranging from cleaning house, walking dogs, moving furniture (what?!?! now that wasn't wise...), painting our front door--spilling a half a gallon (!!??) of paint--now that's a story all it's own-- painting bathroom cabinets, painting hallway molding...spending numerous numerous hours on Pinterest and playing Candy Crush Saga--nothing like a little truth to keep it real--keep it real....

Early in the month I had the pleasure of flying to Tucson, AZ for Art Retreat in the Desert....I was so very excited to take some classes to teach me as well as help me practice previous learned skills in jewelry making and bookmaking.  Oh! what an adventure trying to get myself together, and off to the airport!! Oversleeping, not being completely packed, pulling my insulin pump canula out right before heading out the door (?! I mean, really???!!) Loading the dogs in the car--to take them to the kennel--getting to the airport finally and rushing through security...and lo and behold! I didn't have to be wanded!! Yay!! did I say Yay!! then finally making my way onto the airplane--after a few delays in the airport due to weather...halfway to Tucson, we have several delays...due to weather (I mean, really?? Mother Nature...please give us a break?) I didn't take time to eat between flights because there was nary a moment to spare--only to sit for a few hours hoping our plane would be repaired and make it out of the docket in the same night! We did!! and arrived safely and securely (yes, it was the wee hours of the NEXT day I was finally in my hotel room! but safe it was.) sigh....

The art retreat taught me a few things--that I was able to participate socially even when I didn't feel so very hot--but also that I couldn't participate physically as much as I wanted to. That was the hardest part--accepting my limitations. With grace. With contentment. Without apology.. I must admit it was a process.  I got there...eventually!!... I met some fabulous people...members of "my tribe"...joyful, earnest, lovely souls who enjoyed the instructors guidance...enlightening each other and spreading laughter and expertise while tentative formed sparks of interest in each our craft..were cast about.  I met Generous spirits who permitted themselves and others the gift of friendship, of belonging (my Prairie Pearl friends--Kathleen, Yvonne, Rita, Barb, Erin, Diane, Deryn, Cindy, and Marcie you were there in spirit).  I finished one and a half projects (out of three) would think that would make a soul weary, down-trodden...but I found I was okay...okay to spend time alone, time to heal, time to re-energize. and I found there was kindness in abundance--my new friend Wendy--amazed me with her sweet offer to help me finish that "half" project which I couldn't complete...and my new friend formed from being brave enough to have a roommate, Marianna, was a beacon of artistic ability and inspiration..I met so many wonderful ladies!! Marcella, Kristin, Robin, Julie, Lori, Karen, Riki, Jeana...and many many more that I did not have the time to get to know very well...but would like to...someday!!
My old friend Reen flew out for a few nights--and took the Heirloom Relic book course with me--we had a wonderful time at our table of naughty girls!! well, not really naughty, Kim and Marsha just gabbing--goofing--etc. and laughing...that's what I remember most is the laughter floating through the air like feathers--floating---

Tucson Airport Shuttle Service
Getting home was also an adventure--rarely do we have flights cancelled in the Deep South due to weather...but we did this year...and after a 24 hr delay I made it home...safely..again safely...thanking my Maker that I was able to spend time with friends, new and old alike..

Being home has been quiet, recuperative... Home....this house on it's rocky, boulder-filled perch is home...warm, welcoming.... our project-filled, dreams-may-become-real castle...not what I thought I wanted, but I am changing my attitude and accepting the here-and-now...

So come along with me my friends!! The adventure continues!! Or Begins Anew!! It should be quite an interesting ride as I learn to accept the here and now, myself as well as my see, when I think of myself, I see myself as a 20-to-30-something person...with the capacity, the skill, the know-how to do so much...but the modifications I must make as I age in "retirement," in dealing with a body that has a mind all it's own...the adventure will I look forward to new challenges--new adaptations....

Oh! and today is my birthday!! 
and I am going to ride my bicycle with a dear friend of mine!! 
and spend my day being kind to me...
Happy Birthday


Saturday, January 11, 2014

Retirement Adventures--Alabama New Year...

Wow! where has the time gone? It was just Thanksgiving yesterday it seems...Travel, family, friends, fabulous meals, somewhere in there is a few hours of sleep isn't there?  Christmas flew by! Working doggedly to organize clean paint wrap cook decorate and slow down to focus on all happened! and it happened well...lovely time quiet time with family with love. with focus.

today is the day decorations find their homes in storage. memories attached to the "things" speak out and tug at heartstrings so full of gratitude and peace. happily i move among the detritus of the earthly belongings...but my mind and heart are already on other issues of the day.  once i hold an ornament that my son has given me heart full and nostalgic - i hesitate to put it away -- the time is so little spent physically anymore with our young man struggling to get through grad school and exert his total independence...other ornaments speak of moments with a husband so gentle and kind and funny...loving me quietly in his own way.

 cleaning up the ribbons and little bits of paper offal from Christmas dinner....memories of smiles and fun...of silliness and miniature plastic toys flying everywhere, confetti of the heart as i look around and see with my mind's eye

 family gathered around the Christmas in the moment as we play together around a table cleared of dishes and holiday dinner, reminiscent of my Colonel's family Christmases past...

the vision of our Christmas difficult it seemed to put up and decorate this year..eventually done closer to the actual day of Christmas...was it less a festive time??.. in retrospect, maybe it was a more serene, simple time with the focus less on commercialism and more on what Christmas is:  Emmanuel, God with us.

New Year's eve was full in spirit - in presence - in bodies lounging about comfortably after chinese take-out...and the banter of children both old and young talking smack as the Texas A&M football game is taking turns nobody could foresee. gig 'em everywhere i turn -i see family- i am thankful for these moments.

breakfast comes too early!  then black-eyed peas greens cornbread - holiday staples made favorite through years of cooking and enjoying. somehow the kitchen is put to order in record time and we say our goodbyes and hugs and smiles and waves...and waves ... of gratitude and love and peace in each moment of it all ...

walking around the house of the Colonel's dreams...slowly finding little hints of home, of my belonging here, of being present in this place that gives shelter and love and comfort and yes! even joy. i find my place - my spirit lifted. it's been a while..a struggle of monumental proportions for me, for us, this retirement adventure so far...i think it must be like this for most folk who move at the end of a career to a new community a new home a new state of mind as well as physical location.

this year will bring stability...and i hope less and less walks through dark valleys for me as we won't be packing up and moving with all of the stress and physical agitation. i am seeing a stable-ness that i haven't had in such a long long while. dwelling on this new year i would like to focus on the word gracious...grace...gracious of spirit of love of forgiveness ... these are what i hope to bring to all of the hearts i may come into contact with...and with all of this it is time to be about it all now..