The Adventure Continues

If there’s one thing I’d have to say lately it’s that my horizons have been broadened. Coming out of retirement and taking another job , the resulting move to another town and getting another place to live, it’s all totally out of my experience. It’s an adventure, and it continues.

The original plan is for me to be here 3 – 6 months. We are at the 3 month mark now and the interviews for the permanent replacement for the position I’m filling are barely underway. I’ve been asked numerous times if I’d consider staying on full time, if I’m interested in working a little longer, but I have to decline. Up to this point I’ve been a little vague in my replies but my last couple responses have been more definitive. I was happy in my retirement and I look forward to returning.

It’s not without reservation mind you, I enjoy doing most of what I’m doing in my new role. In it I realize I’m a more desk oriented person and the managing of people has always presented some issues.The position I’m filling is more like the position I thought I wanted. My last job was glaringly short in this respect and now in this role I can see what it should have been like. There are some challenges to my adapting but I’m working through them. I guess this is a prime example to the adage “be careful what you ask for”. This is what I asked for, except it was in my previous career.

This just adds to my dilemma. I see the opportunity(s) and I also see the resulting stresses. I understand where others can get drawn into the spiral of adventure, challenge and reward. I’m intrigued myself, but am I intrigued enough however?

Until the adventure is over I will continue to live it and enjoy. It may never come again. A somber thought.

My view
My view

I do have some perks mind you, and that’s my suite. this is the view I wake up to every day. It’s not the mountains of home but I’ve grown to love it. To every story there’s an up side.

Where Has the Time Gone?

Time is flying by, to where I know not.

We’ve been away from our house/home for over 2 months now of a potential 6 month gig. I have been asked more than a few times if I would consider staying on permanently but up until now I’ve been non-committal, vague even. I imply more money might sway me, or perhaps I should say the same money. As I’m a contractor/consultant my salary is higher than the norm for that position but bear in mind I get no benefits of any kind, except maybe some free clothes or boots.

Bottom line really is that I don’t care to work. I enjoy some of the tasks thrown my way but the longer I do this job the more I remember what it was like the first time around. My early retirement was for a reason.

I do feel validated however, in demand, wanted shall I say. All feelings that were missing before. I want to write more but I’m tired, another thing I don’t miss.

Cheers.

Back in the Saddle

I’m back in the saddle, or at least on the horse. The saddle may have to come later.

It was my intent to post something much sooner. I said at the outset of creating this blog that it was my goal to post daily, or close to it. It seems I lied. My post frequency has been closer to weekly, or certainly that’s what it seems anyway. ‘Things’ just get in the way. Poor reason/excuse I know. I haven’t even posted photos for the Weekly Photo Challenge lately (to be honest I’m not even sure what the topic is.

The summer has been proceeding at a pace unforeseen or unexpected to me. In many ways it’s just been a spring and summer that has taken on a schedule that I don’t like. I’ve done numerous trips, by car and within 1000 km (~600 mi.). Some have been for pleasure and a few have been to see or support loved ones in need. That being said, I appreciate that I shouldn’t lament the reasons, and I don’t, it’s the time away from my castle and my ‘stuff’ that I lament. That and my apparent inability to manage my time effectively when I am at home.

One thing you do get is to see a bunch of interesting stuff when you’re on the road. This gent was operating the espresso machine at a coffee shop on the road called “Deadwood Junction and Tarnished Turkey Cappuccino Bar”, one of my favourite haunts while en route to Kelowna or back home from a visit to my grandson.

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You can see it hasn’t been all bad. It’s just that since I retired last year I often feel overwhelmed and under capable to handle my various stresses, most or all self inflicted. Plain and simple I see my world as full of these opportunities and things I want do, and certainly there’s no shortage of things I should do. There’s always cutting the lawn, doing dishes or the laundry, shopping, cooking, washing or maintaining vehicles etc. etc.. Never mind the fun stuff like camping or seeing my grandson.

Woe is me, my life is sooo tough isn’t it. Just smack me upside the head.

Like camping was such a hardship. While I didn’t post much I did do some journaling, and what a view. The photo doesn’t do it justice, albeit this was with my phone.

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Early retirement has provided me with challenges I didn’t see coming. Many people have asked me since I retired “What do you do?”, or “How do you stay busy?”. I just laugh. Life is so full, how do I get to do everything I want to, that’s the question.

So if you have any time management tips, or ways you think may help me in my time of need please let me know. I’d love to hear. In the meantime I’ll mount up and ride into the sunset of my golden years……

Then…til Now

willow buds, new growth

“Then…til Now”, replaced “Depression – Where Am I From? …. Where Am I Going?” as the current tagline for the blog. In addition you may have noticed a change in theme from ‘Parament’ to ‘Misty Lake’.

I’m not clear at this point whether there’s any benefit to these blog changes or not but I felt that some change was in order, almost like a new beginning (to the blog). From a timing perspective it ties into me being ‘med free’, so from this point I won’t be on any medication for depression.

That in itself is a bit of a milestone for me and time will tell if it was the correct decision or not, however I do feel better and I want to move on, on to a more normal life (whatever normal is). My early retirement last year has freed me from the stress and the anxiousness of a job I neither enjoyed nor felt particularly attuned to. The industry, and my company, is going through a time of change and those changes were something I had little interest in accommodating, certainly not after already putting in 38 years and beating my head against the wall for the last 5.

As I’ve indicated in previous posts I believe my depression was more a reactive depression, or situational depression, than the psychological depression I first thought it was. Those circumstances are now behind me (at least for now) so I want to look ahead, not back. ‘Nuf said.

So my forthcoming posts here will hopefully be of a more positive note, and much like the photo below I will be displaying buds of new growth. I’d like you to stick around to see.

willow buds, new growth
Willow buds

Tip Toeing Through Elysium Gardens

DSC_0311

Our time in Kelowna, this time around, is done.  We hung out with the kids, I took a couple walks, we bonded with our grandson, and certainly the highlight (for my wife anyway) was the Cirque Quidam show on Saturday night.  It was a great show but my back rebelled part of the way through and sitting in the folding chairs didn’t do it any favours.

It was part of a birthday gift for my wife.  We went for dinner, had a drink and then walked through a Japanese garden that’s downtown and near the stadium where the show was.  I found it (hope she did too) a very pleasant and relaxing evening.  Certainly Cirque was jaw dropping.

Even though I had trouble sitting through it the show was good entertainment and if you are at all interested in acrobatics, some audience interaction and amazing, some might say freakish, human contortions you would like this.  We sat on the floor about 9 rows back but in hindsight a seat somewhere in the bleachers would have been just as good.  On the floor you miss some things by being eye level with the stage.

DSC_0320We left to come home yesterday but before we departed town we stopped at Elysium Gardens, a local nursery and mixed garden venue.  My main purpose was to have a look at the Japanese garden there, something that is a new/old interest of mine.  I would really like to create a Zen garden, or other type of Japanese garden in our yard.  Something to bring peace and calm to our lives.  Honestly I don’t know how I’m going to do or take part in all the things I’m interested in.  My retirement has to be early in order to have time for all this stuff.

The gardens are certainly beautiful and while I was a bit disappointed in the Japanese garden portion of the grounds it was still a peaceful and relaxing break to the day.  The Japanese garden was just a bit smaller than I had hoped for.  All the gardens were certainly beautiful though, another place to visit again.

The trip to the gardens also gave me an opportunity to play with my new camera, a Nikon D5100 I picked up a couple weeks ago.  It’s another old/new interest, one that will enable me to take waaaay more pictures of our grandson Madden without having to use my iPhone.  I was really into photography 30 years ago and feel a strong urge to reconnect with the hobby.

DSC_0311I shot off about 50 or 60 photos at the garden and now have to decide the best way to file and manage both these groups of shots and the 200 or so I took of Madden before that.  Certainly any suggestions would be appreciated.  I’m thinking I should just register a domain, find a hosting site and be done with it.  Truly any ideas would be helpful.

After we arrived home we tried to determine our next course of action.  We would both really like to go out camping again but with house and home commitments, appointments for my Dad, and other necessary tasks I don’t know that camping is in the cards.

My wife will be back to work for a day or so this week and while she could commute from the local campsite it just seems like too much.  Perhaps we should just stay home.  I know we have some beautiful gardens here, perhaps I can tip-toe through my own tulips.

Yearning Again For My Holy Place

adirondack, chair, peaceful, relaxation

The days are still warm, the nights pleasantly cool by comparison.  The sun, while beautiful in the dappled shadows it casts, is relentless in it’s mid-day attention.  My plants and lawn are suffering.  The heat, without any accompanying moisture, is causing not only my gardens to stress but their owner (me) as well.

I do my part to alleviate the stress on both parties.  This morning, before the deck repair guy came, I grabbed a nice cup of java (capital C this time) and headed out into the front yard.  I call it my Holy Place, and while I’ve not worshiped there for a while it was nice to return.  The congregation of flowers and plants welcomed me and when they saw I came bearing water they rejoiced.

“I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to.
– Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place where colors are brighter, the air softer, and the morning more fragrant than ever again.
– Elizabeth Lawrence

There were also different chairs there to support me in my leisure, not new chairs but chairs re-positioned from the deck while repairs were under way.  These are wicker, my normal church chairs are Adirondacks.  They are equally as comfortable and beckon me no less, after all it’s the place not the pews.

The sun played off the chairs and invited me in.  I wavered, but my duty to water pulled me stronger.

“Later”, I said, “I’ll come back and visit later.”

Perhaps I’ll take a seat this afternoon when things cool.  I’ll take my laptop and write, or grab a book and read.  A cold drink may be in hand.  It’s those things that bring me the pleasure, that help me to relax and de-stress.

And how can a man who’s retired, early no less, feel stress.  That’s a good questions for which I have not an answer.  Maybe it’s just in my nature, maybe I’m just an uptight individual, maybe depression is having an uncommon effect on me.  I don’t know.

I just know in that place, my holy place, I can chill and feel ok.  Maybe better than ok, I feel good.  I can sit and survey my domain.  I can revisit my holy place and feel the presence of calm.

Leave Your Legacy

An interpretation of Maslow's hierarchy of needs, represented as a pyramid with the more basic needs at the bottom
photo credit Wikipedia

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theorizes there are a number of steps or stages to a person’s development.  Represented as a triangle you would start with the basics needs at the bottom and move to the more developed stages at the top.  For more info you can check out here.

Sometimes I believe I haven’t progressed much along that path. Oh I certainly have the basic Physiological needs met (food and water etc.). I have the
security and Safety needs met of body, both personal and family, so while my pension is small I seem to have enough to live on.  So far at least.  It’s level 3 that sometimes gives me pause, the Love/Belonging stage.

If you’ve read any of my previous posts, particularly some on my early retirement, you’d know I had (or have) some issues regarding my previous place of employ and the terms under which I left.  Those issues revolved primarily around my disappointment up to and including the time of my early retirement.  In part it was a disappointment or sadness that ended with my perception of the quick good-byes from my fellow employees, where it seemed to me they were just anxious to get it over with and get back to work.  It felt (almost) like my 38 years of service meant nothing.  Hurry, give Dwayne his cake, his retirement card, and a token “see you soon” and we can continue on with our day.  I was deeply hurt.

But I digress.  My point was that in that setting, my workplace, I had  at one point felt that they were my family, extended but family nonetheless.  That perception was quickly and effectively quashed.  I rapidly felt alone, without my “family”, cast adrift into the retirement sea with no history.  Probably one of the biggest components of my life, that of my job,  all of a sudden meant nothing.

I continue to work at resolving those emotions however, to get past the hurt.

During my tenure there I tried not to be one who lived to work, rather I worked to live.  The job was just a means to an end.  Sure I tried to enjoy it and connect with others but in the end it was just my job.  Perhaps that was one of the reasons my advancement felt limited, it may have been that my credo was more obvious than I thought and I wasn’t seen as a team player.  Who knows.  At any rate I tried to place the importance and emphasis in my life on things outside my job.  I tried to focus my energy and enjoyment on my home and my family.

In this, my family, I feel more blessed.  My wife often reminds me that the challenges I faced in my job, the tribulations in my career and the sacrifices I gave during my working life, weren’t for nothing.  The life tools and the basis for growth that we gave our children was worth so much more.  We provided more than a roof, and food on the table, we gave them the grounding and tools to build their own happy and fulfilling lives.

If there’s anything you should leave your children it’s a path, a means to follow in your footsteps.  Give them guidance and support, and copious amounts of love.  In that I hope I’ve succeeded.  In fact it’s been said to me a number of times, particularly by my nephew among others, “I want to raise my kids just like you did”.  We are held up as a positive example, as role models and mentors, as parents to emulate.

So perhaps I have passed part of level 3.  The friends I have may be few but I think they are true friends.  They love us and can be counted on in a time of need to support us.  I feel gratitude that I have the family I do, that our children have the love and caring in their lives, to grow and mature as healthy adults.  I can hope for no less while they raise their own children.

“Mothers tell your children ‘Be quick, you must be strong.
Life is full of wonder and love is never wrong.’
Remember how they taught you; how much of it was fear.
Refuse to hand it down: The legacy stops here.”
-Melissa Etheridge

Tis Bittersweet, This First day of Retirement

Photo 2012-07-01 11 30 02 AM

Hmmm, what to write.  Whether ’tis nobler…..wait, that line’s been taken.

I’ve been pondering much of my day what to post or if to post, this day being the first day of the rest of my life so to speak.  It’s the first official day of my retirement, early retirement if it matters.  I tried to come up with something profound to write, something with some teeth in it, but alas it was not to be.  So I just wrote this.

Continue reading Tis Bittersweet, This First day of Retirement

Depression. Mine is……well, Depressed – pt.2

In my previous post I was giving a bit of an update on how I see things have gone for me lately, how I’m feeling better and generally less angry and frustrated.  I think I’m coming out of this tunnel called Depression. I believe I can see a light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s not an oncoming train (I hope).

I discussed some of my symptoms, the treatments and path I took to deal with it, the meds and my visits with a counselor.  I left off with the discussion about if the death of my sons had any role in my depression.

More to the saga

Feeling their Presence

I have often heard it said that when a spouse gets in your space after they retire it can cause stress. Although that is a frequent comment in articles regarding retirement it became personally understood, and appreciated as a fact, after my wife had her wisdom tooth extracted and could not go to work for a week because of subsequent complications.  I could always feel her presence in the house and it was a new experience for me.

Continue reading Feeling their Presence