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.

And We’re Off

And, here we go again, again an endless series of mundane thoughts and senseless drivel. It ain’t so bad though, it’s my thoughts and my drivel. You have the choice to take it or leave it.

Of course I’d always prefer you take it, that’s the point isn’t it?

Life has been, well, shall we say continuous. That too is a good thing. I’ve been in and out of town and actually accomplishing things on the home front. My new meds Citalopram seem to have taken hold and turned my ambition level around. That in itself is a good thing, a really good thing if it holds.

We just got back from visiting our daughter who just gave birth to a baby girl, Ivy, only 2 weeks ago tomorrow. I spent the week prior and the week after the birth at their place helping wherever possible. My wife, much to her dismay, had to come home to work. Sucks to be her. I do feel for her though, that was me prior to retirement.

She is cute too, Ivy I mean. Of course my wife also cute, that goes without saying. We miss her already and have only been away a day. I have pictures to remind me though, lots of pictures. And photos of Madden too. He’s also in my thoughts. I love them all, what can I say. I’m a sucker for grandkids.

Is it True Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder?

Is it true that absence makes the heart grow fonder? I sure hope so, I want you to be as find of me as possible, and I’ve been absent for a bit.

It’s been a while since I’ve written. I have missed it, I won’t lie, and there are no excuses, my bad.

You know how sometimes you just never seem to make it to the things you like? Despite your desires things just don’t transpire like you want. It’s kinda like that, and that sounds suspiciously ‘excuse-like’ doesn’t it.

I could talk about the weather (gorgeous), or life with my grandson Madden in it (blessed), or the potentially rich life of a retiree (outstanding), but I won’t. I’ve said enough on that.

I’ll post a couple photos instead, way easier.

20130507-093234.jpg

20130507-093354.jpg

20130507-093459.jpg

Life is pretty good if we can appreciate it.

The Circle of Life

English: Albert Einstein Français : Portrait d...
English: Albert Einstein Français : Portrait d’Albert Einstein (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Life is a circle, I’ve been thinking, and if you always turn right eventually you’ll end up where you began. Another way to look at it is through the definition of insanity:

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
– Albert Einstein

I’m hardly saying anything new here, perhaps just another perspective. In fact I think my perspective would be a good quote in itself.

Life is a circle, if you keep turning right eventually you will end up where you began.
– Dwayne

Perhaps I should publish some of these quotes, I might be onto something. But I digress …..

My point is I’ve been pondering those things in life that’ve become more obvious to me now, more timely or ……. something I’m more conscious or cognizant of, the passage of time and my relation to it. What I do or don’t do with it.

I’m recently retired, more time to think I suppose, and that means more time to myself and more naval gazing. Whether that’s good or not who’s to say. And it’s not like I never thought before. I would consider myself a frequent ‘thinker’, I often just can’t remember what I’ve thought about so I often re-think it. Lets hope I come up with the same conclusion.

I’ve been pondering whether I’m stuck in a rut again. My days don’t often change from one day to the next, and I’m not complaining. In fact I’m not minding it at all, that’s the point. I just wonder, is it ‘good for me’?

They say seniors (which I’m not sure applies to me) are in a higher incident rate of depression and lower life expectency if they are not social, and I am not social. I call myself ‘non-social’ as opposed to ‘anti-social’, where ‘non’ implies not being social and ‘anti’ leads me to think you are against being social. I am certainly not against a social life, I just don’t feel like taking part in one. That’s not to say I don’t think it’s important, but it’s like Brussels sprouts, you know they’re good but you may not want to eat them.

So I do what I do, most days, and can I really expect anything to change in my future? Can I anticipate any break, a diversion from this path of routine? Not if something doesn’t change, not unless I turn left along the route and travel a road less travelled. Only the will the circle be broken.

More thoughts on:

Navel Gazing

Stuck in a Rut

1 Holiday Down, 1 To Go

Christmas is over, that’s one special occasion down and one to go. New Years here I come.

Now this makes it sound like I don’t like the holidays, and that’s where you’d be wrong. I like them just fine, don’t necessarily love the season but certainly don’t dislike or hate it. I think it’s more the buildup and subsequent beehive of activity has leaves me now with a somewhat anti-climactic sense of blah.

Grey and overcast days contribute to the malaise, as does the withdrawl from sugar and high fat foods, and the desire to binge on the goodies and liquid Christmas cheer.  Look at me, I’m so hard done by.

It’s time now for the homesick, comfy clothes, the routine that signifies back to normal or the return to days without real purpose other than perpetual ‘do what you want’.  After all I’m retired now and my days are essentially filled with finding what interests me most on any particular day and doing it.  That could be anything from spending time on the computer, writing, shovelling, or doing laundry.  Such a range, such a life.

Coffee, Coffee, Where Art Thou?

I’m on the search, seeking out that perfect cup of coffee.   Hell, not even perfect, just one I’d choose to sip time and time again.  MY perfect cup of coffee.

I have more time now, well not necessarily more time just a different use of it.  I have different interests and priorities, not job/work but personal/work, now I do what I choose to do with no master other than myself (and my wife of course, lol).  My retirement has given me that.

One of the more recent interests I have chosen to pursue is that elusive cup of the golden nectre, that cup of morning joe, the delicious and aromatic java that teases your senses with it’s intrigue.  If you like coffee you know what I mean.

I have friends that make such a cup.  I aspire to their greatness.  I yearn for the ability to create such a masterpiece that my friend ooh and aah after sipping such a creation.   Oh such lofty goals.

In anticipation of such a result I’ve pulled my bodum and stove-top epresso maker out of storage.  I’ve perused the ‘net in search of tips, how DO I make such a treat?

I’ve purchased a Starbucks blend called Verona, the barista there recommended it as a good “all around” blend, one to sharpen my teeth on as it were.  Once I perfect my technique I can try other, varying blends.  He split the bag and ground half for my bodum (coarse) and half for the espresso maker (fine).  Note to self: it’s espresso, not expresso.  So far it’s only the espresso maker I’ve played with.  One thing at a time.

To this point I have played somewhat with perking time and temperature of the espresso maker.  It makes a potent cup of brew, not espresso really as the coffee is not an espresso bean, but a stiff cup of coffee nonetheless.  I’ve tried mixing the brew with hot water to make an Americano and the result wasn’t good, I got a watered down strong cup of coffee.  Uck.

I will persevere, I have the time, I have the interest.  When I perfect it you can come join me for a cup.

If you have any tips please pass them on, I’ll be sure to give credit where credit is due.

Til then, bottoms up!

Cleaning House

Again I’ve fallen behind in the blogging world, not updating my posts since a week or so ago. I have no good excuses. I certainly have excuses, just not good ones. My current “reason” for blog silence is just life itself, and what it entails.

What inspired this train of thought was a post entitled “Fall Cleaning….But Not What You Think”, on the Satisfying Retirement blog. I’ve known for quite some time that my life is overly complicated, needs some pruning and tuning, and would benefit greatly from some streamlining. I’ve known it but as of yet have not been able to accomplish much, to my estimation anyway.

Perhaps it’s too early in my retirement. Maybe with some time under my belt, and once I get my sea legs, things will improve. I hope I can make headway.

Perhaps, and maybe, two very loaded words. And hope is not a plan.

I think I need a housekeeper.

On the Road Again…., Again

I’m leaving on the next train…. Wait, that’s a song title, not my next step. Of course “On the Road Again” is also a song but that more closely reflects what’s about to happen today. It’s also the title of a previous post but that has no real bearing here. That was camping, this is a road trip, by car.

I’ve been away from home for a week now. Really 8 days but who’s counting?  This whole adventure is partly a life experiment and partly an opportunity to reconnect with friends and family I haven’t seen for a while. In my Aunts and Uncles case it could be 20+ years.  I don’t really recall the last time I saw some of them.

The life experiment part is a little harder to explain.  Sometimes it can be a challenge for me to pass information on concisely so I question whether I should try to do so here, but what the heck nothing ventured nothing gained.

It all started back in the summer of ’72…… Well, that may be a bit too far back but it was when I met my wife and she has a bearing on this story.  Fast forward to a more reasonable time period, say earlier this spring (2012) to my retirement and just subsequent to it.

I adapted to the idea of being at home (I think) but there was, and still is, some adjustment required when it comes to my wife and I occupying the same space in the early morning, before she leaves for work.  This hasn’t presented any arguments or ill will but it has stimulated discussion, and that’s a good thing.  Better to talk than yell I think.  Everything they say is true, when one spouse retires it certainly provides challenges for the other, actually both if you think about it.

So to make a long story less long we discussed the option of me taking a bit of a road trip at this time, a time when she is just beginning her school year as a Child car worker and things are already stressful.  There are little side stories to her responsibilities which complicate things further and add to this stressful time but needless to say after talking it out we both liked the idea of me heading out for a while and her having some “alone time” so she can re-adjust to the idea of being back at work.  It was also a good fit for me, because while we were able to travel a lot this past summer there were still places I wanted to go and people I wanted to meet.  The idea of a road trip was a win-win.

To begin this adventure. we both went to Kelowna a week ago last Friday to see our daughter and family.  It was a nice treat because they were going to a wedding out of town and we would be taking over sole responsibility of Madden’s care (new grandson) while they were away.  Our first over-nighter, there first night away from the baby.  We handled the challenge admirably and while my wife wanted to stay a bit longer after the babysitting tour she had to get back home.  I took her to the bus on Sunday afternoon.  She was back to the grind Monday.

I stayed in Kelowna until Tuesday when I left to go to my brothers in the Vancouver area.  We had a really nice visit and I left there Thursday, hopped on the ferry and stopped at our friends house in Saanich to commiserate with them.

20120922-121048.jpgThe rest is history as they say.  I left there this morning and now here I sit, having some lunch and a beer, taking care of some business and leaving shortly to visit a friend for a day or so.  From there I’ll try to connect with my Aunts and Uncles and then perhaps go to the Sunshine Coast for a brief alone time before heading out again.

I’ll endeavour to provide an update, goodness knows my record isn’t the best for posting lately but I’ll see if I can pick up my socks.  Bear with me please.

On a more personal note perhaps I’ve been feeling pretty good lately, emotionally.  I don’t feel depressed, or at least most of the times I don’t.  I still struggle with understanding if the issue is really depression or just pronounced mood swings.  Maybe I’ll get smarter as I age.  Time will tell.

Perhaps this road trip will also be an opportunity for me to learn more about myself.  I often hear people say “I know so much more about myself now”, or “I want to learn who I am”.  Although I aspire to acquire this knowledge to date it’s escaped me.  I really don’t know what more I can learn.  I think I’m an open book but perhaps I’ve not read every chapter.  I hope the road can tell me.

Pluckin’ and Shuckin’, Oh Tis the Life

DSC_0338

Today was a pretty good day, as days go where you don’t have to go to work and you can pretty much just hang out. Oh the luxuries that early retirement affords.

I spent some of the afternoon pluckin’ and shuckin’, no was corn involved (shuckin’) but I did get in my share of pluckin’.  We have a few gardens that needed tending and I still have numerous plants and flowers in pots and all needed their share of attention.  Watering and weeding, the 2 w’s were the order of the day.

DSC_0338
shore by Pend O’Reille dam

Prior to any of this though I had to make a trip to a post office on the American side of the border to pick up a package we ordered a week or more ago.  We often get things sent there as it’s much cheaper than getting sent to Canada from the US.  More often than not the items come with free shipping and we pay no duty or taxes when crossing the border, probably due as much to good luck as good looks.  Today I picked up some solar screening from the post office and filled my tank with cheaper gas.  Kinda like a double header.

The sun was in a great position on my drive back and I got some photos of one of the hillsides in part sun and part shadow.  I think it will look neat, with some editing (yet to be done).  Time will tell.

DSC_0346It was only after I got home that the pluckin’ began.  I had a few Coleus to transplant, one for my Mom (one of the children under the stairs) and the other two for me.  Not sure what I’m going to do with so many Coleus in the house in a couple month as they aren’t perennials and won’t last the winter outside.  We get too much snow and it’s far too cold for them to survive.  They do make beautiful deck plants however and I’ll do what I have to to keep them going, which may include wintering with the geraniums and other annuals we keep going year round.

I also had to tune up my roses as they are getting rather ratty looking.  Whether that’s from lack of water, some other rose affliction, or just the way it is.  I don’t really know the cause but I’m banking on the lack of water at this point.  We’ve been on the road so much and Mom was looking after all the yard plants that I can’t be sure they got adequate watering while we were gone.  I’m sure she watered, just how much is the question.

All in all the day went well.  I never did make it to installing my deck handrails nor to any of the other tasks on my list, but that’s the price I pay.  C’est la vie.  Tomorrow is another day.