Wrapping up 2020 and anticipating something better in 2021

Another December. Another birthday for me – I’m turning 64 on Dec 19. Another Christmas. Another New Year.

What a roller coaster ride it has been! A year ago I was still getting used to living apart from my husband, anticipating a lot of travel in 2020. Now, after a pandemic year, a year that was nothing like anyone could anticipate, he is coming home.

As difficult as the living apart was, I am grateful. Having never in my entire life lived alone, I learned a whole lot about myself, and that I like my space way more than I knew. For instance, except for a short space between divorces, I never had a room of my own. Of course there were moments of loneliness, made greater due to not being able to just go out and sit in a restaurant or take in a movie, or walk around a shopping mall or be in a crowd of people.

My memories take me back to the 20 years I lived in a 1200 square foot house. It was large when my first husband and I moved in in 1977, but quite cozy by the time our 7th child was born in 1996. However, I’ve learned, in living alone in a townhouse of about the same size, that I prefer cozy. I’ve discarded the idea of living in an RV, but definitely plan to move to a smaller place.

I wrote in my last blog post about an opportunity that came my way to do some travel work, and I have taken the steps needed. I gave my notice last month, and my last day at my current job is January 8. I will be starting a 13 week contract sometime around Feb 1, no idea where yet, and am so excited! I’m thinking about mountains and lakes! or maybe a beach.

And my dear husband is leaving his job the same week, coming home, and will go where I go, at least for a little while. His primary goal is to improve his health — he has multiple sclerosis and working odd and long hours has been really bad for him. I am so happy to be able to share this new adventure with my best friend. (And I look forward to the treat of his fabulous cooking!)

Bring it, 2021! I have no doubt that we will see a turning point, the beginning of the end to this pandemic, in the spring. I follow a couple of astrologers and do believe that somehow the energies of the planets affect what is going on in the world. The covid vaccine will be distributed, and the world will slowly awaken as if from a restless slumber, into a new, brighter world.

  • I am also publishing this as my last blog entry on another experimental blog I will be shutting down – My Brain on Paper.

September musings

I sit here drinking coffee, the morning sun streaming through the window on this beautiful Saturday morning. I am pensive this morning. I read some journal entries from 5 and 6 years ago, which was a time of great personal growth for me, a great time, really. But had this realization that I am a bit stuck right now.

I have a very secure lifestyle. In this strange pandemic time we are in, I have a secure, well-paying job. I have a nice place to live. I have the love of my family, and get to see my grandchildren regularly. I have a wonderful husband, whose job working in another city has made this year even stranger than “just” all the other happenings in the bigger world.

I will be 64 in December. I am at the time of my life when many think of retirement, or have already retired. I don’t want to “retire”. I do want change, though. I am considering taking a travel job assignment, which would take me to new places, new experiences, new people, yet I’d be able to take more time off between assignments.

I am inspired by older people who keep going. In particular, my role models are people in the entertainment industry. “Old” actors who keep acting into their 80’s and 90’s are my new role models. Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin didn’t decide they couldn’t take on new projects just because they were past a certain age, for example.

Time to envision the second half of my life. For now, I look forward to a Saturday afternoon riding bikes with children.

Certainly Uncertain

I had kinda decided I was done with this blog. Even made a print book of it, pretty cool.

But I felt a need to write here, for what more uncertain time are we in but now? Covid 19 has changed everything. Remote working for many, stores and restaurants closed except for pick up, many people without paychecks… and no one really knows what will happen next, in spite of the government making moves to “open up the country.”

I feel at loose ends, because I took today off.  I’d really like to go to the beach, get my feet wet, feel the wildness of it. But it is an hour and a half drive, each way, and no guarantee that I could find a beach that is open. So, instead, I have been lounging around in bed with coffee and computer, listening to the birds through the open window.

I am feeling the loneliness of this time. Many people are posting about the trials of working at home and having to care for and/or homeschool their children simultaneously. I know that’s hard, and the thought of it sounds pretty exhausting. But it is also hard to be in long distance relationships, not only with your children and grandchildren, but also with your husband. I’m very thankful for the technology that allows us to see and speak with each other face to face. But it is no substitute for physical presence.

Five weeks ago, I got my hair cut. A week later the hair salons were ordered to close. My husband, 200 miles away, not so fortunate. He is getting pretty shaggy. My coworkers who get their nails done consistently are all au natural. Conversations focus around those type of trials and tribulations. It is the small things that are easier to discuss. Harder to talk about are the people who are dying, and the businesses that will not bounce back.

This year’s high school seniors missed out on prom, and graduation ceremonies are postponed or cancelled. The Class of 2020 will have a different sort of story to tell their children. College students have gone home to study online, and parents are wondering if they will get reimbursed for dorm costs, and some colleges plan to continue with online study only – a wave of the future? Some remote workers will never return to work in an office.

The new normal isn’t just coming, it is here. Some of it will look like the old normal. But this is the beginning of the Age of Aquarius, the ushering in of unity with diversity. The old ways will fall away, they always do, in spite of resistance and the abundance of conspiracy theories. There is often great suffering when great change is happening.

There is a new industry that I expect will be around for a while – Fashion Face Masks. We will see people wearing masks for a very long time. And I, for one, will never shake hands again.

 

Living in the moment – a meditation

My mind is a wanderer, taking me to the past or future.  In this moment, early Saturday morning, I sit on the back porch in the not quite oppressive humidity, listening to the birds, enjoying my coffee and considering going inside because of the occasional mosquito. I close my eyes for a moment, letting my mind go where it will.

I think about the past week at work, the first week since my coworker left so my work load has doubled, and consider alternatives. I miss working at home, yet I do like being out in the world with people. And no matter the challenges of the workday, I leave on time and leave it all behind until the next day, and everything is all right.

I think about the upcoming move, ready for it to happen, yet willing my mind back to this moment – the beauty of the forest of trees behind the back fence, the birds singing, the enjoyment of the coffee, and the love of my husband and family always with me. And everything is all right.

I think about all the scary things  happening in the world, the rifts that political and moral ideations cause. I am concerned about what is happening to our planet because of the disregard and carelessness of people, especially wondering how there will ever be a stop to the addiction to single-use plastics that is literally killing the planet. And wonder if everything will ever be all right.

In this moment, I experience a multitude of thoughts and emotions, and knowing that they are intangible, I watch them float by. More come along, some the same, some different. Some stay constant, some are there for just a moment. There are attempts by some of the less desirable to stick and cause distress, but as I become aware of them, I say hello and goodbye. I hold on to the good, and release that which does not serve me well. And, in this moment, in my little inner world, everything is all right.

I can ponder and reminisce, plan for future dreams, worry about the future, yet, in reality, all I have is this moment.

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