Enjoying My Retirement

Tonight I spent a few minutes going back over my blog entries for the past 2 1/2 years that I’ve been retired.  In so many ways nothing has changed in that length of time.  I’m still doing the same things, thinking a lot of the same thoughts, still interested in the same things, happily married and at peace with my life.  But I realized that the things that really make me who I am are changing over time.  My mother said it best a few months after I retired; she said I looked so much more relaxed now.   And she’s right, but that relaxation she sees on my face has fact in my body and my soul.  I feel like I’ve gotten to the best place I’ve ever been in my life.  I’m happy, truly happy with who I am, what I have, what I do with what I have, how I treat others (2 and 4-legged ones) and how I treat myself.

It seems that most of my life I’ve spent working for some goal that I never really defined; it changed over time depending on what was going on in the rest of my life.  I allowed myself to be buffeted by others, by my employment, by my own emotions and the gyrations of others’ emotions in my immediate vicinity.  Now, of course, I wonder why I allowed it.  No real answer, I suppose, except that I was naïve, stupid in the way of the world, and I never really understood that it was “MY” life, that no one else had a right to abuse that life I lived.  I could sit here and mourn the losses in my life (and there have been many, unfortunately), but I choose not to see the glass as half empty.  Therein lies one of my greatest character traits.  I am a cockeyed optimist.  LOL  I always play the Devil’s Advocate in any conversation but I really do feel the positive much more than the negative.  I do look at the brighter side in most things.

On Facebook, on a daily basis it seems, there are postings of dire events, some which touch my heart; some things make me cry, especially the abused animals and the abused children.  Some times I have to turn away from the really awful stories because I’ve already seen too much and have cried too many tears.  I choose not to get mired in the crap now, to not let the negatives get to me.  Maybe it’s because I know these years I’m living now will be all that are allotted to me, I want them to be good years, happy years of peace.  Younger days are for protests, fighting, hunger, strife, arguments, and losses when the energy is high and the stakes seem few.  I’ve tired of the days fighting to survive either physically or emotionally.  What did it get me?

Well, it got me a good job, an education, a nice home, nice cars, etc.  It got me self-esteem for the person I’ve become through my trial-by-fire.  It’s got me a decent pension to retire on, a wonderful husband who loves me no matter what, freedom from want, warm, fed, dry and happy.  So much but of such simple means.  Was this all that I needed to make me happy, truly at peace inside?  I don’t think so.

What makes me happy is not the “things” I have, not the possessions I’ve accumulated.  It’s partly how far I’ve come in no measurable way from who I was once.  How far I’ve come from the damaged times to the happy times.  It’s the “me” I am that I celebrate these days.  I could have let life beat me on so many occasions but I never gave up.  It may have cost me dearly to never give up and never give in, but I’m reaping the benefits now.  No one except myself will ever truly know the battles I’ve fought, the ones I won and the ones I lost.  No one will ever know how much of myself I had to donate to the cause in order to survive; not just survive but to triumph over so much.

And now I have no battle to fight.  Thankfully.  The only bogie man in my life now is my own self.  i.e. I want to sew but I don’t because I put other things ahead of my desires sometimes….not too big of a trial, huh?  LOL  At this point in my retirement (life) my biggest losses are the days when I don’t stand up to my own self and say, “No!  Today I am going to do what I want to do, not what I need to do!”.  There is no one telling me anything negative now; I’m not at anyone’s beck and call; I have no boss except myself, so no one else to blame except myself.  If this is all I have to worry about……wait.  Maybe that’s why I look so rested, so peaceful now.  I no longer have to fight the dragon, and it feels pretty damned good!

Dropping The Ball

I have 15 pieces of fabric bought and washed to make blankets for donating to the rescue.  I have done none of them.  I wish I could add some time to my days!  It seems I have enough time (and energy) to do just what it takes to survive and to keep a path cleared through the house but no more.  The doctor is still working on my medications so I’m chalking this lethargy to the meds.  She just added one that perks me up a bit but it’s not nearly enough; hopefully I’ll be able to stabilize and get back my get-up-and-go.  I have found that lately I’m reading more about sewing than actually spending time doing sewing (embroidery for me).  I’m unsubscribing from some of my e-lists so I’ll have more time for the “doing” part.  I’m also working on a special project for a baby shower but it’s still hush-hush.  I still have that fabric in a bag to be washed.

Tomorrow Bandit goes to the vet for his yearly checkup, then the week after it’ll be Dusty and Diego for theirs.  Hopefully nothing else is found and they’ll all check out okay.  We’re not seeing any issue with them so fingers crossed the doctor won’t either.  Today while Ronnie was working in the backyard (he’s building me a thread rack like one I saw online the other day), Bandit came out of the shed with a dead rat.  Of course, I went bananas; Ronnie didn’t even see it until I hollered to him.  He took it away from Bandit then threw it over the back fence.  Ronnie said it was newly dead so evidently Bandit was the executioner.  Ewwwwwwwwwww!  I’ve never known Bandit to kill any living creature; I don’t know what the rat said to Bandit to piss him off.

Today I awoke at noon…..I slept 11 1/2 hours!!!!!!!!!  I was surprised when I found out what time it was but happy that I finally caught up on my rest some.  On the weekends Ronnie keeps the dogs quiet so I can sleep in a bit but I don’t usually sleep this late unless I’ve been up all night…and I went to bed at 12:30 last night.  Wow!  Since I was doing laundry this weekend I started in finishing up from yesterday which entailed emptying the dog crates and washing all their blankets.  Then I changed the water in both fish tanks so they’re happier now, too.  Usually one day a week this is my routine for the animals: doing their laundry and changing out water in both fish tanks.  I just turn on the TV and leave it running for a distraction while I’m working.  Today they were showing Ken Burns’ “Civil War” and I watched most of it.  I had bookmarked that series on Netflix but had never gotten around to watching it.  Now I have.  I like Ken Burns’ historical series.  I love seeing actual photographs of historical events and hearing stories from the people who lived through those times.  I still have his “Jazz”,  “The West”, and the second half of “Auschwitz” to watch.  I saw “Prohibition”, “Lewis & Clark”, “Huey Long”, “The Dust Bowl”, “The War”,  and “The Roosevelts” which were excellent, too.  I’m usually not able to sit still long enough to watch an entire series; today was an exception and I’ll probably dream about the Civil War and Lincoln tonight.  LOL





Last week I finally got the stitches removed from my poor foot.  While I was waiting to heal, that ugly black boot rubbed a hole in the bottom of my foot…at that point the boot was retired to the closet for good.  Enough!  I’m doing well, still a bit of a limp but coming around, I’d say.  I go back to the podiatrist again next week to pick up my orthotics and that should be that.

Still doing the “dog” thing.  Took Mimi in today for her yearly vaccinations and checkup.  Today was the first time Mimi has made a trip while sitting in the doggie basket you see in the picture below of Pepper, my mom’s Chihuahua.  She panicked at first and just wanted “OUT!!!”.  Finally got her calmed down and made my position known–that she was to stay in the doggie booster seat ALL the way.  She then quieted down and made it the entire 30 minute ride to the vet.  Once her appointment was over I took her to Sonic for a puppy-reward cheeseburger.  Once she got to eat her cheeseburger she conked out for a short nap in her booster seat; she decided it wasn’t as bad as she’d thought.  Tonight she had a love fest with me on the couch.  She licked me until my skin just about started peeling off.  I think she was grateful for the special attention she got today on her dreaded trip to the vet; it definitely wasn’t a negative experience.  Pepper goes back Tuesday for his post-heartworm treatment checkup, then Bandit goes before the end of the month for his annual check.  I think we have 4 in March, 1 in April, 1 in July and the last in August.  I need to take up a different hobby!

Pepper on the way to his heartworm treatments

Pepper on the way to his heartworm treatments

Speaking of hobbies, I did get all 11 of the doggie blankets completed, 9 sold and 2 gifted.  Hope to get started on the next batch (this time appliqued owls instead of appliqued puppies) tomorrow.

First 6 of the appliqued puppy blankets

First 6 of the appliqued puppy blankets

Ronnie is going to visit family overnight so I’ll be on my own to do laundry and sew and pamper canine babies during both.  I had another laptop brought in tonight which I’m working on right now; otherwise I’m caught up on the computers for a bit.  This is the first Windows 8 machine I’ve had in to fix so it’s a whole new ball of wax, interesting figuring out how to fix the issues without losing her information but it was full of crap-ware and no antivirus running for months before it got here.  No telling what was on it before I decided to do a refresh.  Every time I thought I had it all something else would pop up.  Too many fires to put out; it was time for the big guns, so I’m downloading Windows Updates right now.  I may be about done for the night though.  This will take longer than I care to stay up.  I’ve been up since 5 AM and it’s after 2 AM again; time to call “Uncle!” perhaps!  I’ll sit here a bit longer I think but it won’t get finished tonight; not enough minutes and updates are a lot of “hurry up and wait, reboot, repeat”.  Boring!!!!!!!!  I’m just about ready to give in and give up for the night.  After 21 hours my patience is thin.

On another note, I now have 2 systems dual-booting Windows 10, one also has Windows 8.1 and the other has Windows 7.  Interesting system and I’m liking Windows 10, but like Vista before it, some software I’m used to running has yet to be optimized to run on it so I’m doing a bit of troubleshooting in order to use it like I need it to run.  It’s been a fun, if frustrating at times, experience so far.  One of the good things about doing the Windows 10 preview is that this time we will get to keep it with whatever upgrades come next (and for free!!) instead of having to completely reload the entire system like we had to do with the Windows 7 preview.  I don’t feel so bad about loading it knowing that it’s not all for nothing in a few months.  Makes a big difference even if it’s only semantics.  LOL

Still Stitched

Got an insult on Thursday when I went in to get my stitches out….I wasn’t healed enough to have them removed so I have to wear this ugly black boot another week. Wah! I’m doing better every day so it should be alright by next Thursday.

On a good note: Princess, the Chihuahua, went home to her mommy this afternoon. I don’t know which of them was the happiest. When we got home we moved the remaining dog crates, mopped under them and generally rearranged the doggie area now that not as many crates are required. A change is always welcome. Now, if we can just get Daisy adopted to some nice folks maybe I could stress less about the dogs. Still haven’t decided if we’ll keep all we have or try to rehome some of them. All is quiet with them right now; just expensive to vet each year and the occasional spats among them. They each deserve to have their very own family where they get all the attention so that’s something to consider as well.

Got a little sewing done this week and have much more to do, as usual. At least things have quieted down enough now that the holidays are over and my surgery is over so I can concentrate on doing something constructive again. I donated 6 appliqued fleece blankets for our rescue to sell and bought fabric today to make another blanket to give away. I have some blouses of my own to embroider and a hoodie to embroider for myself as a template for metallic thread embroidery now that I have a good spool stand for it. I’d like to get it done before it gets too warm to wear it—-I might like it! LOL There are a couple of simple knit blouses to put small designs on and a chambray shirt that will be fairly elaborate. All in good time, I suppose. We have a little dog that will start heartworm treatments on Monday and he’ll have to be in Friendswood at the vet at 7:30 AM, so I should have most of the rest of the day to sew. Wish me luck!

I need to get off here and go to bed. The longer I stay up the more awake I’m getting and that’s not good……….