Schedule a Routine Chapter

Every administrator and teacher knows that for children to be successful they need to have a consistent schedule or routine. Well, retirees need a routine or a schedule, too.

FLOUNDERING AND GRASPING

I jumped out of the wide, deep, ocean of the working world into the retirement world. Now, I find myself floundering in the middle of an aging rowboat, flopping around, gasping, and grasping for a direction in which to take my life. I keep flipping to one idea and then flopping back to another.

TOO MUCH FREEDOM?

Yes, I am happy that I retired–ecstatic actually. I enjoy the freedom of not getting up in the morning, but I am crippled by the fact that I have so much I WANT to do, and I don’t know where to start and at the same time, I know I have to pace myself.

I WANT TO DO IT ALL!

I am trying to fit in a time to study my German–it was my father’s first language, but he never passed it onto us. I had a good handle on it in 1984, but when you don’t use it, you lose it. When and how can I do this on a consistent basis so I really learn it.

I signed up for several on line classes. I want to learn so much that I didn’t have a chance to when I was working or in college. I want to learn Storytelling so I can volunteer my time. I want to learn about the Vikings, the Pharaohs, geography, oceanography, photography, Tai Chi, how to understand great art, and take more writing classes.

I created this website and I want to write on my blog every Wednesday. I want to add to my Losing It blog every week.

I am going back to writing my children’s books and am attending meetings and classes to learn more about the publishing side of writing.

I have to go to the gym or exercise outside every day.

The weather is so beautiful I want to be outside drinking up the sun and the ocean breezes.

I want to spend time a lot of time with my friends and family.

MY SCHEDULE

I need a workable schedule. I need a routine for retirement. I need to feel in control and I need a specific schedule that will get me started and keep my going so I am not reeling and feeling like a fish out of water.

But, that is one more thing that I have to do.

So, do you have any idea when I will get it done?

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Thanks Chapter

At this time of year, we have to sit back and take note of what we have in our lives and for what we need to be thankful.

CONTORTING

Yes, I have some aches and pains–especially this morning after trying Yoga for the first time yesterday. But, I consider myself very lucky and thankful that I can, at this age, contort myself into various yoga poses–hey, I can do a Warrior 2 pose. The only thing is, I have to fight the stiff neck and shoulders to stand up today. I may never do Yoga again, but I am thankful that I can.

RED MASTERPIECE

Have you seen a huge, full, red leaf tree in fall? For many of you on the East Coast, that is not such a huge event. But here in Southern California, there are lots of palm trees, but not color-changing trees. I am thankful that I saw this masterpiece and that I took time to really look at it and appreciate it. I am thankful that my eyes are still functioning well enough that I can see that beauty and feel such peace when I look at it.

FOUR HOUR LUNCHES

Four hour lunches are something to be thankful about. It is at this time that I recognize that I am also thankful I am retired so I can do a four hour lunch–guilt free. No, I did not eat for four hours, but I did drink in the laughter and happiness and a few raunchy comments that 5 other women and I enjoyed while overlooking the sparkling lagoon. We were free to catch up on each other’s lives and enjoy their successes grumble together about the issues we have in common–usually punctuated with a few jokes and witty comments.

REFLECT

Now, that I am retired, I have time to reflect on so much and take a moment to appreciate all the things I took for granted during my working life.

On this Thanksgiving day, after all the cooking is done, after your stomach is full to the brim, and before you start writing your shopping list, take a few moments to look around you. Look outside. Look inside yourself. You will find thousands of things to be thankful for. Don’t skim through them. Really think about each one. Write several of them down and put them on your refrigerator.

Now, when you have one of those days, you can look at this list and realize, life is a lot better than that one bad day.

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To Your Health Chapter

To My Health

We rarely think about our health, except when we are not healthy. Whenever I feel this bad, my healthy imagination takes me to the worst of places. The word plague has been popping up in so many places lately–news, the books I choose to read, European city tours, and in my healthy imagination. I learned on one of my tours that the filthy water caused and perpetuated the plague. To solve that problem, they brewed wine and beer to drink instead. That is why when you toast with an alcoholic drink, you say, “To Your Health.”

Truckload of Alcohol

Today I feel as if I need a truckload of plague resisting alcohol.
However, as most of you know, if I drink 5 sips of wine I am three sheets to the wind. So…alcohol is not going to help me. Therefore, I have to rely on myself.

Mongo Bug

The bug that hit me is huge and ugly. I feel like a grey haired, whiny, little grandma with a short cane and a long sad face ineffectively poking at the gargantuan virus that is going to swallow me whole.

Visualization

I am told that visualization is the key to getting what you want. If you see it, you get it. Okay. I am visualization a healthy (I paused because I hate to think about my age) 50’s generation grandma–No. That doesn’t work because all I see is a wrinkled old lady in a ponytail, poodle skirt, bobby socks and saddle shoes. She couldn’t defeat this awful bug, besides her bubble gum bubble would get her infected more when the bug breathed on it.

I got it! I am visualizing myself as Batgirl from the 60’s Batman television series. Yes, I have the same hourglass shape that Yvonne Craig had, (look, if you are going to visualize–make sure you look the way you want–not the way you are),and those long legs that slid into 5 inch spike heeled boots. I see myself as tall as she was and I am kicking and punching that scrawny bug to oblivion.

POW! CRACK! ZAMM! ZLOP! ZLUNK!

Holy Headache! I might be working.

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The Beginning and The End Chapter

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As I sat at my desk on my last day as a working professional, I knew it was my beginning day and my end day. Luckily, it was not a very strenuous day. But it had been very emotional knowing I would not be working with my wonderful staff anymore. On that unusual day, a young couple who had met at the school in fourth grade, arrived to take pre-wedding pictures. The school was, yet is wasn’t the same for them. For this young couple it was both the beginning and the end.

The clock ticked loudly announcing the passage of time. My desk was empty, except for my keys. I dreaded putting them in the safe. Once I put them inside, it would be final. It is a little gut wrenching to think that placing the keys in the safe is your final act of your working life. I was sent off with a bang. The staff put on a heartfelt and emotional retirement party that was more spectacular than I could have imagined. But the party was not the end. I still had two weeks to work and finish up and prepare for the new year. (I wanted the new principal to not struggle with minutia when he/she arrived.)

I worked in education for 25 years. For some, that may not seem like much, but I was almost 40 when I started. I had three other careers prior to education. However, this has been the most rewarding career that I could ever have imagined.

As I sat at the desk I could hear the loud hum of the air conditioner, but there were no other sounds coming from the office. There were no sounds of kids screaming with laughter and joy, no sounds from the teachers enjoying their camaraderie and their concern for their students, no sounds from the parents planning their PTA activities and voicing their questions and issues.

I skimmed my hand across the top of my very large desk. A principal’s desk is both power and protection. The heavy wooden chairs that surely had been there since the school opened in 1959, no longer held the little culprits whose infractions were usually easily remedied. As I stare at them, I notice for the first time that they have vertical slats on the back. Many of the students entered my office and looked at me through those slats. Now I realize that from their perspective, entering my office was rather prison-like. Behind the chairs, the apples and the dolphin mascot trinkets still adorned the shelves. It seemed sacrilegious to remove them from the school and take them home.

All I kept thinking was, how do I say good-bye to this school and to the position I held for 15 years. In a few short weeks, another capable individual would be sitting in this chair and dealing with all the issues, trials and tribulations and joy of running a school. How would I go from being frantically busy every second of the day to not having a real job or responsibility.

This is the beginning and the end.

A few minutes later I started taking things out to my car. At this point, it was very real that I was leaving. Once I finished packing up my car, I realized that I’d unlocked the door to the school for the last time. My computer shut down and it went to black.

What if I had left something essential to my life? Would I get it back? I was not talking about a thing–I am leaving whatever POWER I thought I might have earned behind and I knew I would never get it back.

WISH ME LUCK. HERE I GO.

The door clanked shut, the lever was dropped and the tumblers clicked into the place. I hadn’t realized that closing that safe would be so sad. I had just locked up my career. Tears streamed down my cheeks. The custodian who was cleaning the office asked if I was ok.

“I will be,” I whispered. “I will be.”

No Longer Cool Chapter

A car emblazoned with the words SENIOR PRIDE!!!!! on its back window flew by me, I’m sure, on its way to someplace cool, fun and exciting. Remember when high school seniors were the coolest kids in school. During your entire high school career, I’m sure, you dreamed of becoming a SENIOR! Yes, it was always capitalized because seniors had power. Seniors were soon going to be adults and their parents couldn’t tell them what to do, anymore.

A DIFFERENT SENIOR

Why is it that when you become a senior, as in senior citizen we are not painting it all over our car windows? Why are we not the coolest in the community? We do have a little power, maybe a little more financial power than high school seniors. However, most of us would give up a lot to have our parents tell us anything right now.

START A MOVEMENT

I think we need to start a movement! Real seniors need to start marking up their cars with senior pride! I think we have a lot more to show for it than a mere 4 years of high school–actually they think they are seniors with only three years under their belt.

We are seniors with 40 or more years of work and life experience. We survived our own teenage years AND we survived our children’s teenage years. We have gained more knowledge, more patience (most of the time) and wisdom that few want to take advantage of. We know when something won’t work or someone is making a bad decision. If they listened to us, they wouldn’t suffer. Maybe they have to gain the same experience by living it. But isn’t that what history books are for–giving us a chance to learn from our past without suffering through the wars again.

TAKE THE CHALLENGE

Now is your chance to take the challenge and cover your car in paint announcing that you, too, have SENIOR PRIDE!!! I am heading to my car to paint it proudly in purple paint.

The only problem now is that I am having a senior moment and I can’t remember where I put the paint brushes.

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