A work in progress…

I have officially reached the age to receive Medicare. When I was younger it seemed a place so far away that surely if I ever reached this ancient age I would be used up and simply plant myself in a comfy chair to wait out my remaining years.

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Guess what?

I don’t feel that way at all. In fact, I have now reached a crossroads where I need to decide…

What do I want to do with the rest of my life?

If a normal reasonably healthy woman in the US has a life expectancy of 89 years old, I may have another 20+ or so years left. I realize that death came come “like a thief in the night, we know not when” as it states in the Bible, but just for argument sake, let me assume I will hang in another 20 years with at least moderately decent good health and a few good brain cells working.

So now what?

If you have read my blog you know I have a fabulous husband, many grandchildren, great kids, friends, am active in my church, and between all of that I am pretty busy with events, camping, birthday parties, vacations, and various outings. I also like to sew, get some reasonable pleasure from cooking, some gardening, and have recently started reading again (after a long dry spell).

Where do I go from here?

The first year of retirement  life seemed so clear. I had a purpose-I was now free of a daily required schedule and had the gift of life that retirement allowed. I jumped out of bed every morning relishing in the newness of not having to go to work every day. I was free to pursue the joys of life within my moderate budget. I don’t jump up quite so quickly these days. I joyfully  embraced the time I now had to spend time with those I loved and cared about. That has not changed at all. I was dedicated to getting to the gym regularly. Not so much any more (to be honest less and less). I sewed almost daily. Not now unless I have a specific project. I explored  and planned new adventures, combed blogs and the internet for ideas, and created new creations in the kitchen. Now-well, we have to eat so I have to cook. I blogged regularly. You can see that is not happening these days. I am lucky if I post twice a month. I was energetic and enthusiastic about almost everything. Now, yawn, is it naptime yet?

What happened?

I know, I need to eat better and exercise more.   I tried a crash exercise plan to get back into a groove with little success. Confession time-I have been slacking. I  know I thrive better on a routine so I have been attempting to tighten the reins on my daily activities-but remain somewhat flexible for unexpected opportunities.  (Isn’t it 5:00 somewhere?)

What now?

I crave to find a passion. Should I seek a new passion or revive an old one? Or a combination of both? Should I embrace a cause, volunteer,  get out more, or focus on the projects here at home? Is it all in my head or is it this aching body that seems to have slowed me down? Or is it all connected? Am I just finding a reasonable stride or am I really considering turning into that couch potato I was so worried about becoming? My kids laugh that I am so busy they can hardly keep up with my schedule. Am I being too hard on myself?

????

Life is a journey to be continued…

th

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29 thoughts on “A work in progress…

  1. Ah the old perennial – what am I doing, am I doing enough…….. Here’s what helps me:

    Questions:
    What am I doing that I don’t want to do? Can I change this?
    What do I really really want to do? What is my first step?
    What – in short – makes my heart sing? Timetable it in.

    Make lists, identify what is practical to add or subtract immediately, later, never. Don’t beat yourself up.

    Steps: Identify, don’t beat yourself up, prepare for change, change.

    Also: start small and build up. Make yourself a kindly timetable. Don’t beat yourself up!

    Remember: Part of the joy of retirement is having time to dream, to sit and do nothing [we have earned this!] But not to sit so long we get depressed! Don’t beat yourself up. Do one thing every day that at the end of the day you can identify as having made you feel very happy, pleased, satisfied and or content! If you miss, try again tomorrow, don’t beat yourself up 🙂

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  2. What is it they say you need to feel fufilled? A creative outlet, meaningful work, and exercise/movement. I hope you find all three. Enjoy the journey. What a fabulous time to reinvent yourself 🙂

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  3. I want to hug you, Pauline! Thank you so much for taking the time to write down steps for change. I have received such great feedback and have come to the conclusion that writing things down is the key and you helped to confirm this. Just relying on good intentions is not working! Never to old to learn and never to old to change!!!

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  4. This is a dilemma so many of us can relate to so it was interesting to read the helpful comments here. I think we are often too hard on ourselves – especially when we find we have the time for a little self indulgence after a lifetime of being a wage slave! You’ll work it out and there’s no rush anymore.

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  5. Did you ever hit the nail on the head. At 67, I’m right where you are once again. Why am I here and what can I do that makes me feel fulfilled. I stayed focused on buying and renovating this house but there will come a time when that is done. I’ve joined quilt groups even though I barely see well enough to sew. Connections for me are essential as I tend to isolate. That’s why I journal so much. Asking those same questions. I don’t have grandchildren and very few friends. Just starting to make them again. Routine is essential. I’m a Virgo and I need routine more than most. My son living with me has unbalanced that routine. Hence the weight gain and NO exercise though I have the time. He wants to push me, I don’t want to be pushed. I’d rather take a yoga class or something girly. Pauline’s list is a good one. I’ve asked all those questions. Can’t make myself go into the sewing room most days. Why?? The passion is missing. I want to be passionate about something, but what. Maybe we can muddle through together . I even thought today that I should give another church another try. When I can see again to drive there. I’m in search of an answer to this same dilemma.

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  6. Bless you Marlene for being so open and honest! You have given me such a gift by sharing your feelings. Thank you so much. It’s crazy thing to think that we have lived all of these years and yet here we are still trying to figure out what we want to be when we grow up. Not exactly how I thought it would be. I almost feel selfish saying it out loud sometimes because I have so much good in my life it sounds like I’m whining. Honest, I’m not! I guess I just thought I would be wise at this point. Instead, I find I don’t know much!! You are right to do things in your time and the way you want. After all, we didn’t live this long have people telling us what to do even if they do it with love and the best of intentions ha ha! What is going on with your eyesight?

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  7. I know. I was very touched to receive such support, comments, and great suggestions. Sometimes I do think I am too hard on myself which is probably a tendency of many women. We do expect a lot of ourselves. I know I will work it out. I have faith that God has a plan for me. Patience would probably go a long way. I’m keeping my mind open!

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  8. Last question first. Bells caused (Vestibular integration dysfunction) The eyes no longer work together and I can’t tell where I am in space. Leaves me off balance and movement around me makes me dizzy. Who would have thought it. I use the cane to keep my balance because if I turn, I’m lost. Sewing, fast movement of TV or shopping and looking at stuff is all exhausting to my brain now. Also one side still has very little movement. I can’t blink the good eye or keep the lid open far enough to get clear vision. So they are going to lift the lid just enough to get it out of my field of vision. Hopefully, it will help some.
    Next, you are not whining! You are processing a thought that needs to find resolution. An unquestioned life isn’t one that’s worth living. We all go through various stages. It’s like changing jobs. Readjusting our lives for something new. We are given those feelings to push us in the new right direction. The desire for change is God given. Desire is what moves the Universe forward. Without it all the wonderful things that are in our world would not have come about. It’s God speaking to us and we need to listen. Your emotions are your GPS. When you are feeling passionate about what you are doing, you are on the right road. That flat feeling means we have taken a side road for exploration and now need to get back on course. You have a good life, no question, but there is more and you are right to excavate for it. You will never be done. If we all said that’s enough, no more change, the world would stop spinning and implode. It needs to expand so we have desire…for…something more. That’s the only way I know to explain it. Everyday, I ask God what I should do with this day I have been given. How will I spend it? Each night I write a letter to God and sum up how this day was and where I could have done better. I list all the things I’m grateful for and what I’d like more of.
    I’m always here to commiserate. Always here to listen. For me writing has been the biggest help. People think they should live small lives and say enough. God wants us to live big, full lives and explode with gratitude. That make God shine too. Just my take on it from our many conversations. 🙂

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  9. Wow! I knew you had bells palsy but I have no idea the extent of what you were going through. You are quite a remarkable woman with a great attitude and heart and in spite of everything you keep on trucking along. I am even more impressed by what you accomplish, your posts, and still take time to offer so much to others. Being so open and honest is a true gift and you are an inspiration not only to me but I’m sure to everyone who comes in contact with you and that you meet along the way. Thank you so much for your support and your encouragement. I guess it’s easy to fall into a rut of sorts from time to time and nobody likes to be down in that pit- not even for a moment! Yes it is important that we keep moving forward and I agree with my eyes on God who inspires me and watches over me despite all of the missteps and obstacles I place before myself. I hope you are able to find a church that you’re happy with at some point. Sounds like you and God have a good thing going on and I really respect that. As you know my faith in God is a huge part of my life. Some great ideas offered. I love that you take the time to offer thanks and assess your day. Hugs to you, Marlene♡♡♡

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  10. Hi Jan,
    Ebb and flow baby, Ebb and flow. It’s normal to do something like blogging a couple of times a week, and then it might slow down. Honestly Jan, you are probably writing because you want to share things, that’s it’s nice to hear back from folks – other women experiencing the same sort of feelings, and maybe to give us some insight into different points of view. It doesn’t matter the frequency. If you blogged only once every three months, I’m not going away. I’m always going to be coming back to your blog, because I love your writing – it’s heartfelt, simple, easy to appreciate, REAL. If you are not bored, then just go on as you are. If you want a new venture, what about sewing classes? I never took home ec. And now I have no clue how to put a zipper in, and if months go by and I haven’t used my daughter’s machine, I forget how to thread the thing. You could do videos on simple things like putting in a zipper. It’s creative, and it would be so helpful. upload to Youtube.
    Anyway, I value you, I value your blog. I don’t get here as often as I want to, but I want you to know, that yours is always on my list to visit. xx Nancy

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  11. Thanks Nancy! That is so sweet and talk about heartfelt, your comments are always so touching and meaningful. Yes, I got so much feedback and it was so appreciated and taken to heart. Some good ideas, never thought about doing a YouTube video, huh that is an idea! No I’m not bored yet!!☺

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