I’ve already posted that to me it feels like this week was the actual start of retirement. Passover and paperwork took over the prior 2 weeks. This week, however, I’ve actually sloooooowwweeed down. Oh, I’m still doing ‘stuff’ pretty much all day. The difference is mentally & emotionally. Most of my family and friends will tell you that I am somewhat driven, frenetic, obsessed with details, and somewhat like the Energizer Bunny. (Moi?????) Behind that description is the steady drumbeat in my mind about time, time, time, time. Not enough. Deadlines. Must do. Time. Fit it ALL in. Never stopping, always moving, always checking things off The List – this was me.
Those last months of 2022 at work coincided with the second phase of the renovation, which was beginning to seem never-ending, and with WC’s failing health. It wasn’t a great time. I stopped exercising and started eating quantities of comfort food. So here I am ready to rock-n-roll but my body is not quite with the program. The good news is I have the time to do the gardening SLOWLY. I’ve gone out each day this week and spent 2 to 2.5 hours doing cleanup and preparation. I’m hoping this gentle approach will remind my knees of the concept of “bend”. 🙂 I’m also hoping that being out in the sunshine and digging in the dirt will restore my taste for salads. My mother used to have an ash tray – maybe my sister has it now. I never understood it when I was younger. But oh does it resonate now!! It shows a few people lounging in comfy chairs and the caption is “Next week we’ve got to get organized”.
Ever since I decided last year to retire, and then topped off with Covid in the summer, I found that I wasn’t as driven to “get things done NOW”. Part of that is that there is just SO MUCH cleanup and reorganization from the renovation that there is no way I could “get it done” in a weekend or two. And it’s always been getting things done in the weekend. Vacations were for doing things that were NOT getting things done. Because my super power is worrying, I have worried that not being pressured for time would make me ineffective and lazy. Oh – my secondary super power is the ability to be very hard on myself. 🙂 The corollary worry is that Covid sapped my inner strength/energy. It’s not that I’m choosing not to push myself, it’s that I CAN’T push myself. I’d guess many of you could understand why not having the choice is an unhappy realization.
What is the big deal about cleaning and reorganizing from the renovation? Well, when you empty the 2nd floor of the house, the stuff needs to go somewhere. We didn’t toss/donate everything. We were extremely naive and uninformed and we stored a LOT of boxes up in the attic. We didn’t realize that the attic was going to be turned into the alien abode of the central air conditioner. The a/c crew took most of what we stored in the attic and moved it to the basement. Besides all the things they added on the “playroom” side of the basement, the laundry side also has a row of boxes. The photos here do not truly display the disarray after the a/c installation began. On the other hand, central air means I now can see out of 3 of the bedroom windows that used to be blocked by window units.
BC is trying to teach me the Tao of Retirement. I’m not sure if that’s because she’s trying to be helpful, or if it’s because she has become very very needy since WC died. The latter I suspect. BC follows me pretty much everywhere and most of the time needs to be ON me as well. She’s in for a
treat surprise. We are going to get her a kitten once the basement is navigable. Yeah, she’s going to hate it. But then we think she’ll start liking it. Remember that we rescued her when she was only a few weeks old and brought her into a house with 3 other cats and a dog. We think she’ll adjust. She will have to adjust. Because the next step after the kitten will be a puppy. 🙂 That’s part of my big retirement plan.
The gardening so far has been mostly weeding, pruning, and cleanup. I’ve written numerous times about my beautiful Rudbeckia Laciniata Hortensia. They need a lot of support. A few years ago I began adding screen material to the iron border fencing in an attempt to keep the plants from growing out through the fence into the sidewalk area. I took down all the old screens this year to try to make them more aesthetically pleasing and to get a better fit on the street side, where the grass insists on poking out into the street. I fix the bottom with the garden staples but the top is trickier. In the past I used wire ties – poked them through the screen and twisted. This year the proverbial light bulb went off over my head. I’ll sew them on!!! Pull them tight, do a running stitch and have a snug fit. It worked, but it reminded me how much I loathe working with fishing line (or whatever that plastic thread is called). I used a sail needle so that it was large enough to hold and to punch through the screen. I cannot say that it was a pleasant experience but maybe it will work as expected and last for more than one year. 🙂
As a reward, and because my inner 6-year old has been screaming “save $$, don’t spend $$, AAACCCK” I decided to try growing some of my usual flowers from seed. I’ve done this in the past but always by sowing directly into the ground once we are past the last frost date (mid-May). This time I decided to see if I could have actual flowers to plant in May. I’ve saved half of each packet so I can do the direct sow as well. I’ve moved the succulents out of the kitchen and outside (I’ll cover them if we have a frost warning) and I’ve put TWO trays under the grow lights in the bay window. That window gets a lot of sunlight as well as the grow lights. I did the first tray 5 days ago and I have seedlings!!!!! I did a second tray yesterday. I have no idea if I’m doing this properly or not. I can’t be bothered to do research. I had a package of seed starter material and that’s what I used. Even if I only get what I’ve got showing now, I’ll be ahead of the game.
2 thoughts on “Retirement – Day 4 or 20”
Yay for kittens and puppies!!!
I’ll be sure to tell BC that the kitten was your idea. *grin*