Sunday, June 28, 2009

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Retirement on the Far Horizon?

July 1, I will have worked for the same company for 27 years. Wow, part of dying breed! I love my career and love so much about what I do. Have lots of friends through work. And I will probably keep doing it for my company for another few years. But I remember when I started thinking about when I could retire - it was maybe 17 years ago - and retirement had originally been this year. So it's been on my mind more lately since it's within striking distance now. My husband and I should be debt-free by the next year including our home, so that will definitely open up some options.
A good friend of mine just retired last week. He and I had worked together for five years at the same location, but I had known him years before he had moved to our plantsite from another state - same company. We had actually had dinner (we were at a conference) at the top of the World Trade Center only months before the two towers were brought down. And this week, he quietly left not only all of us at work, but town as well and drove off to his second home, now his only home in CA. with his partner. I still don't have his email adress.
I keep thinking, "I wonder what that moment was like as he drove out of town? What was it like to wake up the next morning NOT having to go to work anymore? How does it feel to leave behind what had been a huge part of your life for many years?" Some people who leave do come back sometimes - either just for a friendly visit or as a subcontractor doing a little consultant work. Nice if you can get it. I think. I think when I leave, I'll cry my head off though and I'm not even leaving town!
But on the other hand, I'll be freed up to do some of the things I have had to squeeze in for years or not done at all - like getting serious about my art again and working in some way to help animals. I'll love that. I want to continue doing resource counseling part-time, too. Teaching Aging Lite principles. And of course, I'll be free to exercise as much as I want! Yahoo! Maybe I'll finally get that scull I've been wanting and learn how to row. Long walks with the dogs; rides on the horses. Yikes! I won't have time to wonder what retirement will be like - I'll be too busy living it!
But seriously, I do have a plan and I can't imagine leaving work one day for good and waking up the next day with nothing to do. I think more and more of us know that we have to have a plan and we need to begin working it way before we wake up that first morning. I do, but still.... I wonder how it will feel? Will my backyard look different? Will my street look different? Will I look different? Crazy questions that I guess sometime soon I'll have the answers for...or maybe I'll be too busy to wonder about them by then!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

My Loving Furballs

When my sister Sarah asked me to say six things about something I loved, well there are so many things that are special to me - it's hard to choose. So I decided to pick my three little cocker spaniels, Lucy, Dizzy and Charlie. Lucy and Charlie were adopted dogs from other families and we picked Dizzy from a pet store where she was on deep discount. She hadn't been groomed for awhile and looked a little crazy, but when we got her all clipped and bathed, she was gorgeous. So here are the six things about them that I love:
1. They are all very loving, snuggly dogs - 24/7/365
2. They meet me at the door every night so excited that I'm home and so happy to see me.
When I'm gone for a few days for work and return, they practically turn themselves inside out they are so happy.

3. I love making their lives the best they can be and they couldn't be more loved. So they have given me that wonderful experience.

4. They get me out on walks - long and short - on a regular basis. Lucy and Charlie just truck - very focused on going forward. Dizzy stops for everything, every smell, every odd noise.

5. Lucy has become a therapy dog at a local nursing home and her love for that has given me many opportunities to talk to elderly people who I might not have met.

6. They have taught me so much about dogs and changed me permanently.

In the pix above, Lucy is the mostly white Cocker, Dizzy has more black and Charlie is chocolate brown. this picture of him was just before I groomed him, so his coat is a little long! My sweet furballs. My husband Les, is in one of the pictures and you can see that they love him, too!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Never Giving Up What You Want Most

Weight Watchers has a great saying - "Never give up what you want most for what you want right at the moment." It gets many of us Weight Watchers through many a temptation - whether it's to eat that piece of cheesecake the waiter left in front of you at a group dinner or drive by the gym instead of going in to do your workout.

What do I want most? I guess it is to stay healthy as long as possible so I can experience all the living I want to do and accomplish what I want to accomplish. And I confess I do eat the cheesecake sometimes and I do turn over and go back to sleep instead of getting up at o-dark hundred and going to the gym once in awhile. Who doesn't? But I know I am fighting my own personal tide of lousy genes. And if I give in very often the tide will happily take me out to sea without a second thought. Maybe it will anyway one day, but not without a fight and not today!!!

We live in such a crazy instant gratification world. Don't we get bombarded all day long with possibilities of getting something the easy way, the satisfying way, the luxurious way in the short term with long-term negative effects? Take pills to lose weight! Buy that Lexus on credit! Fudge on the travel report, the taxes, the insurance and on and on. It's a battle everyday to ignore all of this and stay focused on our goals. But focus we must if we want to have "what we want most." It does take a serious case of "gottawanna." Hard work and doing the right thing pays off.

What kinds of challenges to you find often jumping out at you and how do you deal with them? I'd love to hear.
The pix above were a few I took in Seattle last week. Amazing place. I loved it - especially the flying fish! Have a great week!