I Once Thought 65 Was Really Old.

At 5, I remember thinking 65 was really old.  Now, at 64, my jet black hair a memory, and my 65th birthday just around the corner – not so much.

I am sometimes utterly amazed that I’ve been on this planet so long, as I’ve always been one of those people others say ‘burns the candle at both ends.’

Lately, I’ve been pondering the next 3rd of my life.  Yes, I think I’ll make it perle s 2to ninety-something, but not as some doughy old lady.

I can’t prevent getting old, but I can certainly prevent being a fat, infirm, old person.  A very real danger if I don’t begin doing something about it now.

Somewhere around 58, I started slipping, and I can’t really put my finger on any one reason.  I’ve been 128 pounds/size 7 with an occasional foray into 5’s (stress) as long as I can remember.

I think it was a combination – a not-so-perfect storm:  A sedentary job at Saks I knew would end in lay-offs, as the company was slowly divesting itself of all its properties; menopause that although symptomless in my case, slowed my metabolism; eight months on unemployment followed 6 months later by another year on unemployment; and finally, meniscus knee surgery that kept me from walking my morning 5 miles.

I’ve been looking at the scale for a while now and I don’t like what it says.  I look in the mirror and it confirms the numbers – 50 pounds in 6 years.

I’ve never dieted.  Not sure I know how.  In truth, I don’t think it’s about food.  I kept a diary and I eat about 1200 calories a day.  I think it’s the happy hours with friends – all those gratuitous calories in beer, wine, etc.

What Now?

I’m counting down – 62 days to go.

I’m retiring from my day job March 30, 2013, and I’m counting the days.
—-
Oh, The Places you’ll go!  You have brains in your head.  You have feet in your shoes.  You can steer yourself  any direction you choose.  You’re on your own.  And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.
—– Seuss

We all do it; we put all our hopes on the destination. You know the litany: When I graduate; When I have money; When the kids are grown; When I retire… Don’t deny it, we’ve all done it – still do.

Well, I have 61 days until I retire. That’s 1,464 hours; 87,840 minutes, 5,270,400 seconds.

I wonder how many of those things I plan to do when I retire, I can get a head start on between now and then. I have a list, and here are just a few.

  • Publish my e-books (I have 5 in varying stages of completion, but I always start editing them again when I decide to upload them to Amazon).
  • Publish my NaNoWriMo novel this year. (I’ve participated in and written 50,000 words for ‘national novel writing month’ every November since 2004, but have never edited, rewritten or published any of them.)
  • Start sending out query a week, instead of every now and them. (Follow-up on the submission to Victoria Magazine – haven’t heard back from my last query a few months ago.  Last published with them in 2008.)
  • Hang a photography show at a local gallery: (Two galleries are interested, but although I have the slides picked out, I have yet to get them digitized, printed, matted…)
  • Ditto Art show (I’ve been painting and drawing again, but not as much as I can.)
  • Start back to yoga classes (it’s been 5 years of gonna, and I’m still pretty limber.

There are more, but this is the enough to start with.

This list ends with ‘Move to Some Beach Some Where’.  I’ll have to add – visit some beaches between now and then so I can make an informed decision.  I’m leaning toward Virginia Beach so I can visit the ARE library on a regular basis. – tick, tick, tick…

66 days and counting

my aerie a perch
to watch comings and goings
leaves grow fade fall

This old 4-plex was built in the 30’s or 40’s with big sprawling rooms, windows everywhere. Actually it’s bigger than I need, but the only place that met all my criteria after losing my last home to fire on 2/12/11.

The little bistro in one corner of the screened in balcony is perfect for me, my coffee, and laptop. One chair for me the other for cat Jazmine.

The loveseat on the opposite side is for reading, relaxing, editing, journaling or just patting Jazmine and watching the street below.

I’ve covered the screen with plastic to keep winter cold at bay.

J called and reminded me to get cracking on the Journaling e-book. I do need someone to crack the whip, I seem to be coasting as if I had all time time in the world. But at 66 days and counting before i retire, I need to get on the stick. I have to get these income streams into place to supplement my ssa.

20130123-203619.jpg

I’m ready to dust off a few dreams

dreams ride the wind through
windows I’ve thrown wide open
no pillow needed100_1484

I feel that time is running out and it’s now or never to dust off a few dreams and follow them.

So, I turned in my notice today.  I’m retiring from the day job come  March 30.

I only go in 4 days a week, but it’s a stressful 4 days for me now.  Maybe it’s age, but I think it’s more than that.  I feel caged in – It’s like spring fever, but for a whole year now.

Whatever the reason, it’s the job not my coworkers.  They’re good, sweet, ethical, hardworking folks.  It is I.  I have to move on for me and for no other reason.

My entitlement (and I am entitled to it) is more than enough to cover monthly bills. My income from all my sidelines will be gravy.

I’m working at various income streams. Beyond the e-books, the first of which will launch end of this month, there’s my painting and freelance work.

I used to sell my art regularly.  Having lost ev100_1490erything in the fire, though, I’ve had to buy supplies and start from scratch.  I’ve started on a series of colored pieces for now in various media.  I’ll need at least 3 or 4 to pitch to galleries and a least a dozen to hang a show.

Forks in the Road

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose” – Dr. Suess

ah yes, but which way

even the yellow brick road

has forks and oh my

I have trouble with

opinions’ many voices

forks many choices

Notes:

I still have a day job, so I’ve no choices to make today. I’ll go to work. But 2013 is just around the corner and I’m going to retire from that ‘day job’ and oh the choices then.

I just have to remember I can’t go in all directions at one time. I need a plan and at the moment I don’t have one other than the list. More on that later.

Recalling ‘dolce far niente’

monday and I have

no special place to be

such a free feeling

I want more like days

where the only one I must

consider is me

Notes:

Selfish?  Yes, but I’ve worked all my life since I was 17.  I raised an exceptional child til I could not, a husband with cancer, a failed business with a friend – no longer friend, and the list goes on.

Laid off in 2007 when Saks corporate went back to NYC, gave me a 2 year taste of ‘dolce far niente’ (how sweet to do nothing).

I didn’t do 100% nothing.  I did what I wanted, when I wanted:  Walked the neighborhood every day; wrote and published stories, essays, book reviews; painted and hung 3 art exhibits; etc., etc., etc…

I will be revisiting those days by retiring one way or another  in 2013 by or before March 20, 2013. Spring equinox, the first day of Spring – Rebirth of earth and rebirth of me.

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