Tuesday, January 31, 2012

and then...

He retired on Wednesday. On Thursday we started driving south and continued until the land ended, then we got on a big boat and continued our southward journey. Eventually we found ourselves deposited on land again and slowly started our drive northward. We made a few stops along the way. When we finally reached home again we had been gone almost 3 weeks.

Now we start the work of everyday living at home.

Our new bikes have arrived and we finished putting them together last night. We enjoyed going to the matinee to see a movie we have been waiting for and laughed and laughed. We met our daughter at the store and she gave us coupons to make our purchases in the middle of the morning.

Our friends have invited us to go to the Chinese restaurant for lunch on Tuesday--Senior Day--where the bill for both of us together will be $10. We have been walking around the lake every day and the scales are down 1 pound each--if we can keep this up for 30 weeks we will reach our goals. As I prepare our meals I fill the table with plenty of vegetable choices. I am trying to fix all of our meals at home keeping them delicious and simple.

All of our children who live in the country surprised us last weekend with a get together to celebrate our new phase of life. It was fun to see the grandchildren and their parents. We enjoyed the party and having a house full if only for sleep and breakfast before they all headed back to their busy lives. The only thing that would have made the moments better was if those in Germany could have zipped over for the night as well, but then we have tickets to go visit them in just a few days, so all is well.

Life is good and the fun times are just beginning--or so my friends tell me.

My husband retired and then.....

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Happy New Year

The changing of the calendar always signals a chance to take a good long look at your life and where it is going.

I remember taking this opportunity the year I turned 12. For Christmas that year my grandmother gave me a 5 year diary. I remember writing in that diary consistently and occasionally over the next few years.

Another goal I made that year was to read my scriptures. I decided to start with the New Testament--I got as far as the first page and all of the begats and thought this was the most boring of books and would take a lot of effort to keep going. Little did I know the hours I would spend over the next 40+ years pouring over those pages, finding small passages to lighten my way.

This year is the same as every year since I turned 12: A desire to keep up with my journal more frequently, read and study my scriptures more fully, and a goal I added about 15 years ago--lose a few pounds.

I am thrilled about the prospect of keeping up with these goals. I get excited when I think about how 'easy' it will be to do.

You may be asking yourself what change has happened to make me think that I might be able to accomplish these goals more easily than in previous years??

Life goes on every day in a routine or pattern. We try to make changes in that pattern, make a new habit, and sometimes we can, but a disturbance in our routine--sickness, vacation--and our new habit can be lost.

Tomorrow is my husband's last day at work. He is retiring from going to the office every day. He is taking on a new full time job, that of husband, father and grandfather with a little time for himself thrown in for good measure.

We have been drafting a daily schedule to help us make those life changes we have wanted to do but there were not enough hours in the day to do them. We have scheduled things like spiritual study and exercise written on the daily planner with the morning routine, right along side of shower and shave.

Our daughter is excited to help her father figure out the joys of couponing. He received a do-dad for Christmas that will help him turn all of his slides into digital pictures, he has always loved photography, I hope he picks up the hobby again. He has asked if taking a nap can be added to the schedule--of course.

While exercise is not at the top of his happy list, eating is, and I reminded him that if he adds a half hour walk to his daily routine he can lose 20 pounds in a year by not changing anything else. That seemed to make him happy, now it is up to me to prepare meals that are more vegetables than carbohydrates--a challenge I am excited to take on.

Making this giant change has been a difficult decision for him, he has worked since he was 15. I keep telling him that he is not quitting work, he is lightening his stress level and freeing up some time to tackle full time the most important job he has ever had, that of father.

I am excited about the changes in our lives and the opportunities it is opening up for us.

We have a long list of things to accomplish this year: A bathroom to remodel and a wood floor to lay, landscaping details in the yard that need attending as well as piles and stacks to be sorted.

But first, we promised ourselves years ago that on the day he retired we would get in the car and drive across country, to go places we have never been and see things we have never seen. We would go slow and simple, drive a few hours then choose a place to stay, not giving ourselves any deadlines. We have had 40 years of deadlines. It is time to take some time for us--time to fall in love again and plan for the next 20 years.

Exercise, scripture study and journal entries are on the list of goals for the year as well as home improvement projects. Our calendar if full of places to go and people to see as well as responsibilities we have committed to. It will be an exciting year full of changes and opportunities to start again.

Before we get in the car on Thursday we decided to walk around the lake first--that should start us off on a good foot.

Change is a good thing.