When I’m 64

All of my adult life, I have been collecting my favorite books and authors, promising myself I’d read them all again when I retired. Some day in the distant future. When I was old.

BTW, I don’t give the word “old” a negative connotation. It’s a place the lucky ones will all arrive at one day. At 64, I have arrived. Old is a place that you can’t really pack for…how was I to know in 1975 that there would be a little electronic book called the Kindle that stole my heart and helped my eyes? I have as many books saved on the Kindle as I do on my shelves. And I won’t need a van to move my Kindle to Florida. It fits in my purse.

I’m a planner. That plans often go awry is a lesson learned. I’ve gained mental flexibility as I’ve aged. When Al retires and we begin living on a “fixed” income, I’ll slow down my book buying (something Kindle makes far too easy!) and read again all those books I’ve loved before. I’m looking forward to it, but now I wonder if the book and the time of life have more to do with reading pleasure than I’d previously considered. Soon, I’ll find out.

My ideas about what to do in retirement are not for everyone. Some other surprising things I’ve done are completely change my diet and let my hair grey naturally. The diet makes me feel so much better and coloring my hair made my scalp burn as I got older. So I adapted my way of doing things. Now after completely reloading my pantry with nuts and seeds and coconut, two or three times a week I’m batch-cooking healthy foods that contain no sugar or wheat. If you would have told me this just eight weeks ago, I would have said no way.

Now when my body yells at me, I take the approach of “well, I’ll try this new thing.” It’s working out just fine. I don’t even miss bread. Or pasta. I kind of miss pizza, but everybody has gluten-free pizza these days. I made fudge this weekend. I used Swerve instead of sugar. Swerve does not raise blood sugar like other artificial sweeteners. It was a test and for my delicate tummy, Swerve did not pass. I made peanut butter cookies with Swerve, too. Al liked both sweet treats and didn’t have any digestive issues. But he doesn’t have problems with sugar, either. Next time I’ll try brown rice syrup, which my body tolerates better.

As for the hair, it is finally growing out to a longer length. Not sure if I’ll like it this way, but it will be easy to put in a ponytail in Florida and, as I get older, I am all about easy.

Checking Out of the Depression Hotel

blonder.photoSpent the weekend at the Depression Hotel. Beat myself until I was black and blue and did the sort of inner questioning that some people have no patience for, including myself. Becoming more patient is one of those things I am still working on. So when I go there, to the bottom, I am impatient for it to end.

But when me & you are black & blue, we’re paralyzed.

I know why I got depressed. I also know practicing yoga or walking works for me, but moving my body from A (depression) to B (contentment) seems impossible. I’m rooted to the spot like gum stomped to the floor.

Here’s what I know because I’ve lived a long time: depression passes. I do not suffer from clinical depression, just regular old rainy day blues. If you have severe depression lasting for a long time, more than a weekend, you need more help than a blog post, and I hope you seek it, for your own sake. I am not a therapist or a doctor. I’ve just been around awhile.

How I checked out of that damn hotel:

Today, it’s a balmy 48 degrees. The sun is shining and so am I. Sun is key to feeling good. But I started feeling better yesterday as my impatient mind searched for ways to feel better. Called a friend. Wrote some emails to another. Replied to comments on the blog. Thank you! Comments make my day. Al must have seen my state because when he got home from work he sat down and talked to me. About our life, where things are headed, how long we want to stay away from Michigan when we retire, where we might visit, and, inevitably, if you know Al, finances.

Everything is good. The economy, our checking account, the future. All is well. Woke up in better shape just from connecting to other people and having Al reinforce the good in our life. We’re going to California in a week! To see our son and his wife. We’re spending a week on the beach, in a room with a balcony and a view of the Pacific.

cousins.1239005_10201444394727357_372830143_nToday, after talking to another friend on the phone and more through email, I walked. I watched the uplifting video Lisa sent. Then I actually left our rapidly melting igloo.  Soaked in some rays. Saw a cat at the tax office. Which reminded me about who else is in California…Bosco!