Tag: Friends

On the Road Again…., Again

On the Road Again…., Again

I’m leaving on the next train…. Wait, that’s a song title, not my next step. Of course “On the Road Again” is also a song but that more closely reflects what’s about to happen today. It’s also the title of a previous post but that has no real bearing here. That was camping, this is a road trip, by car.

I’ve been away from home for a week now. Really 8 days but who’s counting?  This whole adventure is partly a life experiment and partly an opportunity to reconnect with friends and family I haven’t seen for a while. In my Aunts and Uncles case it could be 20+ years.  I don’t really recall the last time I saw some of them.

The life experiment part is a little harder to explain.  Sometimes it can be a challenge for me to pass information on concisely so I question whether I should try to do so here, but what the heck nothing ventured nothing gained.

It all started back in the summer of ’72…… Well, that may be a bit too far back but it was when I met my wife and she has a bearing on this story.  Fast forward to a more reasonable time period, say earlier this spring (2012) to my retirement and just subsequent to it.

I adapted to the idea of being at home (I think) but there was, and still is, some adjustment required when it comes to my wife and I occupying the same space in the early morning, before she leaves for work.  This hasn’t presented any arguments or ill will but it has stimulated discussion, and that’s a good thing.  Better to talk than yell I think.  Everything they say is true, when one spouse retires it certainly provides challenges for the other, actually both if you think about it.

So to make a long story less long we discussed the option of me taking a bit of a road trip at this time, a time when she is just beginning her school year as a Child car worker and things are already stressful.  There are little side stories to her responsibilities which complicate things further and add to this stressful time but needless to say after talking it out we both liked the idea of me heading out for a while and her having some “alone time” so she can re-adjust to the idea of being back at work.  It was also a good fit for me, because while we were able to travel a lot this past summer there were still places I wanted to go and people I wanted to meet.  The idea of a road trip was a win-win.

To begin this adventure. we both went to Kelowna a week ago last Friday to see our daughter and family.  It was a nice treat because they were going to a wedding out of town and we would be taking over sole responsibility of Madden’s care (new grandson) while they were away.  Our first over-nighter, there first night away from the baby.  We handled the challenge admirably and while my wife wanted to stay a bit longer after the babysitting tour she had to get back home.  I took her to the bus on Sunday afternoon.  She was back to the grind Monday.

I stayed in Kelowna until Tuesday when I left to go to my brothers in the Vancouver area.  We had a really nice visit and I left there Thursday, hopped on the ferry and stopped at our friends house in Saanich to commiserate with them.

20120922-121048.jpgThe rest is history as they say.  I left there this morning and now here I sit, having some lunch and a beer, taking care of some business and leaving shortly to visit a friend for a day or so.  From there I’ll try to connect with my Aunts and Uncles and then perhaps go to the Sunshine Coast for a brief alone time before heading out again.

I’ll endeavour to provide an update, goodness knows my record isn’t the best for posting lately but I’ll see if I can pick up my socks.  Bear with me please.

On a more personal note perhaps I’ve been feeling pretty good lately, emotionally.  I don’t feel depressed, or at least most of the times I don’t.  I still struggle with understanding if the issue is really depression or just pronounced mood swings.  Maybe I’ll get smarter as I age.  Time will tell.

Perhaps this road trip will also be an opportunity for me to learn more about myself.  I often hear people say “I know so much more about myself now”, or “I want to learn who I am”.  Although I aspire to acquire this knowledge to date it’s escaped me.  I really don’t know what more I can learn.  I think I’m an open book but perhaps I’ve not read every chapter.  I hope the road can tell me.

Mocha to Go

Mocha to Go

Before I leave on the next leg of my trip I’ll break bread with my current host Diane. I would love to share my morning with her husband Bruce as well but unfortunately he will have left for work a few hours before I awake. He the master of the mocha (sorry Diane) and often performs interesting artistic expression on the tops of his mochas, as seen here.

20120921-233507.jpg

Something happened to the end of this post, it wasn’t uploaded from my phone. I had commented the crema swirl looked like a squirrel. Some here said it was a raven but I don’t see it, it’s definitely a squirrel. Kinda hate to spoil it.

Leave Your Legacy

Leave Your Legacy

An interpretation of Maslow's hierarchy of needs, represented as a pyramid with the more basic needs at the bottom
photo credit Wikipedia

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theorizes there are a number of steps or stages to a person’s development.  Represented as a triangle you would start with the basics needs at the bottom and move to the more developed stages at the top.  For more info you can check out here.

Sometimes I believe I haven’t progressed much along that path. Oh I certainly have the basic Physiological needs met (food and water etc.). I have the
security and Safety needs met of body, both personal and family, so while my pension is small I seem to have enough to live on.  So far at least.  It’s level 3 that sometimes gives me pause, the Love/Belonging stage.

If you’ve read any of my previous posts, particularly some on my early retirement, you’d know I had (or have) some issues regarding my previous place of employ and the terms under which I left.  Those issues revolved primarily around my disappointment up to and including the time of my early retirement.  In part it was a disappointment or sadness that ended with my perception of the quick good-byes from my fellow employees, where it seemed to me they were just anxious to get it over with and get back to work.  It felt (almost) like my 38 years of service meant nothing.  Hurry, give Dwayne his cake, his retirement card, and a token “see you soon” and we can continue on with our day.  I was deeply hurt.

But I digress.  My point was that in that setting, my workplace, I had  at one point felt that they were my family, extended but family nonetheless.  That perception was quickly and effectively quashed.  I rapidly felt alone, without my “family”, cast adrift into the retirement sea with no history.  Probably one of the biggest components of my life, that of my job,  all of a sudden meant nothing.

I continue to work at resolving those emotions however, to get past the hurt.

During my tenure there I tried not to be one who lived to work, rather I worked to live.  The job was just a means to an end.  Sure I tried to enjoy it and connect with others but in the end it was just my job.  Perhaps that was one of the reasons my advancement felt limited, it may have been that my credo was more obvious than I thought and I wasn’t seen as a team player.  Who knows.  At any rate I tried to place the importance and emphasis in my life on things outside my job.  I tried to focus my energy and enjoyment on my home and my family.

In this, my family, I feel more blessed.  My wife often reminds me that the challenges I faced in my job, the tribulations in my career and the sacrifices I gave during my working life, weren’t for nothing.  The life tools and the basis for growth that we gave our children was worth so much more.  We provided more than a roof, and food on the table, we gave them the grounding and tools to build their own happy and fulfilling lives.

If there’s anything you should leave your children it’s a path, a means to follow in your footsteps.  Give them guidance and support, and copious amounts of love.  In that I hope I’ve succeeded.  In fact it’s been said to me a number of times, particularly by my nephew among others, “I want to raise my kids just like you did”.  We are held up as a positive example, as role models and mentors, as parents to emulate.

So perhaps I have passed part of level 3.  The friends I have may be few but I think they are true friends.  They love us and can be counted on in a time of need to support us.  I feel gratitude that I have the family I do, that our children have the love and caring in their lives, to grow and mature as healthy adults.  I can hope for no less while they raise their own children.

“Mothers tell your children ‘Be quick, you must be strong.
Life is full of wonder and love is never wrong.’
Remember how they taught you; how much of it was fear.
Refuse to hand it down: The legacy stops here.”
-Melissa Etheridge