Tag: Retired

Back in the Saddle

Back in the Saddle

I’m back in the saddle, or at least on the horse. The saddle may have to come later.

It was my intent to post something much sooner. I said at the outset of creating this blog that it was my goal to post daily, or close to it. It seems I lied. My post frequency has been closer to weekly, or certainly that’s what it seems anyway. ‘Things’ just get in the way. Poor reason/excuse I know. I haven’t even posted photos for the Weekly Photo Challenge lately (to be honest I’m not even sure what the topic is.

The summer has been proceeding at a pace unforeseen or unexpected to me. In many ways it’s just been a spring and summer that has taken on a schedule that I don’t like. I’ve done numerous trips, by car and within 1000 km (~600 mi.). Some have been for pleasure and a few have been to see or support loved ones in need. That being said, I appreciate that I shouldn’t lament the reasons, and I don’t, it’s the time away from my castle and my ‘stuff’ that I lament. That and my apparent inability to manage my time effectively when I am at home.

One thing you do get is to see a bunch of interesting stuff when you’re on the road. This gent was operating the espresso machine at a coffee shop on the road called “Deadwood Junction and Tarnished Turkey Cappuccino Bar”, one of my favourite haunts while en route to Kelowna or back home from a visit to my grandson.

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You can see it hasn’t been all bad. It’s just that since I retired last year I often feel overwhelmed and under capable to handle my various stresses, most or all self inflicted. Plain and simple I see my world as full of these opportunities and things I want do, and certainly there’s no shortage of things I should do. There’s always cutting the lawn, doing dishes or the laundry, shopping, cooking, washing or maintaining vehicles etc. etc.. Never mind the fun stuff like camping or seeing my grandson.

Woe is me, my life is sooo tough isn’t it. Just smack me upside the head.

Like camping was such a hardship. While I didn’t post much I did do some journaling, and what a view. The photo doesn’t do it justice, albeit this was with my phone.

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Early retirement has provided me with challenges I didn’t see coming. Many people have asked me since I retired “What do you do?”, or “How do you stay busy?”. I just laugh. Life is so full, how do I get to do everything I want to, that’s the question.

So if you have any time management tips, or ways you think may help me in my time of need please let me know. I’d love to hear. In the meantime I’ll mount up and ride into the sunset of my golden years……

Recalibation Required

Recalibation Required

I’m in a quandary, but then you that know me will say “so what else is new?” I believe a re-calibration is required, ‘How’ is the question, the  ‘why’ not so much.

I won’t belabor the point so I’ll cut to the chase.

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about this blog lately, in fact I talked about it a little in a previous post called Moving Forward, and a number of others. I guess the bottom line, where the rubber hits the road, is that I no longer believe I am suffering from depression. Whether I’m kidding myself who’s to say. This is my story and I’m sticking to it.

Perhaps I am deluding myself, maybe this is somewhat symptomatic of the illness where one feels healed  and so takes on their previous life without medication only to find they are not as ‘well’ as they thought. I suspect a relapse may be a result, quick or otherwise.

Or, maybe, people such as myself think they are fine but their partner or those close to them indicate that the diagnosis is still valid, they are still exhibiting outward signs of the mental illness. I asked, this doesn’t seem to be the case with me.

In fact I asked me wife that very question this morning.

“Have you seen any changes in me lately, some indications that my moods or personality has changed?’

She pondered the question for a moment and then replied,

“No, I don’t thinks so. If I’ve seen any changes is you it’s been only since you’ve retired.”

Well, that supports my perception of the situation as well.

What brought that question up was a deep conversation I had with a friend a few nights ago. He, Dan, has been diagnosed with depression for more than 4 years, and has been on at least 2 different medications. After taking pills for the first year or so he determined he felt better, and as such he wanted to distance himself from the meds. To stop taking them seemed to be the logical solution. Whether he tapered off or went cold turkey I’m not sure, fact is he quit. (Interesting topic for a conversation isn’t it, not sports, not women, but depression meds. Such is my life)

Shortly after that his wife asked him specifically if he was still taking his meds. He was surprised, and answered No, he had stopped some time before. She replied that she thought so, there were changes in him that led her to think that.

Hmm, I thought, I wonder if similar changes have been seen in me? Thus the question to my wife, and in this case No, she hasn’t seen a noticeable change or regression in me.

Back to the topic at hand, is a re-calibration required? I was going to say ‘should I rethink my blog’ but that horse is already out of the barn. So what kind of changes, if any, should I undertake, or do I leave things well enough alone?

Should I even continue to blog, period? Should I continue to write but choose another topic(s), and alter the Theme, Name and/or tagline? How about starting a new blog, with a different frame of reference or mindset behind it?

Maybe a photography blog, perhaps just a blog where I can write and continue with thoughts that hold little interest to the general populace. You know, kinda like it is now LOL.

But enough of the self-important, self-indulgent prattle, I think a change is in order and it’s only a matter of  How, or what.

These are the questions I am struggling with. Is a re-calibration required, and assuming Yes, then in what direction?

I’d be pleased to hear any input from followers.

Have I found my Calling? Barista Extraordinaire

Have I found my Calling? Barista Extraordinaire

Well isn’t this interesting. Stopped at Starbucks again this morning for my first fix of ‘Joe’ and was met with a lengthy line.  That’s not the interesting part (but if you think it is then that’s cool).

A Starbucks barista.
A Starbucks barista. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I got to the head of the line I noticed they had another trainee working (also not the interesting part).  However, in chatting up the Barista I tell him maybe I should apply, seeing as I’ve seen so many trainees behind the counter lately.  He tells me to put my name in (that was the interesting part).  Me, a Barista?   Hmmmmm.  And no it’s not me in the photo.  I’m a tad…….more mature.

Further discussion with him told me that part time was available, about 10 hours a week.  I suspect the hours wouldn’t have a lot of flexibility to them though, that likely you’d be bounced all over the place and perhaps wouldn’t have a lot of notice.  If that’s the case it would mean an impact on my ‘Manny duties’, if they ever came about.  Click on the link if your not sure what a Manny is.

Now I don’t think I’m particularly interested, or am I?  I guess part of it is that my ego felt stroked and that’s always a good feeling.  Whether he was serious or not I can’t say, but when I was leaving he did say “I look forward to seeing your application on-line”.  I just don’t know if I want to work, at least not yet.  After all I retired so I wouldn’t have to.

I think he was just teasing me, what do you think?

“Joe”ing Again….

“Joe”ing Again….

Well I’m at it again, I stopped again during my morning walk for a cup of Starbucks coffee, I’m ‘joe’ing again.

Whether this will become a regular stop of mine, part of my routine, is yet to be seen.  I can say it’s a nice break but at $3 bucks a pop for a grande Americano I need to give it some serious thought.  Being that I’m a man of leisure now, a retired person, it begs the question as to if this is where I should be spending my “hard” earned cash.  I tell myself when I reach the Starbucks Gold status I’ll stop.  After all isn’t that what all addicts say?

It also provides me some socialization which is another good thing for those of us that are aged and perhaps infirm.  While I don’t really consider myself aged OR infirm I believe the socialization aspect applies equally to anyone who by their circumstances may not get out much.

That could apply to me, the not getting out much.  I have many interests, perhaps too many as my ongoing challenge is to equally divide my time among them.  Maybe not even equally, just apportioning “some” time to each.  This is part of my ongoing effort to find balance.

20121018-125055.jpgOne thing the morning walk (not the coffee) does give me is an opportunity to see what’s going around me, the beauty of nature and life’s goings on.  I’ve commented on this before and it’s no less true now, we are surrounded by beauty and awesomeness.  I am so grateful, perhaps I need to comment on what I’m grateful in my posts, much like I did in my “Morning pages”.

That’s another thing on my “list”, get back to writing in my journal.  So many things, so little time.  Help me please.

Takin’ a Break, not a Brake

Takin’ a Break, not a Brake

We are between camping excursions at the moment, spending time with our daughter at her place while we do laundry and top up groceries etc.. We are also waiting for repairs on our trailer, and I’m a bit nervous about the outcome, of the trailer repairs not the laundry.

The trailer maintenance will be a re-alignment of the wheels, not a simple task as I understand it but a necessary one nonetheless. At some point in our travels, at Christina Lake I think, I noticed an uneven wear on the outside tread blocks of each tire. I was not impressed. There are not many miles on the trailer and I generally try to take care of my belongings. To see the accelerated wear concerned me, and rightly so.

I won’t go into the rather lengthy and convoluted story of how we ultimately arrived at the repair shop but let’s just say never trust your GPS without a little bit of back up research.

We arrived at the shop late for our appointment and there was more work than expected. The end result was the trailer had to be kept overnight and would be ready the next day. It meant another early morning trip but with some luck it will be the last time the trailer will have to see repairs for some time.

So now, hours later, the wheels are re-aligned and I’m down about $420 dollars. It was a necessary expenditure as I said but that doesn’t really diminish the pain or lessen the bite of an unexpected bill. Being that I’m now on pension my income is smaller and my ability to cover the cost from cash flow is just about nil. We will survive, we always do, just may have to add another cup of water to the soup.

Anyway, another day another dollar. We are enjoying our break and look forward to hitting the road tomorrow in good condition, both our equipment and our spirits.