The Best Of Retirement

I started working at age sixteen and retired at age fifty nine. My retirement came suddenly and unexpectedly. I had no plans or expectations. I was completely blindsided and unprepared.

The first year was difficult. I didn’t know how to feel about myself with no job and no income. There were feelings of worthlessness, confusion and anxiety. It wasn’t a good transition. I don’t recommend it to anyone.

Slowly I started to fill my time with some worthwhile activities. They certainly helped but I was still floundering.

At the same time, my first grandson was born. Now that was super! I had plenty of time to spend with the baby and I did. What great memories I have now.

That started the formation of my philosophy of being a Granny. I knew then I wanted to be intentional about my actions and positive about my attitude.

I started sewing for my grandson and found some likeminded women to sew with. Life was getting better and I was more active.

It seemed the more I sewed and the more I joined other women who sewed, the happier I became. So, of course, I did more . . . . and more . . . . and more.

Now I am a quilter who belongs to six sewing groups – from a quilting bee to a wool embroidery group to an applique group. And my grandson, now 14, is one of six grandchildren that I have sewn many items for.

Retirement is such a blessing to me and I am busier now than when I was working. My life is also much more joyful. I don’t have to rush or be in a hurry. I have no deadlines, unless they are self-imposed. I can take my time now.

Retirement gives me time to do what I want, when I want. That includes more activities at church, lunch with the girls, sewing and maybe a good nap now and then.

Gramps and I have more time together. We talk more, share more, laugh more and hold hands more. We have time to go out for dinner, see movies, visit with friends and sing in the church choir.

Combining grandchildren with retirement is absolutely heaven sent! I can’t think of a better reason to keep working to retirement age.

In a word, retirement gives me time. Over the years I have learned the best ways to spend that precious commodity to enrich my life and my family’s life.

In the beginning, I wasted my time and I regret that very much. But no more. Every moment is a gift and it only comes once.

I have plans now. I have expectations of myself. I’m looking forward to every day. I’m excited. Know why?

I’m retired!!!!

 

My Phone, My Friend

I may be an elder woman but there are many modern technologies I love.  My television is very nice to have, even though the old black-and-white movies are the best.  My computer is a must and I use it daily for blogging and such.  But my favorite all-time, high-tech invention is my phone.

Remember when all you did with a phone was make a call?  I remember.  In fact, I remember rotary phones, phones on the wall with long twisty cords and party lines.  Our ring was two longs and a short.  It’s been long time!

I recall very well getting my first iPhone.  It was my birthday and I told Gramps I wanted one of the phones where I could scroll all my photos from bottom to top.  I didn’t even know what it was called!

I got the phone.  When I took it out of the box, my then-five-year-old grandson grabbed it out of my hand and began tapping buttons with his little thumbs.  Within seconds, he declared, “Granny, you need some apps!”

I didn’t know what apps were either.  I’ve come to learn he meant games, games and more games.  Which, of course, I now have, because I am the Granny and Granny always has entertainment for grandchildren.

But back to my phone.  It does make calls, of all kinds.  Local, long distance.  I suppose it would call the moon, if I knew anyone there.  But making calls is the least of its gifts.

My phone keeps me in touch.  In touch with the world, really but most especially with those I love.  We can, of course, call and talk to each other, which is a real treat.  We can write instant letters to each other at any time.  That is most precious to me.  I can keep up with all the generations all the time.

My phone keeps me safe.  I’m always just seconds from getting help at the push of a button.  That is huge in my world.  At my age, as much as I drive alone to events and gatherings, that support is priceless.

My phone keeps information and data always at the tip of my fingers.  I have phone numbers, addresses, photos, notes, calendars, reminders, deadlines, etc., all at my beck and call.  If it were all on paper, I wouldn’t be able to carry it, much less access it.

My phone gets me where I want to go.  The GPS, named Helen, is very reliable.  She speaks in a very monotone voice, pronouncing everything a little bit weird.  But she seems to know where she is going, so that’s okay.  It’s very reassuring to know Helen is always there, always awake, always ready to travel with me.

My phone takes great photos.  Can you even imagine being able to say that about a phone?  As a result, I have a wonderful record of places, events, friends, quilts, family and projects.  Many of them are completely irreplaceable and would never have been taken without a small phone being so handy in my purse.

My precious little phone is a real life-line and I can’t go a day without using it.  Yet it hasn’t been that many years that it has been a part of my life.  How quickly I have adapted!

Yet it can also be a nuisance.  Sometimes I think If I hear that ringtone one more time, I will scream!

Oops, there’s my phone.  Gotta go!

See you tomorrow!

My Favorite Place

I have spent all day in my favorite place – my sewing room. The HQ of all fabric projects. The hub of my quilting and sewing empire. The center of my needle and thread world.

You sure wouldn’t know it’s the HQ of anything by looking at it though. It’s a mess! Piles everywhere. And I do mean everywhere. Like high rise buildings in NYC, growing taller with me working down at street level. It can look intimidating at times.

But I know what is in every one of those piles. Projects I am working on and projects I will get to. There is a certain order to it all, no matter what it looks like.

How exciting to see my piles and feel such comfort, knowing I will probably never run out of things to do. I never have to think, what will I do next?  I always have something waiting for me in a pile.

It’s like Christmas everyday. There’s a present to open – a project – whenever I’m ready to start. I have piles of presents just waiting for me to open. How lucky am I?

My sewing room is colorful and bright too. Just sitting in the light from the window makes me happy. But on a sunny day at the sewing machine is the best way to spend time. I could sit there all day with the machine humming away and me completely unaware of the time,

Just walking through the doorway of my sewing room excites me. I start thinking of all sorts of creative and fabulous things I can do. Colors start to jump out and patterns begin call to me. All sorts of ideas begin to spin in my mind. My room starts my thinking engine and gets me energized.

Being surrounded by fabrics all organized by color warms my heart. The colors and hues, especially all the blues, just speak to me. There is not a more joyful place on earth for me.

At the same time, my room keeps me calm. When I have a difficult project, a problem that needs calculating, I can go to that special space and work it out. I have everything I need to solve a fabric problem in there. I gives me a lot of confidence to know that.

And do I love to share my room with others! When fellow quilters and sewers come to visit, I enjoy letting them see my precious sewing room. Quilters are like that, you know.

We want to see how others organize their fabrics, stack their projects and deal with piles. We can’t wait to see what others are working on and have up on their design wall. We absolutely must know how others use color to inspire and decorate, and what they hide in the closet. It’s an obsession really.

We all love our sewing room and it shows. We invest a lot in our sewing room and it shows. We spend a lot of time in our sewing room and it shows.

It all shows. The room and me – we both are better for all the time, love and attention we share.

Yessirree – it shows!!!

 

The Value Of Mistakes

Oops! Oh no! My bad! How we hate to say or hear those words. How we loathe to fail. How we dislike to make mistakes. But they happen so often. They occur no matter how hard we try. We all seem so prone to make them. How can we make the best of them?

Mistakes are positive, valuable occurrences. They make it easier to make decisions in the future. They let you know what works and what doesn’t work. By trying possible solutions and taking risks, you find out, eventually, what will be the answer, but not without many, many failures along the way.

You cannot, however, be overwhelmed by your mistakes. Analyze them and be responsible for them, so you are less likely to repeat the same ones but don’t be paralyzed by them. Always be willing to get up from every failure. Always be willing to take a risk again. Always be willing to try one more time.

Each failure is valuable information. Each failure is a possible resolution that never has to be tried again. Each failure is a road that never has to be taken because we know the answer is not there. That is knowledge and wisdom.

Mistakes can build self-confidence by requiring you to take risks. If you are not making any mistakes, you are not trying. You are not really living.

Dealing with failure means you are stepping out of your comfort zone – out into the unknown where only failure and success are possible. Staying comfortable and safe means you will have no failure but neither will you have any success.

Dealing with failure means you are brave and strong. It means you have the ability to learn and grow from those errors. Everything changes after a mistake – make it a positive change.

Every mistake is a learning opportunity – a moment of growth. Very seldom do we become better people during the easy times in our lives but we can make great strides during the tough times. Those are the times of self-analysis and self-reflection. Mistakes definitely help set boundaries for us.

Being open about your mistakes keeps you honest and humble. Your sense of integrity is improved when you take responsibility for your errors and look for ways to correct them. It’s not the mistake itself, it’s how you deal with it that shows your character.

Mistakes can allow you to inspire others. Any mistake and lesson you learn can be taught to another person. It can be a very moving and personal moment to help someone avert making the same error as you. In fact, it is your job to pass this knowledge onto the next generations.

Mistakes add so much to our lives. Embrace them. Learn from them. Share them. Keep making them.

Goodbye And Hello!

What a day this is to say goodbye to the old year and hello to the New Year. But more than that, I want to say goodbye and hello to much more than just a year.

I would like to say goodbye to all the mean thoughts I have had and words I said. I would like to say goodbye to all the grudges I have been holding onto. I would like to say goodbye to all the anger and resentment I have felt.

How about wishing adieu to the sadness or the self-doubt or jealousy I may have experienced? It didn’t do me any good last year. Why hang on to it for another year?

I want to bid farewell to all the negative feelings, non-productive behaviors and shameful thoughts that added nothing to my life but maybe a lesson in reverse – what not to think, feel or do again in the future.

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to end this year by saying a final adios to all those unnecessary, unworthy and unpopular actions of mine?!!! Wipe the slate clean, so to speak and say one big fat GOODBYE!!!

And start the new year by greeting a better me with a grand hello!

This year I’m going to say hello to kind words, to promises kept, to wrongs forgiven, to successes celebrated. In 2020 I’m going to embrace fairness, kindness, inclusion, empathy and humility. My New Year’s Resolutions will include thinking the best of others, empowering others and enjoying the successes of others.

I want my New Year to be the most positive, most productive, most rewarding and most fun ever.And all I have to do is say HELLO!!!

 

20 Things That Don’t Cost A Dime

1 – A hug

2 – A smile

3 – A laugh

4 – Skipping

5 – Clapping

6 – A compliment

7 – Being on time

8 – Saying please

9 – Joining hands

10 – Being faithful

11 – Lending a hand

12 – Finishing a job

13 – Saying thank you

14 – Picking up trash

15 – Keeping a secret

16 – An honest answer

17 – A firm hand shake

18 – Keeping a promise

19 – Honoring your word

20 – Saying you’re sorry