1. After eight years, I have changed hairdressers in Washington. My hair is curly, so when I see someone with curly hair and a great cut, I ask who their hairdresser is. I did that last year in Tucson when I needed a person down there, I saw Judy's cut and got a referral to Marissa. She created a different style for me more suitable to the very dry climate in Arizona. When I got back to Washington I was a little disappointed with the work my regular stylist was doing. Don't ask me why; it's possible I was the one who changed, rather than her. So this year when I came home I saw a great cut on Sarah and got a referral to Douglas. He is fabulous - cuts my hair in ten minutes and makes it look thick and easy to style! I felt a little guilty changing hairdressers up here, but it was time.
2. After over 20 years, I have changed housekeepers. My previous one and I met when our boys played baseball together in 6th grade. She's had her ups and downs healthwise and recently I decided it was time for a change. I got a referral from Susan and now Carrie comes every other Tuesday and makes the house clean and presentable. Again, making the change made me feel a little uneasy, after all these years with Nancy.
3. For over 15 years I have tracked our investments in Quicken. The statement arrived every month and I spent a couple of hours entering every detail of dozens of activities. I especially liked this process before I quit my job, because I could download transactions and prices every day and see exactly where we stood financially. That was also my Bag Lady period. I was very worried we wouldn't have enough to retire, and seeing those numbers increase over time made me feel better.
With the arrival of this month's statement I made a change. A big one. I closed out all the individual accounts in Quicken and created a few simple summary accounts for investments, annuities, IRAs and Roth IRAS. It will take me about ten minutes each month to record these numbers. And I will have to forego the daily downloads. But it's lightened me up. I'm glad I did it.
4. Once a year or so, I look at my life and my values and see whether they're lining up. I feel better on the inside when that's happening. Last August I listed my values as spirituality, health, community, curiosity and purpose - in that order - and noted my purported top value, spirituality, wasn't on top in my actual life. I became open to that, and a year later I can say I'm growing, and that's good. Now it's the health value that's not being attended to as well as it should. It's too easy for me to sleep a little later and skip my water aerobics class (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) and to wait until too late in the other days to do my two-mile walk in the neighborhood. I have a postural therapy program that really eases the aches and pains, but I've neglected them, and the aches and pains are a good reminder I should be doing them. And though I've remained reasonably true to my no-processed-sugar rule, I haven't said goodbye to butter or cheese. So that value - health - will be at the top of my consciousness as we head into fall.
5. For the first four years of not working I pretty much set aside my professional skills. I was a business systems analyst and it seemed time to let them go. Recently, though, I've taken on two projects in my life - one related to our business and one to my church - and analysis and requirements gathering are very much a part of those projects. It's kind of fun! Even the mediation I learned since I stopped working comes in handy. My primary requirement in these projects is that I be able to leave for Tucson right after Thanksgiving, and if I'm needed after that I need to be able to work by phone or computer. I did say, "I don't want to come home more than once." I have no idea what the outcome of these projects will be, but they're fun at the moment. Getting back into what I used to do for money - but just a little bit, so far.
I'm glad to know I'm still changing. That means I'm still alive, I guess. A good thing!