Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Bag Lady makes some changes

It still surprises me what breaking up routines can do.

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!


Olga Hebert said...

You truly are living a conscious life and the benefits are so obvious to the rest of us that you are an inspiration.

DJan said...

I understand that difficulty of changing from one comfortable person to another, but it does need to be done every now and then. It sounds like you've made a good choice in both cases. And you are definitely a busy person with lots of irons in the fire, that hasn't changed a bit! I can't wait to see you in a few short weeks. :-)

Anonymous said...

Change can be good. I am at the point, after almost 40 years, of changing churches. The one we've attended all these years has also changed. Not for the bad, just changed, and I need something different than the direction it is headed so I've looked around and found a place that fits very well. I've heard God say, "go," so that is what I'm doing, but the change is a bit of a shock to my system.

Same thing about the chaplaincy position that I have just taken. That will be a big change. God is really shaking up my world!

Best wishes with all of your changes.

Arkansas Patti said...

Change is good especially when status quo is lacking. Lucky you to find two hairdressers you like.
I haven't changed anything since I changed states. Hum maybe I need a shake up also.
Good and ambitious post per usual

rosaria williams said...

Ahhhh! I enjoyed this post. Perhaps seeing how others embrace change helps us do the same.

#1Nana said...

What??? No pictures of the new hairdo? Guess I'll have to wait for October.