Saturday, November 25, 2017

Making a few changes

I'm not opposed to change. Sometimes I'm right there when it needs to happen, and sometimes I don't see the need until it's well past time.

Here are some changes I'm making, whether I realized the need early on or not.
  • We've lived in our winter place for five years now. This year we changed out the bed from the time when our park model was a rental. I didn't even think about a new bed until about a month ago, when I realized my back hurt when I was lying down. Who would have guessed that a new bed would fix the problem?
  • I've ridden my bicycle nearly every day for the last couple of weeks. I still feel a little clumsy and sluggish on it. I realized just yesterday that one of the problems is the basket bolted to the handlebars; it adds just a little too much weight to the front. So I'm going to take the basket off. I'll replace it with either something over the rear wheels or a daypack. I was so thrilled to have a place to carry a water bottle or sheet music that I didn't realize the downside of the basket.
  • I'm somewhat of an introvert. I've learned over the years that I'm not comfortable at social gatherings where I don't know most of the people already. I am best "one on one" or "one on a few". I have begun to turn down potluck dinners, or parties where I know only the hosts. Even if I love the hosts! I say, "I'm grateful and honored that you invited me, but I'm going to say no." I did that for a Thanksgiving invitation even though I knew my husband Art and I might end up spending the holiday alone. I'm pretty sure the hostess understood, and I'm looking forward to having lunch or coffee with her in the next week or so.
  • My husband Art is more of a homebody than I am. He is also a Vietnam veteran. He doesn't much like going to movies, where we're sitting in a dark space surrounded by strangers. He'd rather watch movies on Netflix at home, and we have been doing that for years. This year, I've decided I'll go to movies with friends if the opportunity arises. Then, if the movie is something I think he'll like, I'll add it to our Netflix queue. I have told Art I'd rather go places with him than anyone else, but I'll go with others if he wants to pass. Yesterday I went to see "Three Billboards..." with friends, and I've added it to our queue. I expect to see "Wonder" and "Lady Bird" in the next couple of weeks.
  • Holiday traditions get to change now. Art and I had a ten-minute conversation today about our ideas for the holiday season. We agreed on simple decorations (not put up until December 10), simple gifts for grandchildren, a few candles, maybe a cultural event of some kind. That's about it. This year will be the first in 45 years I don't send cards; I will write a holiday letter and post it on my blog and on Facebook. Art says we have been involved all year with refugees, so we've had Christmas all year.  
  • We have an 18-year-old grandson who's been in the county jail for over a month now, waiting to be sentenced for the outcome of a decision that "looked like a good idea at the time." None of his family members are bailing him out because this time of incarceration is a consequence of his decision and gives him time to think about what he wants to do differently in the future. There was a time when we might have bailed him out "under certain conditions". Or, at the very least, worried about him every day and visited him as often as we could. These days, we mind our own business. We love this kid and we're pretty sure the county jail will be a better teacher than we could be.
  • For the last five years, I have mostly spent my winters "playing" at the Voyager, where we live in the winter. This year I decided it was time to participate in some useful way in the larger Tucson community. Because of the time I've spent in the last year volunteering at the Oinofyta refugee camp in Greece, I've developed an acute consciousness of social injustice, and I want to continue to be useful.  So on Monday night I went to a meeting of a group called No More Deaths (No Mas Muertes). I looked at this group last year, but I had a scheduling conflict that kept me from attending the meetings. I learned last week that there's a legal clinic on the first and third Saturday of the month, where volunteers help people in danger of being deported prepare their cases. I have worked in the court at home and I am a mediator and I am familiar with communication issues and solutions where I speak a different language from the person I am assisting. So I will spend next Saturday afternoon at the legal clinic, seeing how I can help. And tomorrow, I will renew my commitment to learn Spanish using my Rosetta Stone software.

14 comments:

Nancy/BLissed-Out Grandma said...

You will be a real asset in your new volunteer role. We, too, are simplifying Christmas a little more each year.

Kathy @ SMART Living 365.com said...

Hi Linda! Good for you for your willingness to change and adjust as life goes on. I think we can all benefit from that example. And yes to your new volunteer adventure. We also have a large number of undocumented Hispanics here in the southern Californian desert who are been terrorized by ICE. Thom and I joined a group called "No One Stands Alone" who also attempts to help let people know their rights when it comes to immigration issues. Really important work. Your area will be very fortunate to have you...and yes, Thom and I need to work on our Spanish too. Do you recommend Rosetta Stone? ~Kathy

DJan said...

My heart is full in reading this post, knowing that you will be an incredible asset to the community, and the way you are going about it. Hubby and I have never made a big deal about Christmas, because we don't have any family to worry about. My sister and her nephew don't do much either, but she has grandchildren and will probably send them presents. I have other siblings who are very involved with their respective churches and do many very good things at this time of the year. I am so proud to be your friend, Linda. :-)

Georgia Poynor said...

Christmas should be about you, not everyone else. A time of reflection and quiet in a frenzied world. I for one love reading your blog!

#1Nana said...

Love your choice of a volunteer commitment in Tucson. They'll be good stories!

Linda Reeder said...

I always consider simplifying Christmas, but then I realize I would miss all of the preparations and the glitter and the music and the memories remembered and still being made. I'm still in love with Christmas, I guess. Of course I do my best to share this love with others. That feels good too.
There is so much to admire about you, Linda. You are a blessing to many.

Janette said...

So glad to hear you are getting involved in Tucson!!! Once you get started, I think you will find many areas to fill in any time you wish to give. Thank you for doing this!

Barbara - said...

My husband was not a movie theater guy (in his case more adult adhd than ptsd), For years I went to movies without him-I was always that mom who was willing to drive to the mall on Saturday nights so I could go to the movies when the kids hung out. Since we lived away from the greater family (just the four of us), this eventually translated to my daughter and I going to the movies in the after noon while dad and the young man stayed home and enjoyed whatever sporting events were on tv and cooked. The best tradition is what works for you.

Meryl Baer said...

It is so interesting to see how you reevaluate your life, make changes and get involved in new and different activities. You guys are amazing. Good luck with your Tucson clinic volunteering, and enjoy your simplified holiday.The best way to go!

rosaria williams said...

You are such an inspiration.

Roberta Warshaw said...

I am sorry about your grandson. It has to be heartbreaking for you.

Arkansas Patti said...

Wish your grandson luck and a valuable learning lesson. Tough love is often toughest on the givers.

soy gatitos said...

"Art says we have been involved all year with refugees, so we've had Christmas all year."

Art just won the internet.

Olga Hebert said...

Your life if full, which means that there will be the downs as well as the ups. I believe that in the end you make the world a better place for us all.