- Became a certified mediator, mediating about 100 cases at my county's dispute resolution center and in small claims court
- Joined a very liberal church community
- Became a snowbird, spending two months in Tucson in 2013 and increasing the amount of time to seven months in 2019
- Volunteered five times at a refugee camp in Greece
- Volunteered at an asylum-seekers' shelter in Arizona
- Set up and maintained the accounting for a nonprofit with a 500,000 annual budget
- Took 72 trips of three days or longer
- Wrote 630 blog posts
I've always liked to be busy and to keep my mind engaged. That is still the case. But this summer I've shifted:
- I've only done one small claims court mediation, and no family disputes, since I got home from Tucson, where we spend our snowbird months. I've realized the activities no longer "call" me. I use my mediation skills nearly every day in my ordinary life, and I love that. But I've moved on. I didn't actually acknowledge it until last month - and last week I notified the dispute resolution center and the small claims team that I wanted to be taken off their lists.
- I haven't attended a church service all summer. I have had multiple conversations with church people - the pastor and people involved in social justice programs - but that was about the possibility of facilitating opportunities for congregation members to volunteer with one of the immigration programs in Tucson. Not sure why I'm not going on Sundays.
- Except for my trip to London last month, I'm not doing much walking. And I'm not swimming. I don't like that about myself, but there it is. Once we get to Tucson it will become part of my routine again.
Here's what I AM doing at home:
- Having good conversations with my closest friends.
- Catching up on reading the magazines I subscribe to.
- Checking books out of the library.
- Going through drawers and closets and photo albums.
- Finishing up the accounting work for the nonprofit.
- Clearing out emails.
- Being a helpmate, as needed, to my husband recovering from thumb surgery with his arm in a cast. That means a lot of errand running, which he usually does.
- Hiring people to maintain the lawn and clean the carpets.
- Getting the house ready for Art's son Jason and his family to be living here for a year.
Early next month we leave for Tucson, and we will be there for a year. It wasn't in our plan until Father's Day, when it came up in a phone conversation between Jason and Art. It just happened into our lives. That's actually how things usually work out for me, anyway. We've been considering a permanent move for several years - me more seriously than Art - but this year is a perfect time to see if it's what we want, without having to sell the house first.
Here's what I'm doing to prepare for Arizona:
- Researching e-bikes. We've found what we want, and we'll buy it on September 8 in Phoenix.
- Researching OLLI (Osher) classes in Green Valley, half an hour from our Arizona place. We'll arrive early enough and stay long enough to take advantage of all the course offerings.
- Thinking about carpet colors.
- Deciding which three decorative pieces I want to have in Arizona.
- Getting my car ready to drive down. We'll need both cars if we're there for a year.
The changes - what I'm leaving behind - are not sacrifices. They're more like evolutions. I'm not ripping myself away from home. I'm sliding into something new.