Sunday, April 13, 2014

A week in ordinary time

It seemed like an ordinary week. But if I compare it to a week from, say, two years ago, I see that my "ordinary" has changed.

One of the priorities I set back in 2012 was to attend to my spirituality. I wasn't sure what that meant, but I knew I wanted to. Now I'm a regular attendee at Sunday services in a denomination to the left of mainstream, and I fit right in there. I'm part of a small group in that community that meets a couple of times a month. This week we discussed disabilities - how we learned as children to respond to disabilities in others, how we grew (or not) past that, and our attitudes now that we are sometimes disabled ourselves. I like the perspective this small group provides me. On Thursday night Art and I attended an event on freedom led by a rabbi I'd heard about. The event included chant and meditation. Two years ago I wouldn't have gone. It would have been too different for comfort. And yesterday, we went to a talk about investing our time and our money in opportunities that align with our values. Like sustainability and clean energy and making contributions to local small businesses. I'm also doing some reading in the area of left-of-mainstream spirituality. I heard it described as "spiritual oneness theology" and that's pretty close to how I understand it.

When I set out to explore spirituality, I didn't know what roads I would walk. Where I am now seems quite natural, but it's not at all where I would have guessed I'd be. Pretty cool! I'm learning that if I put my intentions out there, the path opens up.

I got a massage on Monday. I do that nearly every week since we own part of a massage clinic. I would never have guessed I'd be doing this in the second half of my life. I lie down on a table for 90 minutes and a skilled person takes good care of my muscles and my spirit. What a treat! I have been doing this for more than two years, though, so it's a long-term "ordinary".

I met a friend for lunch on Tuesday. She's a judge in a local court that I met last year while mediating in small claims, and she's retiring this year. She and her husband have bought a motorhome and want to start traveling. She wanted to know about the 55+ resort in Arizona where we spend the winter. I told her about the many activities and interesting people.  She thinks they may want to spend a month there next year. Word of mouth is the best advertising, I think. It would be great to have her and her husband there. Two years ago I would never have imagined we'd be spending winters in Arizona.

I had a mediation on Wednesday. After I retired I took 140 hours of training to become a certified mediator. I hadn't done a mediation in five months and I was a little worried that I might have forgotten how. I hadn't! Like riding a bicycle, I'd say. And, as usual, when I drove home I was grateful for my life and the opportunities I've been provided. Here I am, nearly 66, and still active and healthy and able to participate in numerous areas of interest. 

I have aches and pains, of course - I had forgotten I had arthritis in Arizona and I am now reminded daily here in Washington! - but my life is pretty good.  Two  years ago I don't think I had arthritis. I really didn't think I'd ever get it. The Peter Pan syndrome, you know? But here I am, like many people my age, wishing I could get out of bed one morning and not hurt anywhere. I remember my mother used to say that, and I thought she was exaggerating. She wasn't.

I thought that after three months without espressos I would have overcome the habit, but I haven't.  I love sharing a few minutes of conversation with the barista in my neighborhood - and his mother who works a shift each day. So nice to keep my connections.

Today it was beautiful and sunny. Our grandson Kyle came over and I taught him how to test the garden soil to see what nutrients it needed, then add them and then plant lettuce and spinach and peas. Kyle is 14 and I think he likes to come over. When he gets dropped off he usually comes into the house. "Hi, Grandma." I know we'll have some kind of conversation where I can actually get him to talk. I'm pretty good at that with kids and teenagers. Seems like just yesterday I was doing it with our own teenagers. Kyle is very motivated to get no grades lower than a C this quarter. We will be celebrating by taking a trip to New York City - his most-wanted place to visit. I'm thinking about how much energy it will take to keep up with him. Ground Zero will be good, and the Empire State Building I can do. But a Yankees game! That means taking the subway across town and sitting in stands for several hours. I will really have to pace myself. But the time with Kyle will be wonderful. There's nothing cooler than watching the carefully blank face of a teenager transform into a grin at something I say. "Score"!

I had a list of things to do today. Got hardly anything done except what came along, none of which was on the list. The list will wait. 


DJan said...

You do sound so content with your life the way it is today, Linda. You are definitely a "doer" and keep finding new ways to grow and change. I'm so happy you got us Vashonistas together, too! :-)

Olga said...

You sound very content with life and what a wonderful state to achieve.

Madeline Kasian said...

Oh,Linda, your week sounds wonderful.You seem to have struck a balance of spirit, physical activities,family,marriage that is nourishing. I appreciate your sharing your stories and reminding us to stay open to change!!

The part of my life I wish could be different would be family:Our (mu husband's brothers and my sis in laws) and nieces and nephews) are mostly cross the country and I have no siblings. I had an only child and of course hindsight is 20/20 I sure wish I had had FOUR!!

Luckily my husband and I are close and best friends..our son and his girlfriend are close too.. and I am going to be volunteering with some womens/childrens groups.

Thanks fro taking time to share with us!

#1Nana said...

I do admire how you have taken charge of your retirement and made choices about how you spend your time.

Arkansas Patti said...

You have one of the most open to experience minds I have ever met. There will be no moss growing on your shoulders.
Of all you do, that 90 minute massage appeals the most to me. Ahhh.

Linda Reeder said...

Linda, whatever you decide to do, you do it expertly. And we all learn from you.

Sally Wessely said...

I could just feel your spirit coming through this post. You go girl. You are attending to your self care and doing much for others. I had to laugh when I read the part about your mother. Someday, my kids will get that as you age things start to hurt. I think they will be surprised just as we were.

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Chris said...

Hi Linda, isn't retirement grand!! I'm just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day and a Happy Easter. Hugs, Chris

wheels4me said...

Welcome home!