Saturday, August 3, 2019

What I'm leaving behind

I quit my last paying job just about nine years ago. Here's what I've done since then:
  • 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.


DJan said...

It sounds perfect: getting a chance to spend a year there and then decide what to do next. I love your evolution, and as long as you keep blogging (so I can know what you're up to), it's all good! :-)

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

I love your last few sentences, They're more like evolutions. I’m not ripping myself away from home. I’m sliding into something new.” That sounds like the perfect way to do things.

dkzody said...

Sounds like a good "slide."

Janette said...

You are my hero. I would like to slide into my next part of life (which includes a move as well).

Debbie V. said...

I enjoy your posts. The things you say are happening in my own life - the evolutionary slide into a new phase. I don't have to force anything, just following my heart.

Linda Reeder said...

You are transitioning into a new phase of life. Enjoy your "slide".

Maebeme said...

I'm new to retirement and I hope to be as productive and flexible in mine as you have been in yours.

Enjoy this change whether it be temporary or permanent.

Arkansas Patti said...

Eileen said it well, you amaze all of us with your flexibility and you make the changes seem effortless. Enjoy this new phase.

Nancy/BLissed-Out Grandma said...

When I read your blog, I always think about it’s tit — Bag Lady in Waiting. I never did believe you were destined to be a bag lady! But you have managed to exceed even your own expectations, by being open to new possibilities. You’re a good role model!

Elizabeth said...

Have a happy slide! I just ripped myself out if my old habitat and haven't yet a new one. Sometimes that is the only way and I am happy to be on my journey. Love your blog!

Deb said...

I think changing homes, locations, even cultures, are the kind of stimuli we need to keep us from becoming set in our ways, fearful of stepping outside our own little circle. As we spent the 1st night in our new home on August 1st I counted the number of times we've moved since the millennium. Eight times in 19 years, and four of those places we've owned. We bought our last place sight unseen.

You are fearless and look forward to the challenges and joys of learning new things, meeting new people and enlarging your horizons. That kind of attitude goes a long way toward easing "the slide". I hope it all works out for you. Tucson is such an interesting place to live. But you know that already. :) Buena suerte!

Terra said...

This sounds like a good idea to try the move for a year. I hope when you are there you will find a church to join and will attend services; you mentioned you aren't quite sure why you are not attending recently. Maybe it is in preparation for your big move. Those ebikes sound like they will be both fun and useful.

Allison said...

Congratulations on making the leap. We bought a house last April, and then immediately left for the summer. We left again this summer, as well. We find that we no longer enjoy Issaquah and are thinking about selling the RV (our second home) and doing something else. The temperatures in the summer in Tucson are daunting, but then again many people live there all year round.

Madeline Kasian said...

So glad to hear you have a way to test out full time life here in Arizona! I love it.Summers are.. hot.But we on't shovel sunshine! We just slow way down, I have lists on indoor chores and hobbies I do in summer, and we swim in early morning and at night. Ice cold movie theaters, libraries,help too! Two cars? My husband and I are just now making our decision to get rid of one of the cars..the old one that is starting to need too many repairs. We've been doing great using just one car for a month, as a test run. Welcome back to Az!!