Saturday, February 9, 2008

"Milestone" reactions

I told my weekend "cohorts" today. Pat's reaction was a gasp of astonishment; Jillian got teary-eyed and said, "I'll miss my buddy!"; Felicia said, "You're too young for that! Aren't you?"; Alissa also teared up and said, "We CAN'T lose you!"; and Pam, who makes the schedule, just hung her head. The things they said were so sweet, and I was so touched. I'm already getting emotional about this (Ken said, "Gee, that's a surprise!" Ha!), and I've got two months to go! Oh, and Jillian said, "This better not mean you're dropping out of the book club!" I assured her that I would not.

I also want to say how much I appreciate the comments you all have left, and how much they touched me. Knowing that you feel happiness for what is happening really makes my day! You all make some really good points, too, and I'll talk about those a little bit. I didn't copy any comments, so I won't be attributing them to anyone in particular, but all the comments can be found in the original entry.

Someone wrote that I probably can't just stay home and read all day...well, knowing me, I probably could! But I agree, I won't do that. I really liked the comments about volunteer work, and that is something I've thought about, too. There's a wonderful state park close by, and they always need volunteer help. We belong to the local chapter of the Audubon Society, so that's another possibility, and there's always the library! I plan on remaining open to the opportunities that arise, and I believe that if you keep an open mind, things will present themselves. (I also believe in pursuing something if you really want it, and I can be pretty strong-willed!) Some time ago, a guy that Ken worked for gave him a book called Half Time by Bob Buford. It's about what you do after you stop your climb to the top of the ladder and start making your way into your "golden years." Ken liked it so much he asked me to read it, and it gave us both a lot to think about. Part of the book's description says, "Half time, then, is a quiet time of deliberate decision-making, restructuring, and passionate contemplation of your heart's deepest desires."

It made us talk about things we might like to do when we retire, whether it's working with Habitat for Humanity or other organizations. We both believe that there are still important things for us to do, but they may not be in our current area of expertise. I'm actually getting excited about pursuing old interests and finding new ones. I know it will be a transition for me, and for us as a couple, but I have faith and confidence in our ability to really enjoy it.

As Shane wrote, I believe the best is yet to come....

A little bit later

I just got the nicest email--Jimmy of Jimmy's Journal has made me an honorary member of Area 51. I'm glad, I'm pleased, I--I'm tickled pink! (If anyone besides me remembers that commercial, I'll be amazed...and I think I'm showing my age!) Thanks, Jimmy!


buckoclown said...

One of the things we talked about was becoming Red Cross certified.  This again hit home here watching the news and reading the paper today.  There have been floods in many areas, with people having to leave their homes (and pets) to go to the Red Cross shelter.  There was a great article in our paper about how county officials went back to help the pets.  As can be expected, the dogs were outgoing and friendly, and the cats hid.  They made sure that the food, water, and kitty litter were on dry ground though. Have to say, this round to the drooling dogs. :o)

karensull12 said...

I think you'll have plenty of things to do, and see.  I love reading as well.  I think it's great that you have worked so hard to get to this point and are now where you planned on being.  Congrats!

luvrte66 said...

Thanks for the good wishes, Karen!


deshelestraci said...

I really can't imagine that you would just sit around...interesting that people felt the need to advise you on what to do with your time.

luvrte66 said...

Oh, I don't mind, Traci. Frankly, I haven't planned anything out, really, and I have no problem with suggestions. I'm sure that initially, I WILL do lots of reading, but I also know that I will find an interest that really grabs me and gets me fired up. I know that's hard to imagine, but I think it will happen. ;)


rdautumnsage said...

I can definitely say when you no longer find yourself under obligations to "work" it becomes an inner spiritual journey....You see yourself in a whole new light and expand on that part of you....I've often been asked how I do it. My favorite saying is when you quiet your mind and listen to your heart, really listen the world begins to make sense....When your doing a daily grind more often than not you can't simply shut down and quiet your mind.

As for what Ken said, the animals and pets are usually the first to be abandoned in critical moments. There are still dogs and cats sitting in no kill shelters around the US left over from Katrina and that was a few years ago. Pickles was passed around to different shelter's for over a year, before she came to the agency that trained her for me.....I know there is the human equivalent...but while they rebuild their lives, there often isn't any room left to give another thought to the animals they left behind....(Hugs) Indigo

aubsy4269 said...

WOW... okay after the initial shock wore off and a few tears passed... mostly tears of joy for you, a few of jeoulousy and sadness for those of us that struggle everyday, and many for the lonely days ahead without you... (you ARE my go-to person, what ever will I do now???)  I have a few things to say.  You will be missed dearly.  Not only your smiling face and tears of laughter, but your never ending knowledge.  Also congratulations!!!  It will be so wonderful for you (and the world) to share your time with other things besides that place.   Go out enjoy life!!!  I know you will.  Lastly GOOD LUCK, not to you but to all those people trying to keep up on your journal.  Think the verbosity is bad with one day off... HA!  Just imagine a lifetime of days off. :)  Just kidding (mostly).  I am looking forward to hearing about your many new adventures and many new recipes.

Love ya and so very happy for you,
Hey you may want to take that happiness quiz again in a few months, bet your happiness level goes through the roof!

luvrte66 said...

Hey, Aubs...I'm sorry I didn't say anything on Friday, but we were all so busy, and I was still pretty emotional about it! (I guess I still am.) Thank you for what you means so much to me.

Love ya,

queeniemart said...

what is Area 51?
I bet your coworkers give you a huge send off before you go.......a well deserved one.

jimsulliv3 said...

Hi Beth, and welcome to AREA 51. You're icon looks good in your journal. Have a great Sunday.


luvrte66 said...

Thanks, Jimmy! It DOES look pretty good, doesn't it? Lisa asked what Area 51 is, so I snagged your description from your journal to explain it: "AREA 51 is not a place, but a state of mind located in every watering hole. As you are well aware, the government denied for years that AREA 51 existed, but we know that it does. Fortunately, not everyone knows exactly where it is, so we selfishly enjoy the anonymity while others just cruise on by, wandering aimlessly in the happy hour atmosphere."

I like that.