Tag Archive | life

Weekend Musings: July 17, 2021

I can’t help but lament that summer is already halfway over, and I feel like I haven’t really done anything yet?!

I mean, I did take my trip to Minnesota, but technically that was still spring.  I need a summer vacation! 

So, in pretty boring news, I’ve been taking evening walks, reading, and doing a bit of purging and organizing.  I did take a load of stuff to Goodwill a week and a half ago, and I need to keep up the motivation! 

I also finished my latest puzzle about a week and a half ago.  Time to start a new one!

My workplace is all going back into the office full-time on Monday.  I’m torn on this.  I have enjoyed working at home, and I have enjoyed not having that long, long commute everyday.  That said, the decision has been made, and I am looking forward to having some more in-person interaction.  Cora and Yellow are going to be in for a rude awakening!  And I’m going to see a lot more sunrises!  Long-term though, I hope I’ll be able to do a hybrid schedule where I’m only in the office a couple of days a week. 

Yesterday afternoon I took a little trip up to a beach about 20 miles away, and did some rock hunting.  I found some pretties for the polisher.  It’s so weird to be able to look across the water at Canada and not be able to go there!  The border has been closed for almost a year and a half!  That has had a huge impact on the economy of my community, which has always relied on Canadian shoppers and tourists.  Ah, the things you don’t see on the news.  

Yesterday marked the three year anniversary of the day I began my big road trip.  It has been craving a road trip soooo bad!  I just want to pack up and hit the road!  Unfortunately, with the job and all, that’s not going to be an option for a while.  The good news is that I have a week away coming up in a few weeks.  That should give me the break I’m needing! 

 

September Do-Over?

September is generally a fairly dry month in the Pacific Northwest, with dry, sunny weather that lasts long into fall, even as the temperatures drop.  Not so this year.  Seattle’s monthly September rainfall averages 1.5 inches, but this year, we have already seen 2.77 inches of rain (as of September 23).  That was several days ago, and it has rained quite a bit more since then.  So we have had double our annual average of rain this month!

I’m over it.  Done.  I’m not ready to jump in puddles or scoop up soggy piles of leaves.  I’m not ready for the eternal gray dreariness of winter.  I want summer.  Or at least a dry, sunny, crisp beautiful fall.  I want to hear the leaves crunch under my feet and see a blue sky above.  I want to feel the crisp air without raindrops soaking through my clothes.  Is that too much to ask?

To make it perfectly clear….

This.

Not This…

This is 44

Yesterday was my 44th birthday.  It was uneventful and quiet.  I went to work, and received very little birthday attention.  My two employees got me a card and a little succulent plant, and our payroll person wished me a happy birthday in a mostly empty lunchroom.  I like it that way.

After work, mom and I went out to sushi dinner, and although I fully intended on taking a birthday selfie with her, I forgot.  Sigh…  Dinner was delicious, and I tried a soft shell crab appetizer for the first time.  You even eat the shell!  Verdict – it was fine, but not amazing.  My cherry blossom roll was delicious – and mom even tried a bite of it – with raw fish!  She said it was fine, but not amazing…

Today I spent some time with some girlfriends. We went to the local Greek Festival, then a brewery, and poked around in an antique shop and a consignment shop.  I bought an antique book about Alexander Hamilton, and a one pound bag of assorted coins.  We each took turns picking a coin until we had chosen them all – it was fun!

43 was a year with a lot of ups and downs.  I started it in Maine, on my road trip, spending my birthday hiking Acadia National Park, and eating whole lobster and lobster rolls right on the coast, looking out over the water.  It’s hard to beat that.

Relaxing

I found love again, and found hope that I wouldn’t always be on my own.

I came home from my trip and got ready to get back into my career after my time away.

I lost my favorite boss and long-time mentor right before Christmas.

I lost my father in February.  I have had a new set of firsts to experience – first time visiting Dad at the cemetery, first Father’s Day, first birthday without him at my birthday dinner.  Those milestones are hard.

I found a new job which I enjoy.

My spring and summer have been spent working, with a few long weekend getaways mixed in.  It isn’t enough travel, but for now it will have to do.  I watch that vacation balance like a hawk, and in the meantime just try to put away as much money as I can for my early retirement.

I’ve got plans.  This life has a way of changing those plans from time to time, but I will keep doing what I can to get to where I want to be.  44 will be a good year!

 

 

 

Nine Years

Yesterday, WordPress gave me a notification that it has been nine years since I started this blog.  Nine long years.  It got me thinking about where I was nine years ago.

The Hanoi Taxi

(Above is one of the first photos of me that I posted on this blog – it was taken a few years before I started writing here – in 2008, I believe.  I was thinner and more camera shy!)

I was still working in my first public sector Human Resources job; the one I started exactly 16 years ago today, as a matter of fact.  So many anniversaries!  I wasn’t going to be there much longer; it was a great place to work, and I enjoyed most of the people that I worked with, but it was a small organization and that meant there wasn’t any career progression to be had.  Moving up meant moving on.

I wasn’t married yet back then.  I got married less than a month after I started this blog; it was originally his idea, something that we could do together.  But his attention span meant that he lost interest a few weeks in.  I’m a Virgo – in it for the long haul once I start something.

Of course, I had no idea that my marriage would be a relatively brief period of my life; I had no inkling of the downward spiral that he was to go through.  Even more than three years after we separated, he still pops up from time to time, texting to try to manipulate me.  I’m never sure if anything he says is true; I would be surprised if it were.  I am fairly certain that he is drinking when he sends them though.

A few things are the same; I still have many of the same friends, the same horse, the same car.  Dad is gone now.  My boss and mentor from that first public sector job is gone too.  I’ve had a few jobs in the last nine years, moving up in my career to more responsible roles.  I have some grey hair to go with the increased responsibility.

My love for travel has increased exponentially, a result of having a higher salary and more vacation time with which to nurture it.  My road trip last summer was incredible, as was my trip to London, and multiple shorter trips to places in the United States.  This love will be with me forever.

I like that I have this record of my life, here in these pages.  Even the hard parts of it.  I like that I can relive the happy moments.  I like that I can look back and see that I have moved past the painful moments.

In these nine years, I have had successes and failures, joy and sorrow, love and loss.  I have tried to be the best person I could be.

I have grown.  I have grown older, and I would like to think wiser.  I am better able to recognize when to hang on, and when to let go.  I have worked at forgiving people for their shortcomings; for disappointing me and letting me down when perhaps they too were trying to be the best person they could be.  I have worked at not taking it personally when those people’s shortcomings cause them to unleash their anger and venom on me.  I have worked to accept that it generally has nothing to do with me.  I have worked to accept, in general.

I am still growing.  I am working to learn and succeed in my new job, and the new life that I find myself in.  We don’t always get to choose the life that finds us, but if you let it wash over you, you might just find, as I have, that it suits you.

One of my most recent pics; from last weekend

Hold on, enjoy the ride, and make the most of it.  I can’t wait to see what the next nine years brings me.

The Circus Trip: Revealed

I have said before that this blog has been my happy place for the last several years.  I love travel, history, and wine, and I love sharing my adventures with all of you.  Yet they say change is the one constant, and that holds true in my own life too.

As a result of recent life changes, I have been doing a lot of self-reflection, and a lot of way-finding.  As this directional adjustment is going to include travel, and likely quite a bit of wine, it only makes sense to me that I include you on my journey here.  It is guaranteed to be a lot bumpier and more raw than some of my other journeys, but the rest is basically unknown territory.

As is to be expected, I have felt a bit lost after my divorce.  I know a lot of people do.  My divorce wasn’t easy or amicable and I found that the man I thought I had married wasn’t at all the man I had thought he was.  I don’t want to dwell on this or relive it, but it certainly contributed to my feelings of loss recently, as have some other events.  They have damaged my ability to trust, and I am still healing.  It’s pretty amazing how a few people and their actions can make you question your self-worth so thoroughly, even when you are a confident, intelligent, capable person.

As one of my employees is fond of saying, “What fresh fuckery is this?”  I feel like I have experienced more than my fair share of fuckery lately, and I need to let it go.  There are a whole lot of circus animals out there that just aren’t mine to care about anymore…  And therein lies the title of this post…

Often though, in the face of adversity, there is opportunity.  I have decided to do something huge, just for me; I am quitting my job to travel the U.S. for a few months.  Just me and my car, whom I have named Viaje.   I need to find myself again.

I never thought that I would be a person who would just hit the road without much of an itinerary or a timeline; that world is for hippier, more free-spirited people than me.  But I think something more extreme is what I need to get out of the rut I find myself stuck in.  I need to figure out again that I am strong and capable, and that I am enough.  I need to relearn that there is purpose in this life.  I need to know that there are kind people in this world, even if I know I will run into some unkind ones too.  Hopefully the kind ones will outnumber the jerks.  I need to figure out how to make it alone.  I need to see and feel peace again.  I need to heal.

I am on a budget, unless one of you wants to be my anonymous benefactor, so I’ll be doing it with a combination of car camping and couch-surfing, with perhaps the occasional hotel night thrown in if I am really itching for a good, hot shower and some TV (I can’t let that happen too often though – darned budget).  If any friends and family, both well-known and little known, are interested in sharing some time, or inviting me for a brief stay to connect or reconnect and find some laughter and human connection, I would welcome that!

I won’t be going everywhere, but if you would like to get together, and/or are willing to put up with me for a night or two (or more, but that would be completely up to you and my itinerary), let me know here and we’ll see if I will be in your area.

The next few months of blog posts are likely to deal more with my emotional experience than I have revealed here in the past, but I decided that my process of healing needs to include that level of openness.  Maybe someone else can benefit from my trials.  Other antics may include freezing my butt off, sweating to death, not being able to get the camp stove working, singeing my hair in a campfire, spraying bug spray in my eye, turning into one giant, itchy mosquito welt (they love me) and being bitten by (hopefully not) ticks.  The trip is also bound to include some gorgeous sunsets, great hikes, fantastic historical sites, and wine consumed from either a mug or a melamine cup…  There might even be smores!

They say what doesn’t kill you…??? To that end, I will still be posting here, and as I still have a ton of previous trip stuff to catch up on (including a trip to London that I arrived home from early this morning!!!), this blog will be a combination of past and present posts.  I will likely be posting less frequently though, as I will have to find a place for the night each night…  Priorities…  You will be more likely to find current updates on Instagram or Twitter (my username on both platforms is @wineandhistory), so I hope you will follow along there as well.

I hope you will follow along on this crazy adventure of mine!