Tag Archive | thoughts on life

COVID Diaries: Day 464

It’s the weekend! Unfortunately, it is going to be a scorcher! The Pacific Northwest is going to have record breaking heat through Monday, and in an area where most of us don’t have air conditioning! It is supposed to be 96 degrees here on Monday!

Still, I made it through my workweek and I’m glad to get a few days of a break, so that’s cause for celebration.

I’m hoping to get some home purging done, going through closets and drawers, and getting rid of things I don’t need. Let’s see how I do!  I’m sure I’ll have to carry the fan around throughout the house as I go, and point it directly at me.  I also want to give this blog some attention, and go through the photos from my trip!

Next week, our state is going to fully reopen.  It’s been a long time coming, as we are one of only four states yet to reopen.

On my flight home on Sunday, I watched Nomadland, with Frances McDormand.  First of all, she is an incredible actress.  Second of all, even though the movie was hyped as super-depressing, I was inspired!  I have been thinking an awful lot over the last year about my road trip and getting back on the road.  I’ll admit that I plan to do it with quite a bit more of a safety net in terms of money but traveling around and seeing the country (and the world), has such an appeal for me!  I’ve been focusing on saving money for my early retirement throughout COVID, and this just makes me want to buckle down and get there faster!

Life is short, and nothing is guaranteed, so we should do what we can to achieve our dreams.  I always feel so grateful that my parents had 20 years of retirement to enjoy before my father died, but that was only because he retired at 53.  What if he had waited until he was 65?  If there is anything that I have learned, it is that I’m not working a day longer than I have to.

Happy Friday everybody!

COVID Words of Wisdom: “We have two lives, and the second begins when we realize we only have one.” ― Confucius

Book Review: Keep Moving

Keep Moving: Notes on Loss, Creativity and Change, by Maggie Smith

“Accept that you do not get to choose who loves you, who keeps their promises, who forgives.  But you can choose to love, to keep your promises, to forgive.  Choose well.  Have — and live — your own say.  Keep Moving.” 

Keep Moving: Notes on Loss, Creativity, and Change

Maggie Smith experienced the crushing loss of divorce, after 20 years of marriage.  To begin healing and moving on, she told herself that everyday, she must write.  It might be nothing but a few sentences, but she wrote.  This book is a collection of the things she wrote, the things she told herself to keep moving.

Each quotation expresses the profound sorrow of loss, but also the idea of hope.  In reading them, her readers can choose which resonate the most; which quotations help them to keep moving.

“Tell yourself kinder truths.  You are not failing at life; you are reeling, sure, but you are succeeding at surviving.  Keep Moving.”

5 stars.

 

COVID Diaries: Day 411

Another weekend has come and gone.  It’s back to the grind.  I have already had a long morning, and I don’t have much inspiration at the moment, so the grind is probably going to be harder… 

A few days ago, I finished my most recent puzzle.  Castle Donan Eilean in Scotland.  One day, I’d like to visit Scotland again.  Mom wants to go to Ireland – I can’t wait to travel again.  All that dreaming led me to book a weekend at the coast – a few days of beachcombing will have to do for now.

I’m loving the nicer weather, although it rained for good portion of last week. I always love seeing the blue sky peek out from the clouds!

I’ve been reading quite a bit lately – I finished three books this weekend! 

My new rock polisher came and I started in on my second batch of rocks.  So far, so good on round two. My beachcombing weekend will give me a lot of opportunity to scout for some new rocks!

Counties are being locked down again – the word is that we will miss the culling tomorrow, but we will probably get locked down again in 3 weeks.  I guess we’ll see.  It helps me to save money, I suppose.  And Cora loves it…

COVID Words of Wisdom: You never know how hard someone had it before they became soft, and you never know the ugliness they had to go through to have such a beautiful heart.  Sometimes we learn grace from the worst times of our lives and that’s what saves us.  – Stephanie Bennett-Henry

COVID Diaries: Day 345

It’s my weekend! 

It’s a beautiful, partly-sunny morning, the birds are chirping, and I have a date with the rake and the yard waste toter.  My yard is once again littered with small branches and pine cones from the wind storms, as well as fall leaves that are still hanging out in the nooks and crannies.  I also need to do the dreaded deep clean of the house.  It is needed.  When did life become about doing chores?  There really has to be a better way.

Last weekend Shelley and I did a FunDay and went down to Stanwood and Camano Island to do some state park exploring and girl bonding.  The sprinkles of rain weren’t too bothersome and we enjoyed searching the parks for little plastic clue balls.  It is an annual event where if you find a hidden clue ball, you can turn it in for a blown glass ball.  They are beautiful!  We didn’t find any, but it was a wonderful, relaxing way to explore a new area and let the stress of the work week fade away.  We also learned some tips and tricks to employ next year.  We tried out the food at a relatively new brewery in Stanwood, SAAL Brewing, and it was delicious! 

I also finished my latest book club book, and finished my Bend to Whistler Challenge!  I walked 700 miles between October 1, 2020 and February 19, 2021.  We had six months from our start date to finish the challenge, so I’m still tracking my miles.  I want to see how far I end up at the end of March. 

 

Monday night I completed the 2,000 piece puzzle I had been working on – it only took me 17 days!  Clearly my puzzle skills have been honed by a year of lockdown…

Restaurants are back open at 25% capacity, so on an evening walk to drop off books at the library we decided to stop at a brewery in town for their to-die-for bison burger.  The last time we were there was in early September, for our birthday lunch.  Yes, Shelley and I are birthday twins.  How often do you find a friend who shares your birthday!?  The burgers were amazing, and the company was perfect. 

At work I completely wrapped up a project I’ve been working on for almost a year, and came within a stones throw of finishing a second one.  That felt good!  These were monotonous and tedious tasks with no benefit to the organization; they are simply a statutory requirement.  It felt good to be able to finish something that has taken a lot of time away from my regular duties! 

Last night I made the transition to the weekend by watching a Facebook Live Event on the Ghost Towns of Washington State.  Many I have heard of, but some were brand new to me!  One of the ghost towns featured I have visited; Monte Cristo is accessed by an eight mile round trip hike, as the road and railroad line long ago stopped being maintained and eventually washed out.  I even blogged about it!  I definitely need to do a ghost town road trip one of these days. If you want to check out Washington State Ghost Towns, here it is

It feels nice to be feeling like myself again.  I know so many of you are feeling the same way – the endless, aimless drifting of a surreal “new normal.”  Thankfully, spring is less than a month out and the days are still getting longer and brighter!

COVID Words of Wisdom: “Kill the part of yourself that still wants to save someone who walked away while you were drowning.” –Unknown

 

 

 

COVID Diaries: Day 328

I’m exhausted.  Like bone tired, even after what I feel like is a good night’s sleep.  I’m burning the candle at both ends because one of my employee positions is vacant, but the work doesn’t slow down, it just falls harder on the two of us who remain. I think there’s a light at the end of the tunnel though, as interviews are Thursday!

There’s a cold front blowing in, well right about now, that’s supposed to bring below-freezing temps, high winds and maybe even snow…  I can’t decide if I want this or not.  The snow part – I definitely know I don’t want the bitter cold and the wind!  I guess it’s fine as long as the power doesn’t go out…  Aforementioned interviews on Thursday and all…

I need a break in a bad way, but the combination of the workload, plus still not being able to go anywhere anyway keeps me trying to buckle down and wait it out. Who else is feeling this way?  Do you have any brilliant ideas to break up the monotony?

Last Friday was two years since my dad died.  Most people don’t remember the day specifically, and I suppose you wouldn’t, but I dreaded it for weeks ahead of time.  I was working, so it wasn’t as hard as I feared, but the days after got progressively harder for some reason that I can’t really explain.  Yesterday was the hardest – low, low energy…  I miss him so much still.

I have an meeting with my financial advisor next week to see how I’m progressing towards my early retirement goals.  After my horse died last March, I put extra money to my retirement fund, because, well, horses are expensive.  I’m excited to find out what that means in terms of the long game.  I literally cannot wait until I can retire!  COVID and lockdown has certainly put that into even sharper focus for me.  I’m ready to really enjoy what I’ve worked hard to build.

COVID Words of Wisdom: “How do you know if a man values you?” You wouldn’t even be questioning it.  –Unknown

 

COVID Diaries: Day 131

We have now been at this for over four months.  Four months!  I’m tired.  It feels like one endless cycle of workdays and weekends, with the occasional grocery shopping trip.  Well, who am I kidding.  It has been that endless cycle – the furthest I have traveled in the last four months has been to work, and even that is very rare.  I need a vacation!

I’m still trying to keep track of an endless series of rules and guidelines.  Last week I could still eat inside in a restaurant but this week that’s banned.  You are supposed to wear a mask in public, which is simple enough and has been in place for weeks, but apparently being at home with people you don’t live with is now “in public.”  That’s new.  How are people supposed to keep up?  I still haven’t been able to get a haircut and now I wonder if I’ll get in before that rule changes again. Good thing I don’t dye my hair or have a fancy hairstyle.

This week in the sermon the priest said, “hell is an absence of anything and everything but yourself.  Do you really want to spend an eternity with just you?”  He wasn’t talking about COVID, but it certainly felt relevant.  Of course, lately I’ve been feeling like maybe that’s not so bad.  The ranting, the judgment, the call out and cancel culture, and some people’s beliefs that their opinions are the only right opinions – it is wearing on me.

The sun has been out though, and I have been spending some time on the deck reading.  COVID is definitely a boost for churning through books!

Thursday night I went with Lelani to the beach after work.  We picked up fried chicken dinners from the grocery store along the way, hiked in and relaxed while drinking wine from a can with our dinners.  An impromptu photo shoot and my sassy mood resulted in my new favorite photo of myself!  The weather was windy and slightly chilly, my hair was a mess, but the waves on the shore did the trick.  This girl’s soul needs the ocean.

My sassy self!

That hair!

I have also been working on pruning some of the big shrubs and trees in the yard; they were badly pruned five years ago (not by me), and they have finally grown back in the right places to attempt to prune them back into a better shape.

I pinched a nerve in my right shoulder a few weeks ago and ouch!  It has been painful.  Hopefully a second trip to the chiropractor this week will have me on the mend; it is not fun!

Last night I went to a very small BBQ, and had salmon, shrimp and home grown zucchini.  I brought the wine.  It was a rye barrel aged red blend from Beringer, and it was quite good!  It was this month’s wine club red, and it was certainly not something I would pick on my own, so it was great to be introduced to something new!  It paired well with a warm evening and good company.

I hope you are all well, and able to get out and enjoy the summer!