Tag Archive | thoughts on life

COVID Diaries: Day 613

I have to go to work tomorrow, but it’s a short work week!

Last week the flooding we expected was worse than anybody imagined.  One man died after he was last seen clinging to a tree, but no one could get to him quickly enough and he was swept away.  Thousands of homes were flooded.  Businesses were ruined.  But amidst all that, there is hope.  The communities affected have pulled together in a way that is heartening.

My mom’s and my homes were fine, with no flooding (I live on a hill).  Getting home from work was a bit challenging one day when the freeway was closed due to repeated landslides, but since that’s the worst that I faced, I really have nothing to complain about.

Here are a few videos, if you would like to see just how bad it was.  Sumas is a community about 40 minutes NE of me, at the border with Canada.

 

This video is much closer to home.

Thankfully, the weather was pretty nice this week and weekend, and the floodwaters have mostly receded.  A lot of community members will have weeks or months ahead before their lives will be back to what they were before. 

Friday night was book club, which is always a nice time with friends.  Over the weekend, I went to a holiday fair with some friends, with lots of rocks and crystals.  Then we went out to lunch and it was so delicious!  We went to the Greek place for a gyro!  The rest of my weekend was spent doing some yard work and chores. 

Back to work tomorrow!

 

 

COVID Diaries: Day 606

I am currently living through an “atmospheric river.”  I swear the weather people are just making it up as they go along, but my mother assures me that this has been a thing before.  So if mom is correct, then clearly I’ve just blocked out my previous traumatic experiences. 

For those of you not living through an atmospheric river, it basically just means that the hard rain continues on and on until you feel that you will surely die of rain.  Inches and inches of rain…  It’s endless.  As in never ending.  UGH…  Some towns in my county are flooding now and the rivers aren’t expected to crest until tomorrow.  I live on a large hill and have no risk of flooding, but it isn’t looking good in some parts of my community.   

I finished my latest puzzle on Friday night. That makes nine this year so far.  And yesterday I booked a weekend getaway to the coast for December. Some sightseeing and agate hunting will be just what the doctor ordered, even though it is possible that we will still be experiencing the “atmospheric river.”  Let’s hope the river is gone by then.

In less rainy news, last weekend I went out for dinner with some girlfriends and had a wonderful time, laughing and catching up.  It was a much needed night out.  I’m constantly remembering that I need to make time for social events and time with friends, even when I might otherwise be tempted to not leave the house.  Girlfriends are good for the soul.  My burger was pretty darned good too.

Thursday I had the day off and my mom and I went out to lunch and checked out an antique shop and a thrift shop.  I picked up a large, awesome glass jar, that I will one day fill with large agates (I dream big)!  I also got a couple of hiking books, including one of local winter hikes.  For when the pouring rain stops, of course. 

And I caught this photo of Yellow and Cora teaming up to check out something outside.  They are getting along!  Yes, Yellow does look a bit skeptical, but he didn’t run away.  They aren’t cuddling up together or anything, but they also aren’t hissing or growling at each other, except on the rare occasions when Cora wants to chase Yellow.

I hope you all are having better weather than we are here in the Northwest!  I leave you with some wisdom – this very thing has been on my mind a lot lately.

COVID Diaries: Day 598

Perhaps the only constant is time.  Regardless of what’s happening in the world, and in your life, whether good or bad, time continues to pass. 

As an adult, you are the only one responsible for how your life turns out.  The only one responsible for whether you are happy, or satisfied, or doing what brings you joy.  Yes, external forces often bring shit into our lives, and we can’t necessarily change that, although I would argue that a fair amount of it can be controlled by the decisions each of us make.  Surround yourself with jerks?  You can reasonably assume they will treat you like a jerk too.  Stay in a job that doesn’t inspire you?  I’m going to guess that you aren’t going to feel very satisfied when you go to work everyday.

But back to the time thing.  It’s been 46 years and change that I’ve been puttering around on this Earth.  There have been joys and trials in that time. 

It has been 28 years since I graduated high school.  So 28 years since I’ve been an adult and responsible for my own decisions and my own life.

It has been 20 years since I got my Master’s degree in business.  20 years since I launched a successful HR career.  10 years since I was first promoted to management.  2.5 years in my current position. 

It has been 3 years since I went on my road trip.  Yes, I’m still not done blogging about it – it’s been a busy 3 years!  I think regularly about how I’m going to make that sort of travel a reality again. 

It has been a little more than 2.5 years since my Dad passed away.  The man I credit with teaching me responsible finances and how to kick ass at making my money work for me.

It has been over 31 years since I got my horse.  I had him for over 30 years, and it has been a little over 1.5 years since he died at the age of 32.

Biz, looking regal before the sedative…

I have lived a blessed life.  I have worked hard for what I have in life.  I have enjoyed many joys.  I’ve had the luxury to travel and have had some incredible experiences.  

But unfortunately, I’m tired of the work I do.  I’m saddened by what I see coming.  I’m burned out.  I entered my career and public service to make a difference, and I am having a hard time feeling like I’m able to do that lately.  I see my friends and colleagues fleeing the state for the first time in my career.  I’ve seen friends and colleagues who are being ruined by the policies that are being enacted in my state.  I’m ready for a change.

I’m a Virgo.  A planner.  A strategist.  Making spontaneous decisions is massively difficult for me.  I think and ruminate and ponder and evaluate for a long time before I’m ready to act.  But I like to think that gives me a good result.  Believe me I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and evaluating about my next chapter and getting ready for what that will bring.  That is giving me hope. 

We all get a finite amount of time on this Earth and we all get to decide how to spend that time.  I’m getting prepared for the next chapter and there are great things coming!  I’m ready to get on with new adventures!

 

COVID Diaries: Day 592

It was a beautiful, sunny weekend, but boy was it cold!

Cora and I snuggled in for some TV watching on Friday night – we watched the 20/20 show on Gabby Petito’s disappearance and murder.  Such a sad story. 

I finished my book for my book club meeting that’s in a couple of weeks, and started the book for next time! 

I went for a couple of hikes in the mornings, just at a local park in town that has a few miles of hiking trails.  It was a good workout, and a nice relaxing time.  I also took a walk down at the waterfront and met some friends for a late lunch.  We even saw a Great Blue Heron relaxing in the sunshine!  Don’t worry, his wing was fine.

I swept all the currently accumulated leaves off my deck, and filled up most of my yard waste toter.  And I did a bit of purging in the closet and drawers, collecting a large shopping bag of shorts and pants to go to Goodwill.  I’ve been having trouble getting motivated to purge stuff, but I was happy that I managed to get some done.  So I feel decently productive.

Time to gear up for the work week, and the arrival of November!  I’m definitely not ready for winter.

COVID Diaries: Day 535…

It’s been a looonnnnggg couple of weeks.  I’m still working everyday in the office, so that’s adding a lot of commute time into the daily schedule.  But what else?

I’m taking this opportunity during my commute to work through some audiobooks on CD.  I’ve finished three so far, after getting a bit of a slow start.  I count this as purging – because after I finish them they can move on to new, bookish homes!  Sadly my most recent book had a recording error and disc 6 had the same tracks as disc 5!  I wasn’t able to hear the end of the book! Thankfully the library has the audiobook version, so all is not lost.

Yellow had to go back to the vet yet again today.  This time to have his wound staples redone.  About a third of his armpit wound has closed, but the rest of that sucker is stubbornly holding on.  He was not pleased when I picked him up to once again rudely shove him into the carrier, so he expressed his strong dissatisfaction by peeing on me.  I mean, some might say he was just scared, but let’s be real, I’m pretty sure he was just pissed off.  I can’t blame him.  Once again though, within a few minutes of our arrival at home, he was willing to forgive me.  He has been enjoyed some loves, and some lap time and and extra lunch meal as I suck up to him.  Of course, I did get smart this time and trimmed his claws last night before this morning’s caging attempt.  I do, at least sometimes, learn things.

I continue to be disappointed at the divisiveness and meanness that is exhibited by so many.  I wonder if when we all look back on these days in a few years, if some people will reflect and feel the slightest bit of shame about how they treated other people.  I guess we will have to see.

My dad’s birthday was last week.  I miss the conversations about world events and his guidance on things.  I miss sitting with him watching the evening news.  Each year is another year where I have new experiences that I don’t get to share with him, and that is hard.

Last night I had book club – a chance to talk about interesting reads with a wonderful group of kind supportive women.  It is still summer, but the evenings have cooled off, so we spent the evening in my friend’s conference room, which has a nice view of the city and the bay.  Sunset photos anyone?

I’ve been on some nice walks around town and the beach, and that always helps me find my happy place.

I hope you are all enjoying the Labor Day weekend with friends, family and loved ones.  Cheers to the last days of summer!

 

 

COVID Diaries: Day 517

A few months ago it seemed that things were looking brighter.  The economy was opening up.  The lock downs were over.  Summer was starting.  I ended the COVID Diaries because it seemed that we could finally move on.  Tonight I am revisiting. 

I’ve been staring at a blank page for a few days, trying to find the words.  And not finding them.  Not finding the means to express the utter disappointment and anxiety I feel about the state of the country. 

I feel like I have never before seen people so pitted against each other on social media.  Maybe it’s true that people say things there that they wouldn’t say in real life.  But it is sad.  It is heartbreaking.  To see people calling others names for having an opinion that differs from your own.  To be attacking someone for their belief system or their choices because you would not have made the same choice.  To assume ill intent when all I have seen is sincere, educated people trying to make the best choices for themselves with the information that is available. 

And then you add in the world crises.  People dying around the world from the decisions and policies of governments over a good portion of my lifetime.  I have limited information, and my opinion is simply that – my opinion.  I try not to judge.  I tried to not cry as I drove to work this morning.  Exhausted. 

My therapist and I talked about the worry box this week.  A place to store those things which you cannot change.  To pack them away until such time that you give them attention, but only for a little while.  And then pack them away again to worry about only those things that you can control.  Tomorrow I will drive to work, write emails and plan for recruitments and counsel managers.  I will revise employment policies and implement insurance policies and get ready for our fall medical renewal.  I will look at old contracts and determine which ones can be destroyed because they are outdated.  I will talk to employees who have the same worries as I do, and keep mine hidden.  I will do those things which I can control. 

Help me to believe that people are inherently kind and good, as my faith is faltering. 

 

Weekend Musings: August 13, 2021

Today I had the day off, and I spent it running errands.  I picked up my new glasses!  Got paint for a deck repair project.  Took Yellow to the vet again.

Yeah.  Poor Yellow.  He has decided he really doesn’t like going in the carrier.  He peed on me as I was manhandling him in…  I can’t blame him.  When I first brought him inside back in May, he had an abscess in his armpit.  A surface wound, that was raw and oozy.  Off to the vet we go for an antibiotic shot.  It didn’t help.  So a stronger antibiotic – pills.  I mean who doesn’t love pilling a cat!?!  No effect.  The abscess was still there.  So then he had a procedure, under anesthesia, to debride the wound and suture it up.  Well guess what?  The sutures didn’t hold.  My poor guy!  So that brings us to today and the peeing incident.  We got to the vet, he cleaned it up again and Yellow is now sporting about 10 staples in his armpit.

He is now lying beside me and seems to have forgiven me.  Let’s hope that the staples hold.  He doesn’t seem to be bothered by them and is resting comfortably.

It is hot here again and smoky, but hopefully the heat and smoke are going to dissipate tomorrow.

On with the weekend!

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