Wednesday, 20 April 2022

pretty good

Sometimes, when I am asked how my week's been, I reply pretty good and then rack my brain to remember what I have done—not always with success.

There is less definition in my days now that I am retired ... and it is generally small pleasures that make life pretty good. It may be solving the world's problems with a friend over coffee or a neighbour's cheery greeting; or it could be walking along the beach at day's end and being uplifted by the soft pink-lavender or orange splendour that greets me; or watching the birds splashing in the birdbath, working out Wordle in less than 4 words, feeling stretched and relaxed after yoga and Zumba, cracking up over something my daughter has said; or helping G... from China with her English.

Monday, 11 April 2022

up down up

Have you ever felt you’ve lost your purpose and are barely finding reason to be and do? Your motivation has faded and your desire to create has vanished. Your tank is empty and even if you find an inkling of life force your mind can’t put a plan together. It can’t decipher nor picture the next move.  You wander aimlessly throughout each day and feel relieved when it’s over. Everything feels so dam hard. You put on a brave face, only offering your nearest and dearest a glimpse of your true feelings.

Monday, 28 March 2022

Fiz: inspired to 'be'

I was inspired by my friend Jean, taking the plunge to marry at 82 and I’m immensely glad I flew over to London for her wedding in December 2016 (see my earlier blog). I hesitated due to the expense (well, just a little) but what a precious time I had, and it seems even more precious now that she has died. I watched her memorial service online and I was inspired all over again.

You see, Jean’s legacy was love. This was made abundantly clear at her memorial service. Jean had enriched the lives of her children, grandchildren, and friends She made you feel valued and cared for, she listened, she was discerning about what you needed (a glass of sherry or an expenses-paid holiday), her ‘darling, how good to see you’ was magic.

I am so fortunate to have had her in my life. And I want to be more like her.

However, it’s not always easy, juggling all the ‘wants’ and ‘shoulds’. It’s a fulltime job as any retiree will tell you! The art of adjusting to age-related limitations (wonky joints, lapsed IT knowledge, need for afternoon power naps, sagging, etc.) is something I’m working on. There is the sorting, the rearranging of priorities, the culling—not only of stuff but also of expectations.

I don’t want to slip into some doddery caricature of myself. I want that sweet spot—caring for me and caring for others—while having fun, interesting, and fulfilling experiences!

Given that life is messy, it’s not all sunshine but so far I’m doing ok at being older. Of course, I’d do even better if clothes shops installed rose-tinted mirrors.

Got any tips for the good old life?

Saturday, 15 January 2022

Fiz puzzling over jigsaw

The sun is out! I take one last look at Lisbon’s historic cityscape and, then (not without reluctance), I start pulling the pieces of the completed jigsaw puzzle apart and putting them back into their box. 
Doing the jigsaw while the rain pelted down day after day was perfect. A buzz of achievement would flow through me when I found the pieces that filled annoying gaps, and Lisbon’s distinctive yellow trams and its buildings with wrought-iron balconies emerged before me. And as the scene became clearer so did the memories of our time there in 2019, a time when going overseas was de rigueur and Rhine cruises were a hot topic of conversation rather than booster shots and the efficacy of face masks.

Wednesday, 5 January 2022

between the sheets on sunday

A Month of Sundays
by Liz Byrski. It took me a while to get into this book. There was the important set up–the basis from which to launch the story, the platform that introduced the characters, presented their life situations and their entanglement. I struggled to take this in. I needed to go back pages, re-read. 

We were heading for Christmas and I felt worn out; weary from work and the overwhelming planning and shopping that always consumes me on the lead up to the big day. So, while I may have read a few pages each night, nothing was sinking in. After skimming a couple of pages but believing I had been reading, I would reluctantly return the bookmark to its new place, close my blurry tired eyes and surrender to my lunar love