Cheryll's Writing Journal

Musings, rants and ravings, plus gems of insight nobody wants to hear now that I've finally got them. Also neat stuff I found on the 'Net when I should have been updating this blog....

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Hey, this excuse works for me!

funny pictures
moar funny pictures





Sunday, December 16, 2007

Retirement Planning...

I'm coming to realize that probably the main reason I never actively engaged in financial planning was that I never really believed that I would need to retire. (Another strong reason is a total lack of trust in financial institutions -- no doubt inherited from my parents, who had lost their innocence about banks and insurance during the Great Depression.)

I've always believed that I could continue to sell my skills (which, admittedly, are mostly mental, not physical) for as long as I needed to. It never occurred to me that people retired because they had to, because they just couldn't do the work any longer.

This is a very shocking realization! But the truth pops up to remind me daily that I am no longer in my twenties, and I can't keep the pace that I'm sure I remember I once could. (Of course, the memory is going, too, so I could be wrong about that.)(My sentiments, exactly. I don't care if it's good for me; I didn't sign up for it!)

My life has changed so much that when I take out the albums and study the record of family life therein, I actually wonder, "Who was that woman!?"

Followed by the corollary, "Who am I now?"

It is a shock to look in the mirror and see a stranger -- moreover, a stranger I never expected to be. And learning how to be mortal at this late a date is proving a challenge, LOL.

So, how am I to go about planning for retirement, when that means I will probably not be doing much of anything I have done before. Since I am less physically and mentally fit than I had planned, and probably not going to stop that deterioration, what am I going to be doing?

In short, what am I going to be when I grow up?

Do I change careers yet again? Do I consider retraining? Do I upgrade the computer and move into the 21st Century? Do I move to Mexico, or some other retirement community, where the cost of living matches my Social Security check? (That's assuming I believe in SS, which I don't and never have had any trust would be there for me. Alas, current events are supporting my paranoia...)
Truthfully, the old eagerness for new places and new ideas and new learning just isn't there. I have no enthusiasm for reentering the love/hate relationship of learning new computer software (or I'd upgrade to Ubuntu and open source).

This reluctance may not be entirely my fault, or the result of aging. It used to be that change happened far more slowly, and there was time to get used to the idea. I could actually become proficient in a software application before it went to the next version!

The world actually may be moving too rapidly for me to follow any longer. And seems to be going directions I don't much like, for that matter. I'm just hanging on by my fingernails!

It does not help my ego that I grew up hearing these very complaints from my parents and all their siblings as they reached the age I am now.

The trick for me, daily, is to resist turning into a crochety old woman, complaining and whining about some decline from the Good Old Days... This is a challenge, too, seeing as that is exactly how I remember my aunts and uncles! I have role models to fight off.

I need to remember...
This is only the Fall of my life...

Not the Winter...

I can still rise up anew, and perhaps like the butterfly, I don't have to plan the details, but simply go with the flow.

And trust the process!

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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Make a Snowflake...

This is SO cool! (smile) Paper cutting for the 'Net...

Thanks to Nancy for pointing us to it...

Need a Snow Day?

Click on the icon, takes you to the site. Click on create a snowflake and play. Or click on the little white dots falling gently to see what others have created.

Allow for the possibility that you won't get the chores done immediately this morning.......

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Friday, December 07, 2007

You are not broken...

(Bad hair day??)

In my frustration with mental and physical constraints on my activities of late, I may have overlooked a critical aspect of this life, which is learning how to define myself by who I am, instead of what I do.

When I'm busy doing a zillion things, I feel competent and useful -- and thus lovable. When I am sidelined (by comparison to past experience) I can start doubting my worthiness.

Religion teaches us that God created us imperfect, and loved us anyway. Believing that is a challenge, but my husband said something recently that has really helped me.

He reminded me of the piano that used to sit on a makeshift stage in the dining room at LouHelen Baha'i School in Michigan, USA. Family retreat sessions there often included a sort of amateur night performance on one of the evenings, and the kids were especially encouraged to share their talents.

In those days, the piano was not regularly tuned, and so could sound pretty bad for any child presenting his recital piece. On this particular evening, several small children had proved it was really out -- until an older music student headed for Juilliard in a few days sat down to play.

The difference in sound was stunning! You couldn't tell it was the same instrument.

The point being that a skilled musician can make beautiful music even with a poor instrument.

So when I was moping that I had become a mostly useless tool in my old age, or at very best, a considerably dulled or broken one -- my lovely husband said,

"You are not broken if God can still make music with you. If you can add a little more love to the world -- if you can increase the gladness in the hearts of those around you -- you can still move the world."

I hope that when you are feeling tired, frustrated, overwhelmed and inadequate for the task, you will remember that God can work miracles with any tool, if only that tool is at hand. Be there, align yourself with the Greater Good, and you will be useful, too.

It's a promise.

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