I’ve always been the type that tries to get it all straight, stay ahead of it, but the older I get, the less I care, and the less there is to keep ahead of. It’s a good thing, too, or we’d be living under one of H’s homegrown piles of stuff. Retirement means I have more time to keep us from disappearing down there. On the other hand, he has more time to build his piles.
One of the things you wonder about when you retire is, “How did we ever get it all done on weekends: the yard, the house, the kid stuff, the grocery shopping, etc.” Did we have a life? Yes, we did. We had a kid, friends, social occasions, and family. It didn’t seem like so much. I don’t remember it that way, anyway. I guess it’s because we enjoyed most of it, and we were young. Our 30s and 40s and 50s were pretty good times. Mostly. Let me think. You know we argued more. We still had the energy for it. We laugh more now. We still have the energy for that. Now that I think of it, I don’t want to go back. See how this paragraph took me in a circle.
The only thing I stress about nowadays, besides crazy relatives, and nasty sons of crazy relatives and the dentist and my ever burgeoning waistline, is making Christmas. I’ve learned how to do it, though. I figure out a list early, I shop the list early, I pretty much stick to the list, but I’m flexible enough to change it if warranted, I keep shopping in stores to a minimum, and I wrap early. My rule is to be finished before Thanksgiving.
This sounds lame, doesn’t it? There are people with real things to stress about. Well, Aunt Ruby is a real thing. Not as stressful as caring for Dad. That was on a scale I hope to never see again. Aunt Ruby still lives independently. So that’s something. Most of the responsibility falls to her two daughters, but I can actually do meaningful things for her that make a difference in her life and mine. Having a way to help is something to be grateful for. No kidding. It always makes you feel… less helpless. I know the day is coming, but for now, she’s maintaining. If she’d only had her two daughters and skipped the sons, her life would have been so much easier, but that’s another story.
The other news around here is that I’ve given up my nightly, before-dinner wine. Oh, I know. I’m sighing, too. As long as we stay on Planet Earth, we continue to lose one damned thing after another. Maybe that’s why gratitude grows for what remains as we age. One day, we’ll be grateful just to be able to get ourselves to the toilet. Trust me, that’s not a joke. I think I need to give up the wine, though. At least most of the time. I did this before, but slowly got back in the habit. It has lots of carbs, plus it relaxes muscles. Guess what you have inside there that’s a muscle? Your heart. I’ve told mine that, from now on, it can only relax a little and only on special occasions. If yours is healthy, enjoy extra for me. We’ll see how this goes.
Again, about my shopping. Not completely finished. I’ll probably pick up a few jars of jam, chow chow or pepper relish – before my farmer’s market closes – for that extra gift… in case someone stops by out of the blue with a bottle of Merlot :), and don’t you agree, it would be rude not to have a taste? Can’t you see how committed I am to abstinence? What?
Some things are yet to be delivered. So I guess, technically, I don’t have bragging rights, but Amazon says everything has been shipped. Amazon, don’t disappoint me, you sweet boy.