Monday, July 20, 2015

Working my "To Do" list - slowly

I am slowly working through the items on my To Do list that I really resist doing. No, they don't take a long time and aren't really that hard. But, just like cleaning the house, I really don't want to do them!

This morning I worked on transferring contact lists to a gmail account set up for our Friends of the Library group communications. Once I get it up and running successfully I can transition the Membership chairperson responsibilities to the person who has raised his hand to take it on. I am determined to leave this organization in better shape than I found it and carefully transition everything I have been doing to others before I exit and move.

On a more fun note, we have been checking off the planning and scheduling elements of our next trip to Los Angeles to visit family. We had out Friday and will be spending time with our kids, cousins, FIL, nieces and nephews. Lots of driving but also lots of visiting with loved ones. So important and we are feeling the miles more each year.

Hope you are making progress with your dreams and tasks this summer!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

100 words of now

I have borrowed this post idea from Susannah Conway – check out her post here! 

My brain wanderings.

Dog. Kisses. Coffee. Books. Sons. Parents. Family. Hugs. Flowers. Smiles. Playfulness. Marriage. Commitment. Weeds. Cake. Aches. Stretching. Learning. Travel. Clothes. Moving. Kon Mari. Friends. Love. Pilates. Cooking. Mysteries. Future. Invention. Creativity. Plans. Courage. Restaurants. Theatre. Tacos. Joy. Air conditioning. Peanut butter. Volunteering. Sew.
Upcycle. Alone. Listening. Laughing. Thoughtful. Sharing. Hot. Summer. Sandals. Salad. Doorbell. Refunds. Sunshine. Leaves. Walks. Radio. Music. Talk. Salmon. Pasta. Errands. Driving. Tornado. Warning. Siren. Lightening. Sleepy. Brain. Science. Happiness. Writing. Years. Missteps. Communication. Loss. Gain. Beauty. Eyebrows. Gray. Shining. Bright. Debussy. France. Cooking. Salmon. Chicken. Watermelon. Mango. Lime. Groceries. California. Beach. Horses. Elephants. Think. Hard!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Stretching my mind

You may recall that in a burst of determination I signed up for 6 short courses through my local OLLI program (Osher Lifelong Learning). I have a tendency to talk myself out of doing things that require a commitment of time or substantial money. Well these classes are inexpensive so it is just time and I don't have to go if I don't like them. Each is one hour a week for 7 weeks held in (extremely) air conditioned comfort with intelligent and interesting classmates.

They started this week and 5 of the 6 are very interesting.

Life and times during the Revolutionary War - complete with show and tell objects! The instructor is cheerful, deeply knowledgeable, enthusiastic and used to talking to school children with short attention spans! No recitation of battles, politics or strategy. We are talking why the uniforms looked like they did, flogging with the Cat-of-9-Tails, sashes used as stretchers and so on. Interesting.

History of music part 2. Again a cheerful, knowledgeable and enthusiastic instructor. I really loved that he picked unusual performance versions to demonstrate different music. You haven't lived until you have heard baroque music played on the accordion.

Current trends in neuroscience - again complete with show and tell objects! Of course we are going to cover neurodegeneration, memory, etc. but the young doctoral student instructor is going to bring the medical school's set of teaching brains to class next week for us to look at and touch so we can really get a sense of neuroanatomy before proceeding. She was afraid we might not want to see them but of course we were enthusiastic.

Art and politics in the middle ages. What can I say - another great instructor and visuals.

Atheism. I was concerned about what kind of questions might be asked here in the Bible belt but they are interesting, thoughtful and wide ranging. Another winner.

I won't name the sixth class because I left at the first break. The instructor talked as though reading from a script, restricted questions to set times and was inflexible. I hope the group sticks with her but I prefer the free wheeling discussions and engaging tones of the other classes. So I have 5 more weeks of interesting classes to look forward to even though I'll miss the 6th week due to vacation.

The one surprise to me is how used I have gotten to not doing anything meaningful outside of the house every day. Getting up, dressing smartly, and heading out to classes three days a week is great.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Counting down

I'm thinking about several things that are coming up soon enough that I am counting down the time.

23 months to my husband's retirement eligibility
6 months until 2016
2 months until I turn 66
2 2/2 weeks until we head to CA and see our kids!
1 day until my OLLI courses start

Not all of these are of the same level of importance of course but they are popping in and out of my head each day.

And while I am thinking about them I am wondering what possessed me to sign up for 6 classes at OLLI. Of course I don't have to go to them if I don't enjoy them but what was I thinking?

We are starting to make detailed plans for our trip to CA. The northern CA pair are flying down for a long weekend and we are all staying a few blocks from the southern CA pair. It will be a great weekend and then we will visit other family members and do some exploring of areas where we might land when we move. We are coming to grips with the reality that where we might choose to live may not be where we can afford to live so we need to explore more.

No plans for my 66th yet. I am thinking I may head to Boston and NH to visit family. Or perhaps the two of us can go to NYC and then I can go on to those for visits. Since my Mom died I have connected with some extended family on my Dad's side and I would like to see them as well as my cousins, brother and SIL. My youngest niece may be back at school in Boston by then too.

Well, now it is one hour until my Pilates session so I am off to the studio. Have a great week.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Adding music back into our life

As part of my ongoing decluttering - reaching lagom - effort I have been listening to the CDs we own and to ones that grab my attention as I sort donations to the Friends of the Library. What a joy it is to have redeveloped the habit of listening to music as we prepare and eat dinner or while reading the paper or a book.

The addition of trying out new CDs has made all the difference. We have added an Irish music one, Beach Boys, swing music and traditional tango with singing. Nice!

I encourage everyone who is feeling their life may have gotten too predictable to make some changes to bring back or add small pleasures into their life.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Father's Day to all Loving Dads

My Dad was a very special guy. My husband is a very special Dad. There are so many wonderful Dads who have been part of my life. Let's celebrate all of them today!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Hmmm, why do we tend to think more is better?

I am in the midst of listening to our CDs to decide which ones to keep and to bring music back into my life. I am finding ones that I hadn't listened to for years that I enjoy. I'm also finding that we have too many in different categories.

Yesterday I listened to 3 Frank Sinatra CDs. I enjoyed 2 of the 3 and found one to be of poor acoustic quality. The question that popped into my mind though was why did we have so many in the first place? Probably one would be enough but I kept the 2 good ones for now.

Today it is the 3 Cuban/Latin CDs. Tomorrow will be the 5 (!) Pancho Sanchez ones. I know why we have so many of those though. We went to an outdoor concert by him 25ish years ago and had a grand time so we loaded up on his music.

I've also been listening to the ones I brought home from the 100s recently donated to the Friends of the Library. Those are easier to make decisions on. If I don't like the first track then it goes back. So far I have only picked 3 to add to our collection and I am waffling on one of those LOL.

For me at least as far as music goes 1 or 2 is better than 3 or more. I am a person who like variety and at this time can't stand to listen to music that isn't uplifting.

I think that often we think more is better when we like the initial item a lot. How many times have you bought more colors of a top or shirt when the one that you really liked was the first one you selected. More wasn't better then either. The same can happen in other areas of our lives. I am trying to notice what I do automatically that doesn't add value for me and this is one of those things.