Thursday, March 5, 2015

Thinking about what matters most...

This winter seems to be extreme in so many ways. Sub-zero temperatures, mountains of snow, more darkness than sunlight, and concern about the health (especially) and happiness of people I love - these factors have all come together in an imperfect storm to create the most severe craving for a brief escape - sunshine, warmth, and getting the heck out of Dodge (aka The Great Northeast)! In response to all of that, my friend Joanne and I are heading south to sunny F-L-A in 10 days, Boca Raton specifically, and just the thought of our 5-day jaunt is lifting me out of this winter fog.

I am NOT a winter person. If it weren't for my kids and grandchildren, I'd be figuring out a way to live in a place where palm trees always sway in the wind, where salt air kisses my face, where the sound of waves lulls me to sleep, where fish is always the main course, and where my mind and body can slow down. I can't have that permanently, but can escape to it once in a while.

As much as I love my job, I find myself calculating each day, each week, to get to the next weekend, to the next time I can just stop. It doesn't happen, though, because even on those precious days off, the hours are filled with things I don't get to do on a work day. That's why getting away, going on a vacation where I am physically removed from the to-do, should-do, want-to-do, don't-want-to-do lists is such a welcome interruption to a too-busy, though self-imposed, life.

This week I am attending a 3-night seminar on retirement planning. With my 61st birthday just around he corner (yikes), I find myself wishing to fast-forward to my "FRA" or full-retirement age of 66. How crazy is that? I don't want to rush the next five years just to collect my retirement and Social Security benefit. Maybe I'll get there and decide to keep working. Who knows? What I do know is that NOW is the time to savor each busy day, each crazy week, every packed weekend. Now is the time to enjoy my grandsons as I witness their growth and personalities developing in leaps and bounds, to spend MORE time with my kids and really talk to each other as they grow into their 30s and 40s, to realize just how lucky I am to have my sisters and brothers in my life, to appreciate the almost 18 years Russ and I have had together. Now is the time to cherish the friendships of life-long as well as good new friends and to deliberately tend to all those relationships instead of putting them on hold, waiting until this, or that, happens.

Because there are no guarantees.

Love to all of you, especially those who are facing the hardest trials right now. xox


18 comments:

  1. The thing is, Jeannie, once you retire you will wonder how you ever had time to work. You will be busier with the things you want to do. Enjoy your time away and come back to the North relaxed and happy!

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    1. I hear that often from my retired friends! Thanks for the good wishes and I look forward to getting away and coming back with a new attitude! :)

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  2. and, oh by the way, I really hope I win those scones!! :-)

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    1. You have two chances right here, Lois! Every comment until midnight March 31st is an entry! :)

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  3. Getting away is good for the soul ! So glade John and I were able to travel to Vegas. It uplifted our outlook on life CKJ

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    1. So glad to see your comment CKJ! Glad you had a chance to get away to LV with John! I have missed you! Keep reading, my friend!

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  4. dawn sherman bakerMarch 5, 2015 at 5:45 PM

    Enjoy your get away...you most definitely deserve to get out of the "great white northeast" for some warm Florida sunshine!!!

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    1. Thank you Dawn! I bet you are grateful to miss this northeast winter!

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  5. We all need a break even in retirement. I'm leaving for Puerto Rico next Wed. a week cruise and week in a condo. Can't wait.

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    1. Carol - have a great time. I enjoy reading about your travels on fb - you set a wonderful example of what retirement can be!

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  6. Have fun! I'll be there the end of March or early April to check on my mom. Nice blog. Loads of love.

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    1. Chris, we will absolutely get together when you are home! xox to you!

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  7. Everyone needs a chance to rejuvenate after a season like this one. It certainly improves the mind and the soul and allows us to better appreciate the valuable things that you spoke of...family, friends, food and so much more. Cherish the time that you have and recharge your personal battery. Enjoy Boca, baby! <3

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    1. Diane, thank you, and I know you know just what I am talking about. Enjoy every second of your retreat to the sunny warmth of Florida, and I'll see you when you and Bob get back. xox

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  8. Jeannie, You certainly have "your head on straight" as the saying goes. Enjoy your time away because it will help you recharge!

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  9. PS -- Wish I had another piece of the motorcycle cake from last Tuesday. Looking for something sweet this afternoon!

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  10. You and I, kindred spirits I tell you. I lost my uncle today, and this post hit home. Thanks for being you.

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    1. So sorry for the loss of your Uncle. You and I are kindred spirits (Brian?). I wish you many happy memories of time with your Uncle. Hugs...

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