Anything is Possible!

With Hope, Faith, and Perseverance


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Thank God I Don’t Have to Work in an Office Anymore.

SOC winner 2017

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt is, “mon.”

Monday, Monday. Maybe I’ll find the old song that starts like that later. I’m so thankful I don’t have to go to a job on Monday. Monday is my husband’s day off from the mission thrift store. Most thrift stores are closed on Monday because they are open Saturdays. So I try to save Mondays for him and an occasional honey-do prompt. When he retires, the honey-dos will be on a list, clearly posted for his our convenience. I don’t really need a list for this cause it’s always in my head. For some reason, I think women tend to have easy access to that list in our heads. It’s always there.  

It’s baffling how busy I am since I “retired” from my job. “Mon” makes me think of moan. And I do want to stop moaning about that and be grateful. I just have to prioritize the things that give me soul energy, even if they drain me physically. Like Saturday (today for you, but I”m writing this Friday because I have an abundance of things to do on Saturday). Okay, today I want to go help clean up the creek down the road. If I get there early enough, I can get a kayak that the organization brings. But if I don’t get there in time for a kayak, I’ll be happy to walk along the banks to pick up trash.

Egret at BM creek

In this neighborhood creek, I’ve seen beaver, egrets, lots of turtles, and an alligator. Volunteering for the environment feeds my soul.

Then in the afternoon, I’m going to a “Stop the Violence” peace rally representing “Grandmother’s for Peace.”

grandmothers for peace (2)

Our head grandmother sent out a text saying they needed face painters at the rally. I said I could do an hour. I’ve never actually done face painting in any official capacity. Maybe I should practice, but don’t know if I have time. I did look up Black Panther and wish I’d seen the move. Interesting face designs with simple dots.

dots

I know Shuri doesn’t look very peaceful here, but in the movie clips I’ve watched, she is very smart and funny and seems like a nice young lady.  Maybe I can add a peace sign.

I can paint hearts, flowers, and probably some butterflies. I know how to paint stuff. And it’s only for an hour, so it’s okay.  Then I’ll be off to my Saturday support group.

I hope to rest Sunday afternoon for my ritual after church nap. Maybe I’ll go to the beach on Monday with my sweetheart.

I will not get back here much until Saturday night, so thanks for your patience! I hope your Saturday is exactly what you’d like it to be.

Here’s that Monday, Monday song.

The Saturday Stream of Consciousness is hosted by Linda G. Hill at:

https://lindaghill.com/2018/04/13/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-april-14-18/

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours. Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


8 Comments

A Gift You Can’t Buy in the Store, Part 1

wooden-balloon

Tuesday was my last full day at the job I worked for 30 years. In January, I’ll go back for a few hours to wrap up some paperwork and get the rest of my stuff, and there will be a “retirement” party. But these things will be on my terms and at my convenience.

My husband told me he was proud of me for retiring on my terms. But it was because of him that I was able to do it that way, cutting my hours back gradually, building my courage for the leap of faith, trusting that I would be taken care of. My husband, not wanting to contribute to the commercialization of Christmas, doesn’t like to buy presents from a store, but he loves to make things from wood like candle holders and Christmas ornaments like the balloon above. I tend to agree with him. He’s giving me the best gift of all the Christmas – the gift of retirement.

It was hard to say goodbye to my clients. But it was the right decision for me. Now, I get giggly inside, like a kid at Christmas, as I realize I don’t have to go back to the bureaucracy, to the demands to do more in less time – or bringing work home,  or to the witnessing of the wreckage of addiction.

I am forever grateful to have witnessed the triumphs over addiction and for the privilege to be able to help a little. I’m thankful for all that I’ve learned. But I believe I’ve paid my dues. Now, it’s my turn to follow my heart back to its creative home. I’ll probably do a stress management group somewhere, maybe a group with a creative twist! But it will be on my terms.

I will remember all those late nights I drove home exhausted, my hands aching from the keyboard, wondering if I would ever get caught up on the paperwork, wondering if I  could make it another 10 years until social security and medicare kicked in, wondering if those benefits would even be there for me in 10 years.

I will remember praying to God for deliverance, telling myself, God has a plan.

Little did I know how marvelous that plan would be. God was watching me, loving me, encouraging me, and doing the same for my soulmate 700 miles away. God waited for the perfect time, when my soulmate and I were ready to journey together. (And in case you didn’t know, I’m writing a book about that.)

Ten years ago, I asked God to take away the desire for a partner, or to send someone who is a good fit.

Today, I thank God for the gift of my husband who is a good fit. And I thank my husband for the gift of freedom to be me. On my terms. And on God’s terms.

doorway-apostle-island


31 Comments

Cutting the Cord

bird-taking-off

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.”  Lao Tzu

For the past six months, I’ve been working just one day a week at the old job, the counseling job I’ve done for thirty years. Some would say I’m moving gradually into retirement. I believe I’m moving into my second career, a career my heart longs for.

Moving to one day a week and letting go of my insurance and vacation benefits was a big leap of faith. But on Tuesday, I made an even bigger leap. I gave notice that I’ll be terminating employment in January.

As far as the hours go, it won’t be such a big change, but it’s cutting the cord to the job that paid my bills for most of my adult life. The job that taught me so much about giving and boundaries and life, the job that provided security, the job for which I am thankful.

As I’ve moved into a more creative life, working on  my book and painting angels, I’ve kept one foot in the old job while stretching into my new life. But you have to let go of the shore if you want to sail the ocean.

It’s hard to say goodbye, especially to my clients. But it’s time to move fully into the next phase of my life and to trust that I’ll be taken care of. Words cannot express how thankful I am for the opportunity to come home to my creative soul.

In a few days, I’ll be 61 years old. Yep. I’d say, it’s about time.

 


12 Comments

Home Deliverance

heart-on-my-front-door

Home is where I love to be these days. For thirty years or more, it was Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho, it’s off to work I go. Not digging in the mines like the seven dwarfs, but digging through layers of paperwork and computer records more than one would imagine when the job is being a counselor. Now, I do that job just one day a week.

Home is not ho hum to me like it might have been when I was in my teens and twenties – when I met the man who would some day make it possible for me to stay home more.

Home is comfortable, peaceful, an introvert’s heaven. Now, I have the time to make it even more comfortable. My cozy little cottage, without the seven dwarfs, is safe. I’m not saying dwarfs would not be safe. I have nothing against dwarfs. Clowns, now that’s another story….let’s not go there.

My husband offered me the opportunity to quit my job last year as he approached the age when he could dip into his retirement savings. I kept asking him, are you sure it’s okay for me to do that? I even talked with his accountant. I hadn’t been supported financially by a man since….since I lived with my parents which seems like a whole lot of time ago. There I used the prompt in the middle of a word. And it wasn’t that hard, not planning it exactly.

I don’t hate my job that paid the bills for 30 plus years, I love parts of it, that’s why I’m still doing it one day a week. I like helping people and the decrease in paperwork. But there was a time when I prayed for deliverance, when I was working late at night, trying to catch up on the paperwork.

Deliverance came in a way I never would have imagined. When the time was right, my soulmate found me again. It took a long time, but the timing was perfect – when he  was close to retiring from his career job, and when we were ready. Which reminds me to never give up hope. God and the whole universe are working for us, if we just put our hearts desires out there on a starry night or two, get ready, and believe that anything is possible.

socsbadge2016-17

Linda’s prompt for today’s Stream of Consciousness post was, “ho,” with instructions to find a word with those two letter in that order and use it in your post.

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!

 


12 Comments

Good People & the Good Shepherd Soup Kitchen

Ladles by Borja Fernandez via FreeRange Stock

On Monday, I attended a celebration of life for E. L. Nunn – a man who served his country and his community for most of his life.

E. L. and his lovely wife, Margaret, started attending my church way earlier than the 30 or so years I’ve been there. During his retirement, E. L. ran the soup kitchen which operated out of our church for many years, until the program grew into Good Shepherd Ministries and moved to a bigger location to include an overnight homeless shelter.

When my son got suspended from middle school for fighting in the late 90’s, I asked E. L. if he could come work at the soup kitchen. I didn’t want him watching TV at home all day. E. L. was fine with the idea, so I dropped my son off on my way to work. My son spent the next few days making sandwiches, serving lunch and socializing with older, retired volunteers. He said he liked working at the soup kitchen and thought the old people were cool. I think he would have preferred to continue there, but he had to go back to school after a few days. If my son hadn’t gotten suspended, he might not have had the positive experience of working at the soup kitchen with E. L.

At Monday’s life celebration, one of  E. L.’s friends told a story about the early days at the soup kitchen. There was a story about one of the guests causing a disturbance: E. L., who was a tall man, came up behind the argumentative guest, wrapped his arms around him in a bear hug, picked him up, and carried him outside. And that was that.

Another story was about E. L.’s wife, Margaret who still graces our presence. In the early days, they weren’t sure how many people they’d be serving at the soup kitchen and didn’t want to run out of food, so they started off with the rule that each person could have one sandwich and one bowl of soup until everyone had been served, then if there was enough, people could come back for seconds. Margaret was serving sandwiches when a tall Native American man asked for another sandwich. She said, “I’m sorry, but we can only give one sandwich per person until everyone has been served.”

“I want the extra sandwich for my dog,” he explained.

Margaret remembered seeing this man on the street with a shaggy dog. Then she remembered the hymn: “All things Bright and Beautiful.”

She smiled and gave the man an extra sandwich.

I love Margaret and E. L. Good People. Good role models.

 

The photo, “Ladles,” is by Borja Fernandez via FreeRange Stock photos.

 


14 Comments

Retirement Ball on the Horizon

socs-badge-2015

Retirement is coming, and it’s gonna be a ball.

Not the kind of ball Cinderella went to, or the Marine Corps Ball my parents went to when I was a kid. Not a volleyball that I really enjoyed in college, but it might hurt my hands now, unless they have Nerf volleyball for seniors.

Wait a minute. I’m not really a senior. Am I? I don’t feel like a senior. Okay, I am 60, and I am tired more than I used to be… Oh, let’s not go there.

Let’s go back to the ball! For me, having a ball is going to be writing, painting (both art and walls of my little urban cottage) puttering around the yard as I sculpt mother nature just a tad, and naps! I love naps. That would have sounded boring to me 30 or 40 years ago, before I had kids, but ever since I had kids, I love naps – even though the kids are grown – maybe because I don’t get a lot of naps.

I also want to do some swimming. I miss swimming so much this time of year, before the water is warm enough, which now is in June. When I was 18, I went into the ocean in March. Yikes! But I still love to swim. Maybe I’ll join a club where I can swim year round.

So the ball of retirement is coming one step at a time. It will be process, but the ball is rolling! I’m taking vacation time, and in about two months, I’ll be cutting down to working one day a week at the agency where I do counseling. I want to keep doing my stress management group,  cause I always need reminders about that. But some day, I’ll be a full time artist and writer and putterer – puttering around my back yard.

I don’t have a crystal ball, but I do love snow globes, and I have a plan- a plan to have a ball as I slide down the water slide, a slow but not that slow water slide – faster than a lazy river anyway – into the lovely pool of retirement, which for me, will be full of creativity and service work without all the paperwork, and puttering, and naps – naps on the beach!

I think I need some practice!

 

pink sky w turquoise waves

Photo by JoAnne Silvia

 

I bet you can guess today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt. If you’d like to have a ball, visit Linda at :

http://lindaghill.com/2016/03/11/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-march-1216/

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


22 Comments

Getting Ready

socs-badge

I was going to write: I am so ready for retirement. But I’m not entirely ready for that leap of faith. And I’m not really going to retire.

I’m getting ready to spend more time being a writer and an artist, and helping my husband with his work at the mission and farming. So many things I want to do. And I’d still like to work at my current job part time, if possible.

Hey, Anything is possible!

I like getting ready. I like the anticipation. Like when my high school girlfriends and I were getting ready for our reunion a few years ago.

And when I got ready for my soulmate to find me.

I didn’t know it was going to be my high school sweetheart. I did know I needed to make room for my partner, by forgiving my X,  and imagining the best possible partner for me, instead of being cynical. So I stopped trying to be cynical and pretending I didn’t want a partner. I watched hopeful, romantic movies like Under the Tuscan Sun.

“Unthinkably good things can happen, even late in the game.”  I love that line!

I imagined a partner who loves dogs working in the garage with all his guy stuff. That’s how I  got ready.

Now I’m getting ready to spend more time writing and doing art by doing more writing and art. Yes, I whine about there not being enough time, but I do it. I  think and act in the direction I want to move in. Even if I don”t get as much sleep as I’d like.

I’m not quite ready financially to make that leap of faith, but I know that getting ready helps make things happen.

I married my high school sweetheart didn’t I?

What are you getting ready for?

Linda’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday post prompt for today was “ready.”

If you’d like to join in the fun, visit:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS August 1/15

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!