Sunday, November 18, 2012

GRATITUDE - November 18, 2012


Prior to the heart issues and Tonsil Cancer, my Type A, always in charge, personality was in full swing.  Confrontations with health situations I couldn't stare down, yell down, command down, fire, suspend without pay, demote, outsmart, outwit, or negotiate with, is a humbling experience.  In retrospect, it was probably one of the better experiences I needed to have in my life.  Definitely unwanted, but needed.  Begging, pleading doesn't work so well either, as was trying to dominate the situation.

Acceptance and a determined mindset to explore the possibilities of what I could do and could control, in a somewhat uncontrollable situation, was my best and most positive option (there are negative options, but we don't go there).

The past four and a half years have been good for slowing down, mentally pacing myself,enjoying the view along the journey, instead of trying to get to somewhere, quickly.  Perhaps that is why, at the end of my working life, I went from full time to part-time, to really part-time to 'done' (it picked up speed at the end).

That change made it much easier to slip into retirement.  Type A personalities don't generally do well in retirement and prefer to work until they drop.  It isn't about the money, it is much bigger and ominus spector than that.  An interesting article I read today about hard-driven Type A people, not soing so well in retirement, has this interesting observation:

"What’s more, life is unstructured when you’re a retiree. You don’t have meetings lined up for you at specified times; it’s up to you to plot your day, your week, your month — your life. It can be exasperating for a Type A.

Finally, — and this may sound a little strange — come up with something that will add pressure and stress to your life. “That’s not compatible with the traditional idea of retirement,” he notes. “I had a buddy who is doing the Ironman Triathlon at 60. He’s creating his own pressure.”
For a Type A, pressure and stress just seem to make life worth living."

Although I feel I am dong fine in retirement, it is highly likely that it is because I have successfully replaced the pressure and stress of somebody else's world with my own personal version.  I have always been a list person, and have burned through thousands of note pages in my life, of a constantly updating, "to-do" list.  Much pleasure in 'crossing off' items on the list.

Although there are a myriad of post-it notes, notebooks of all sizes, loose pages, discarded envelopes and even napkins with, sometimes, illegiable lists of things I must, would/could/should, or like to do.  They are everywhere.

My daughter showed me recently how to use an app on my smart phone to keep my lists under 'tasks'.   I have one for groceries, music/songs I want to learn, repairs to the rentals, the backyard projects, the garage projects, for this blog, for my other blogs, an urgent one for 'TODAY' (like get up 5:55a, make coffee for Lise, make breakfast, pack lunches, drop Sarah off at school, go to the gym, pick Sarah up from high school, take Sarah to ballet, pick Sarah up from ballet, make dinner...hmmm) and more than one entitled 'To Do'.  I discovered that there is a finite number of bytes/characters available under each task heading category.  I am almost full-up on my 'To Do -version 3'.  The lists grow faster than I can get them crossed off.  Golf and T.V. will never make the list -  no time.

I hadn't realized my personal lists were so large.  Perhaps this is why I enjoy my retirement days so much.  I'm pressured somewhat with a daunting list of projects, BUT, they are all mine and each cross-off gives me much pleasure.  It is the perfect type of stress...several cool things I want to do...'how many can I cross off daily?' (will be crossing off 'write Gratitude Blog today' in a few minutes). 

Today's list includes: hour walk with Lise (break in the rain), record a new song on video - edit and upload to YouTube and download again into MP3 format to make cds, list 'free' plastic deck panels to pick up at one of the rentals / and sell oak sideboard on Craig's list.  I never get to the end of a list.

Gotta' go - things to do.


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