Archive for the ‘pre-retirement’ Category


I’ve been feeling the uprooting more in the past couple of weeks of packing and preparing to move.  I should have expected this–at one point, I suddenly remembered that one of the things that is true about me is I don’t do change well.  I used to mutter to myself over the irony of that fact, given how much change there was in my life beginning with college, pretty much all of it chosen by me (e.g., I went to Antioch College, which because of its co-op program involved moving every 3-6 months).  But somewhere in the past 15 years, I’d forgotten that, so I hadn’t been expecting the feelings that have been cropping up.  I’m  down to the last week, so little rootlets are coming out and breaking off every day now.  People keep asking me if I’m excited, and I fob them off with “the move is overwhelming, so not yet”–which is certainly partly true.  But right now, my feelings seem to be coming more from the uprooting than from anticipation of future pleasures.  I’ve done plenty of that in the past few years–anticipating being retired got me through some hard weeks on the job–but right now?  Now that the job is done and the actual move is on me?  It’s all about the uprooting.

You can’t hug a house

I have always personified inanimate objects, and now I’m doing it to my house.  I want it to be taken care of, I want it to feel appreciated.  It’s been good to me over the years–there were many days when I walked in at the end of the day, closed the door behind me, and immediately felt that I had entered my “safe zone”, my refuge.  My stress level would drop at least ten points.  Now, I want it to feel my gratitude.  But you can’t hug a house–though I occasionally hug a wall, or pat the house or deck.  I’m extremely glad I got the deck and yard taken care of earlier, so I can at least feel like I’m leaving it in reasonably good shape.  I signed it away on Wednesday–and when I got home it still felt like a refuge.  “Hi, house.”

Mopping up is hard to do (sung to the tune of “Breaking up is hard to do”)

I’ve been in the mopping up stage for a few days now, and that last 10%?  Takes as much time and attention as at least 40% of the big stuff.  Not as physically taxing, but mentally–and emotionally–it’s right up there.  The sorting is pretty much done (though I very annoyingly keep running across things that still need to go to Goodwill or the dump), but now the decisions are about what to pack together, and what to pack them in.  So it’s still work to be done earlier in the day, when I still have operating brain cells left.  And I still run across things that pull me back to the past (in mostly good ways) that I’d forgotten about, or thought I’d lost.

Also, the mopping-up phase may require actual mopping up.  I just prepped the washer and dryer for the move, and the washer hoses managed to get quite a bit of water on the floor in spite of my best efforts.

So–this will be my last post from this house.  The next one will be posted from Oregon, some time in the next few weeks.  Once I feel settled.  And I don’t know how long that will take, because the next two weeks are very unsettled, involving loading, driving a 20′ truck about 650 miles, unloading, turning in the U-haul, driving up to Portland to visit a van conversion place, driving back to CA to deliver my brother back to his home–and then I don’t know exactly what yet.  So.  There it is.

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CJ has been keeping a close eye on me lately– (more…)

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See this empty space?


That represents real progress–stuff was there that hadn’t been touched in 15 years. Now sorted and properly disposed of.

Following picture shows the mess left to be dealt with. (more…)

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One of the things I intended to do this semester to to resume walking in places I’ve neglected the last few years.  Once the semester got under way, that didn’t happen–but today I decided to head out into an area I haven’t been to in several years, partly because to even get out to that area is now a serious walk on it’s own, because of the ways they’ve been shutting down access to the land and because of the development: (more…)

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Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment. —Buddha

This is often-seen advice and generally considered to be wisdom.  And I agree there is something to it, in the sense at least that one can fritter one’s life away dreaming of past or future, and that seems a waste.  But it’s one of those half-truths that are only complete when put together with their opposites.  Like “out of sight, out of mind” and “absence makes the heart grow fonder.”  In this case we’d need at least two other aphorisms, one about the blessing of memory, and one along the lines of “anticipation is half the fun” to express a complete truth.

But right now I want to talk about the effect of pre-retirement (and contemplating packing and moving).   (more…)

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Even though I’m not really done yet–in fact, one of the biggest things of ending any semester has yet to be done, posting grades–people have been hosting events for our* retirement.  Yesterday, a party, nothing even mildly official, just a couple of colleagues who are also friends who wanted to help us celebrate; today the department event**.  Each was perfect in its own way.  Well, the party was perfect–the department event was about as nice as it could have been, I’m not sure such events can be quite perfect for socially uncomfortable people like me.  Nice things were said, toasts were made (with sparkling water,  you can’t buy alcohol with dept. funds, we are squeaky clean about such things), gifts were given. (more…)

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I was actually going to just post photos on FB, but FB has apparently revised how one does that, and I didn’t understand the old way all that well, and this time once I got into the process  they just abandoned me there–no way forward, no way back, that I could figure out.  So I closed the page, and here I am.

I got into reading my old blog posts a few weeks back, and that convinced me I want to continue blogging–it was a nice way to reminisce.  I’ve been mulling over different things I could write about–blogging, for instance, or the in-between state of being almost-retired, and maybe soon I will do one of those.  But for now, I just want to post my pics and talk about them. (more…)

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