Friday, November 30, 2012

Breaking the Fun Barrier

Remember when I said that the methodology I've been using to discover what comes next is following interests till something sticks? (Of course you do because you are hanging on my every word. In case not, see the Anything Could Happen post.) Another part of the methodology has been saying “yes” to just about everything that comes my way… because you never know what could happen…where it could lead. I think I have now reached the limits of that.

In August, shortly after I retired and was deep into the just-say-yes-to-anything-that-sounds-fun philosophy, I said yes to being tour guide for an east-coast amiga who wanted to make Tucson (and around) her fall vacation. So, I’m just back from about 1300 miles/10 days of in-town and out-of-town excursions. Got to go back to beautiful places I hadn't been in a long time - and do a few new things, including living like a rich person for three days in Sedona Arizona amongst spectacular scenery in a cabin that afforded a close-up view of tree tops from my pillow.

I’m glad I did that. But I didn't really need to do it. I’m feeling kind of over-indulged now (and over-spent) … ready to be more circumspect … hone in on what I really need to be doing to move forward. There will still be plenty of fun, of course. I'm no Puritan.

And just as a reminder of how important simple fun can be -  watch this

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Wicked Witch Takes It On...With Dorothy

The Wicked Witch might be a great image for riding along upright in a skirt (see the other Wicked Witch post) but I bet she doesn't know how to change a tire or adjust a derailleur. I figured before I go too far afield, I had best know these things, there being no bike equivalent of AAA. (Entrepreneurial idea anyone? It’s yours.) Luckily, our county government offers bike safety, maintenance and other classes – for free! Call me part of the demographic that Bill O’Rielly thinks just wants “stuff” from the government, but a free bike maintenance class was much appreciated. It was a “for women” class, which made it particularly enjoyable - because? -  for the most part, women are great. Learning new things felt really good – as did being the oldest person in a room full of mostly twenty/thirty somethings and fitting in.  

And I’m taking it on in other ways - projects, fitness, etc. I’m losing that “before and after” retirement perspective. Days flow one to the next. Full of the mundane or unusual or both. Most notably, a sense of curiosity and possibility and spontaneity has returned. As I was struggling to pull this together, this popped up in a friend’s Facebook post: “The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no sure for curiosity.” Amen. Thank you Dorothy Parker.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Anything Could Happen

The methodology (if you can even call it that) I’ve been using to discover what comes next is: Web-researching/reading/social media about things that interest me. Getting out there...following a trail...seeing what develops. I’m planning to do this until something gets traction.

So this weekend I went to a number of Tucson Modernism Week events. I used to wear, when I was a waitress, vintage clothing and accessories and I still have a decent collection. My house is late 50’s/early 60’s furniture and d├ęcor. This is one of the interests I’m resurrecting.  A highlight of the weekend events was a cool pop-up shop with vendors of beautiful, mostly name-brand, mid-century furniture – all beyond my spending price point. (I’m into affordable knock-offs. From thrift stores, if possible). So to scratch the itch, and as a diversion between events, I drove over for a quick look-see at the close out sale of a retro shop that used to be downtown. 

I was browsing the small stuff. Picked up a baggie with about eight vintage lighters in it. I have a few already and saw a couple in the bag that looked like pretty good additions to the collection. So I let go of the eight bucks (and twenty more, truth be told).

I get home; spill them out, superficially eyeing what I actually got. Out rolled a little rectangular engraved nameplate that had come off of a red leather lighter. See what was on it?

My name. What are the chances of that? Yet, it happened. I’m embracing this. It’s a sign, right? If I get out there ... follow my interests wherever they lead, anything could - something’s gonna - happen. Eventually.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Soul Searching

Tonight I’m going to the All Souls Procession. This has been a yearly community-driven event in Tucson for decades and is inspired by the Dia de los Muertos celebrated in Latin America. It celebrates and honors those whom we have lost.  A couple of my friends don't like it – death, skeletons and all. But I understand it differently:  as the possibility of rebirth. I see it as representative of the birth/death/birth cycle that is life – in the big picture and the small; the physical and psychological.

The folk story about Skeleton Woman (Lady Death) raises this important question: what needs to die (an attitude, a belief, a way of being) so something can live? I have returned to this question over the decades whenever I’m feeling discontent, ill-at-ease. It is a question at the root of personal change and transformation – a catalyst for moving forward. For letting go and calling in … and embracing. I’m living this question as I transition from who I was in the world as a person tied to many hours of work and a work identity to a person who is not. A person free to explore what needs to die so something can live. Namely: the authentic me. Skeleton Woman is my date for the evening.

P.S. (a couple months later): A documentary about the All Souls Procession is being made. Here is a piece of film, part of which will be included: