retirement, heartbreak and mending

Guilty Pleasures

The pervasive theme of my entire adult life has been to keep everyone housed and fed. To that end, I have consistently and diligently exercised, if I do say so myself, a stellar Protestant work ethic.

Now that I'm retired I find myself spending a long, peaceful mornings on the patio, listening to the water in the pond, keeping Bailey company while she chases butterfly shadows, drinking coffee and reading, with Kashi napping nearby.

While this activity is exactly what I want to be doing when I'm doing it, I find there is some small ridiculous ember of guilt glowing in the background. And I don't know why. I put in my time and I deserve this now. I am not taking anything from anyone in order to indulge in this way. So what is it that gives me that feeling?

Disdain for Stain

After attending YouTube U to learn what's involved in staining a concrete floor, I say fuggedaboutit! Decision made: I'm going to have to paper what isn't going to get carpet.

Fractured Fairy Tale

For the life of me, I cannot understand how my family, those who were raised by me, can spend long periods of time isolating from one another.

Last night was rough. A conversation that had to be had was had. It was prickly, uncomfortable, scary and difficult. I was left feeling like I was on death row for a crime I did not commit. I lay in bed for hours, unable to shut my brain off, even after it occurred to me that the accusations were ludicrous.  (That is not me!) Injustice is a hard pill for me to swallow. I had to force myself to focus on the sound of the fan and visualize all my cares flying away into the night like fireflies.

"You'd die for them, happily. Your family. But at the same time you think, Chist, I can't die! What might happen to them if I weren't here? And you know bloody well that you mostly can't help them anyway; they've got to do it – or not – themselves."
– Hal Grey, in Written in My Own Heart's Blood by Diana Gabledon

Update: Breakthrough

My daughter has come to the conclusion that we cannot move forward if she remains in the past, so she made the simple decision to leave it behind. This is great news for our relationship, although I do worry she may retain lingering thoughts or questions that will gnaw at her. But I hope not.

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