grey hair, life, retirement

Extreme Quiet

In the last three weeks. It has been quiet. Very. But I am truly at the end of the world. Truly. If I screamed only a bear would cock his head. So, I stay quiet. I am on fourth book quickly heading to a fifth and sixth in my future before heading home aka the oven. Arizona. Now, I am not reading War and Peace or the complete series of Harry Potter, but I could have with the amount of peace and lack of lists to complete. I miss my lists. My blogging is almost daily with now over seventy-five followers has kept me sane. Thank you. If you are new to my blogging please realize that I just share stories. All mine, but random stories. I touch on areas in different areas of my life. Epilepsy, fitness, health, over 50 life, education, and political wife life. Plus, my new adventures on keto. However, I have no answers to life’s essential questions. So, a self-help guru, I am not. My hope is to make you chuckle. That’s all. Realizing, I often fail, or at times go in another direction. Writing about serious sh**. It does not happen often. So, don’t worry. Think of me as that neighbor that will always listen, entertain you with mindless BS, and go on their merry way. The more you read the closer you will get to the self I hide away from most. We all shelter ourselves to a certain degree. I am just willing to draw back the curtain with each blog. Why? I don’t know. I am sure there is a therapist that would be willing, for a price, to tell me why I write. I think I will pass on the cost and the suffering, and just write. Mystery is better.

During these quiet, cold, and rainy days in the middle of nowhere. Really. Nowhere. I have come to terms about my sons impending age. He is turning thirty. My weight-loss game that is starting soon. Again. Not worried. Well, kinda. But I already tackled the realization, the lists, and arranged my calendar for food prep. Now, I just have to follow the path I laid before me. The hardest part. It really is. Talking, writing, organizing, and even the creation of the meals is far simpler, than the day in, day out living a changed life with no guarantees, unless you stick to your guns. As for kids big day. I have sent gifts. Because, I still do. Do you? Or is it just me? And will fill his house with balloons. Just for the sheer joy of having his three year old happy. Not him.

This over-absorption of stillness reminded me how much I love to be busy. I am active by nature and need purpose. We all do. On an island purpose is more manual in nature. Nothing fancy. Back to basics. Now, while I am indulging my husband in his childhood dream. My areas of this summer home will come with internet, TV in every room, Peloton, and a writing area for just me. A camper, I am not. But the view and stillness is priceless for a couple weeks per year. A dream is a dream and his is mine, as he already said yes, to a European cruise with a stop at Disney Paris. So, we are even.

So while I am not going to give you the secrets to life, I will share that short amounts of peace, will bring you clarity in a world full of clutter and marvelous lists!

A Frame, goals, grey hair, life, retirement, travel

Tiffany’s is Always a Good Idea…

Today is our 33rd anniversary. I thought it was our 35th. Probably, because I wanted a big gift. But it is our 33rd. No big gift. I can’t even think of something that is worth this mountain of years. That’s good? Right? Or is it? Have we forgotten the art of celebration, become ho-hum or just understand it is not about the bling. It is the latter, but a trip to Tiffany’s is still in order on any given day. I have my gift picked out as of three years ago. Truly. No anniversary is ever needed just turn to page 27 of the catalog and we have it, can’t miss it! Really. We arrive at this moment with more questions than answers. The life of a politico has its moments which makes the ride a wild one and my little teaching life has been a thing this year. A real thing. So with time, more questions than answers, and the constant moving goalpost of retirement life, we have decided just to follow our hearts. Sounds sappy. Number 33 is our gift to follow our hearts and support our ever-changing dreams. I almost just threw up. Seriously. To know me is to understand gushy I am not. A gift with store wrapping and possibly a card is my thing. That is me in a nutshell. But I do give great gifts. Always. Just this year, there are no objects to be wrapped, just gushiness and heartfelt talks celebrating the years. This is our time to sort out our everlasting future, and treasure our present, as we approach those golden years. Tiffany’s sounds easier. Much.

In two days we are off to go to create a dream. A gift to ourselves. A week together in a car. Seriously. Stop laughing. I promised one cross-country trip in our marriage. Just one. Our final stop is property where we are starting the process of the building of an A-frame home on the water, in solitude, and embracing small town life. Seriously small. Ferry to the property small. Since we are in charge of the design, my request of my own peloton room and writing nook have been granted. The rest we oddly agree on. The home will be primarily used for the summers to just chill and for my writing and to enjoy the grandparent stuff. Swimming, rock collecting, fort building, raspberry hunting etc. Oh, yes and fishing. All so me. I am in charge of small town shopping. Moccasins, drums, bows and arrows, and cap guns. You know, outdoor crap. But shopping is still shopping. I am ready. It is time to enjoy the simplicities that life offers instead of constantly muddling through the mess. A special treasure is that all of this will be passed onto our son and his son for a lifetime of memories and traditions. So, this year our anniversary gift is listening to our hearts and making life decisions that fit not only our years in marriage but our future years of happiness. This has no wrapping. Just pure love and perhaps even testing our own levels of patience and commitment to what lies ahead. We got this.

So here’s to 33 Senator Hubs and to many, many more but please take a look at the Tiffany’s catalog page twenty-seven bottom right corner. If not this year, perhaps coming soon. While bling is not important it certainly makes me smile!

echelon, fitness, goals, granparent life, Peloton

Progress Not Perfection

About a year ago I went on a hike. A short hike. Barely an incline. I almost died. I had to sit about five times, I cursed like a sailor, and requested that my car be brought up the hill (as my friend called it). To me it was akin to Mount Everest. My embarrassing moments were just that embarrassing. Staring at the finish line aka parking lot while just feet away seemed like miles.

Fast tracking to the end of this terror I made it to the car and cried all the way home. Not out of pain but the reality of how I let myself become a blob with no ability to walk a few miles upward.

Once upon a time I was in shape. The wedding. Check. After the wedding. Check. Pregnancy. Check. After pregnancy. Check. My son’s first eighteen years due to the country club life and the machines I had at my disposal. Check. Then real life hit. A few life issues mixed in with mid-life. Everytime I started the walk down the block, the online barre or pilates classes. I stopped. Made excuses and felt pure guilt at not being able to cross the line of consistency.

Covid-19 brought many of us to our fitness, social, emotional, or financial needs. For me I knew if I did not do something I would look like a parades floating balloon. Perhaps it was the social media perfection pictures that flashed at me during the daily boredom and scrolling hours or all the blogs of fifty somethings that look thirty. Whatever it was. It clicked. Onward to my echelon/peloton life.

The first seventy-three rides were of the twenty minute variety mixed with HITT, Tabata, pop and the low key variety. Today, I made a move. I went to thirty minutes. I did it. I survived and I will continue until I can go to forty-five minutes with the weekly goal of an hour. My goal is lofty but it will be achieved.

So, my shape is improving for me and my family, especially my grand-nugget who will never see his grandmother poop out at a park. Any park. Even one with great big mouse ears. Does my shape represent thirty at fifty-seven, no. But I am getting closer and feeling great about it!

echelon, fitness, goals, Peloton

Me First.

This spring break I did a thing. I opened up another blog (Mrs. Livingston’s World), created a TpT shop and became an Outschool teacher. Within a week I am a small business owner who has a shell of a business with calendared days to work on filling the emptiness with materials and classes. But I did it. I took the leap. Not once this week, but twice. Learning that I had to coordinate names and buy a website, you know in case I make oodles! Now with all of this exciting news I took a couple days away from my riding. Oops.

I have stepped away before in a variety of studios but my pause this week allowed me to reflect that I put everyone but myself first. I get to the edge and run and make excuses. Lots of them. All valid and usually involving another person or situation in need but all hiding the truth. I have been afraid of being the best physical me, but that is over. The first sixty-two classes are filling me up with a daily endorphin cocktail which I attribute to the mental confidence to not only put myself out there with my side business hustles, that have sat in limbo for two years, but my physical changes. This does not mean that getting on the bike is easy. It is not. But a needed habit it has become. The bike and I are on to something pretty great physically and mentally as I give it credit for my stronger body and willingness to tackle Mrs. Livingston’s World.

So, in honor of twenty-eight more rides, in exactly four weeks. I am tackling just getting on the bike, daily and completing my four week beginning journey with choosing a ride based on feelings and needs for the day. Do I need music from the 60’s, a hard push with Tunde or Alex ( my favorites) or the craziness of Cody or countless other options. I am bringing my body finding my needs and getting off with a smile. Whatever it is I am honoring it and riding with my head up and completing my journey for my mind, body, and soul.

education, goals, life, Peloton

Just Show Up

The first step of Peloton is “Just show up.” The epiphany is not mine, it is the company way, stated often, and a brilliant marketing tactic and a simple explanation of life. “Just show up.” After only twenty-five rides I am addicted to the mantras, coaches, entertainment, and the new fitter person I am becoming. Now, getting on the bike is not always easy, pretty, or physically pleasant. But it is my time where my showing up does equate to a better overall day due to endorphins and a mindset of positivity.

This week I taught my kids, during SEL time, about dreams, goals, and how to keep in the game when life keeps hitting us hard. My sweet 8th graders have survived unreal scenarios with no answer in sight. I reached into the social emotional learning lessons and inserted a few Peloton expressions and their little faces lit up. I guess it is true that everyone needs a little Ally Love in their lives!

Of course a lesson and a few fun quotes won’t solve the future issues looming over our littles lives. My kids find time to search me out or wait until class is over throughout the week and ask questions for which I have no answers. The frequency of their questions shows me that their stress level is going higher as the days pass. The questions are always the same but stated with their individual flair.

What will school look like next year?

Will it be scary to be back with new kids?

Will we wear masks forever?

Will the shot work?

What about the new strains?

Can we just stay virtual?

Will anyone remember me?

Will anyone like me?

That last one gets me in the heart. But my kids have been missing in action, coping with family, and trying to learn in a bubble chosen by their parents for a variety of reasons. My kids are home by choice and waiting out a storm that keeps bubbling up at every surface. Obviously, I have no answers but their fragility is noted. I shared that I am going to get the vaccine during my “lunch bunch” one student cried real tears as she thought that meant I would not be her teacher. I calmed her down and after I got off camera. I cried. Not even Ms. Love’s spirit and words could calm me down. A “Boss” I was not at that moment more like a puddle of emotions.

All of their questions are now in overdrive due to high-school enrollment on their plate. So I have adopted the Peloton mantra of just showing up into my virtual classroom. Everyday I welcome them by noting their good choices of showing up, being present, turning on the camera, and participating in school and life. This new phrase of congratulations of just showing up seems simple but to my littles they understand that this is the first step to each and everyday. To acknowledge the good choices they are making is my attempt to counter their fears and teach that no matter what the day brings we all have to decide to “Just Show Up” and tackle the day bit by bit. If mantras and power of positive thought can get this 57 year old to ride everyday because of that feeling of wow that I feel during and after the ride, just think of how consistent power of positive thought can transform my littles overwhelming fears.

It is my hope to turn my puddles of concern to strong personalities of positive thoughts for their exciting lives that await them if they are brave enough to peek around the corner.

2020, life

The Year of Play

In 2021 I am gonna play. The simple definition of play is to engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose. Sounds much better than being all grown up and oh so serious every single day. I have done that long enough so I deserve a break. We all do.

Now, truth be told I have been adulting so long that play is foreign. Over the holidays I was reintroduced to the concept by my grandson. At first, I just played any game he desired but I did it as an adult. Not the same. As an adult we get bored, we worry about toy pieces, where the toys will be housed, is this a good toy for development etc. It is exhausting. So I left my reality over the holidays and entered his fantastical experience.

All time and space stopped when I looked into his eyes and did whatever he wanted and together we made each game or activity even bigger. Stuffed animals became babies taking a nap. Who cares, if we are tardy for anything. Diapers were needed on the adult view of stuffed animals which were obvious babies without their needed accoutrements. Unfortunately, my son had no more bottles in the house, as we were ready to go to the next level. Note to self, send bottles. ABC games became a place where my voice and voices brought laughter. Paw Patrol anything was just over the top fun with the focus on the chase to solve the next problem. The mailbox in Blues Clues house became a series of letters to my nugget. Note to self, send real mail. It brings joy. I became immersed. I laughed. I forgot about the reality of life. I found my smile, my true one behind each game, hug, hand holding experience. Oh and my laugh. I found my real laugh. Not the giggle at cuteness. A belly laugh that brought tears of joy. That one. It exists. 2020 did not rip it away from me forever and it was a pleasure to have it back. Now obviously, without being checked into a pysch ward I must leave our little fantasy world and tackle daily life but my vow is to always find a bit of play in any activity to take away the mundane and bring the needed joy that 2020 obviously sapped from my soul into 2021. I will dress up more, wear more make-up (even under my mask), wear the good jewelry, and eat off the good china, well at least a couple times but I will drink my champagne out of our good crystal that is locked away like a prisoners. They will be free in 2021. My dinners will be more varied, and while I hate cooking, I will delight in my hubs appreciation. I will sing more and loudly during my new found love of spinning and will not beat myself up if I am exhausted and can’t get on the saddle. Instead, I will do yoga. Life is short. I will doodle in color and write my class lessons to always include play. My virtual students deserve to find their play as their days in 2020 have been met with confusion and a world of fear.

So onto my year of play. The year of laughter, smiles, hugs, and pure enjoyment that is priceless and found inside of every child, and if you look closely, within yourself. My challenge to you is to bring out your play, in whatever form works for you, as it has not been completely lost. Trust me once you find it you will never ever let it go!

Happy New Year!

life

Let’s Celebrate

As a writer we celebrate the small moments. Making it through the night without a toss and turn of a story or a stream of words floating through my mind is a celebration. Whereas, so is the tossing and turning with creative thoughts that give me a hopeful creation. These thoughts are the lifeblood of my existence that not all of us are lucky enough to have in the middle of any normal evening. Most of you are consumed and kept awake with the traditional stressors, not me. I can sleep through anything. I just am not a sleep worrier unless it is a possible topic for a blog that I lost or worse yet hits the screen and with the obvious direction of failure. It is exhausting being me. Just exhausting.

In recent years under former blog directions my view count was higher, becoming recognized by the blog geeks and brought me to writing my first book. I wrote it and I deleted it. Yes, how many can say that. It lives in a fluffy cloud far away from human contact or my ever reading my first attempt again. I am not sad. It was my choice. It is actually my celebration to have lived the journey.

My blogs have never hit my sweet spot. I have had focuses all over the place all parts of my life and enjoyed the ride but not one that I owned with my heart and soul that sits directly in front of me and longs to be shared. My story, my life, my journey. All of which have been checkered with a decent measure of all the qualities of any life well lived. So while, my education focus may take a bit of a snooze, and I will give up on writing on the (well never say never) the qualities of drugstore mascara. The rest should be of interest. The rest is real. That is the making of a quality blog.

But for today I celebrate for I have earned a whopping amount of .43 cents for my words. To a writer this is gold and a direction that I hope is on upward trajectory.

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