Tuesday, November 17, 2015
I left Spain just a bit more than a month ago, and flew directly to Italy for another 12 days, but even then I was writing about things to consider after I returned home. My initial question was, and still is, “I want a quieter life. What can I eliminate from my schedule?”
On my return from my first Camino in 2013, I managed to sit daily for two hours in the afternoon, reading in front of the fireplace. I shut out most social activities, but couldn’t give myself much kudos because the reason I put a halt to everything was that my one remaining Golden Retriever, Marley, contracted a raging, tenacious staph infection in his right front elbow and part of the right side of his chest. Two surgeries, a feeding tube, mixing slurry to put in said tube until he could eat again, and bandage/dressing changes EVERY day, seven days a week, at 8:00 a.m. for six weeks. Exhaustion and worry eliminate any desire to socialize, quite frankly.
Marley died in October 2014, so now I have no pet reason to slow down. What I’ve been writing is most likely of much less interest to my followers than it is to me, but this site is where I record my Camino and its after-effects. So the list in my journal (in addition to attempting NOT to get another dog for another year or two) looks like this:
- Committee work? Do I want to continue?
- No more than TWO coffee or lunch dates per week (try ONCE a week). I’ve managed to do this so far, though I’ve had several doctor’s appointments since my return
- Sell my Expedition. I’m getting there . . . installed the third seat, and will have the car detailed this week before I post it for sale.
- Sell my Karmann Ghia. An on-again, off-again project. Love that car . . .
- Sort and sell some of the voluminous collection of yarn I’ve accumulated
- Spend two hours a week (all at one time) in my sewing closet, repairing or whatever, to get the stack DOWN.
- Take a class to learn how to use my serger and learn to thread the damned thing by myself
- Consider selling my cello, or begin taking lessons again
- Sell my JFK uncirculated half dollars
- Write in this journal every day
- Go back to Nia
- Re-register to be an UBER driver
- Write with Kay on Tuesdays again. I’m at Starry Night, our regular meeting place, right now, as I write this.
- Attend Tuesday noon meditation at downtown Shambala Center before meeting with Kay. I’ve managed this every week so far.
- Order fountain pen cleaning solution. Done . . . just waiting for Amazon to deliver it.
- Get my scarves ready for the Lincoln Center gift Show. Done . . .the weekend was slow, but I did sell triple my booth fee. Not a lot but enough.
- Work on WordPress help. Back burner, I can tell.
- ***JUST SAY NO to all new invitations, all new projects, until this list is accomplished. I’ve managed to do this very well so far, without a skip of a beat. When presented with a new project, a new anything that isn’t already on my radar, I say, “I promised myself I’d say no to all new events and projects, so thank you, but no.” No guilt, no shame.
I am, however, having a hard time shaking the possibility of applying to the Ucross Foundation for a writing retreat in March. It’s free, it’s in northern Wyoming, and I’ve wanted to apply for several years. But do I want to leave Neil for 2-4 weeks again? No. So I’ll put that too on the back burner. And as I just looked at the application, I would need to apply by October 1 in order to be admitted in March of the following year, so the calendar made my decision for me. A wimpy sigh of relief. Postponement.
My Bucket List is filled with energy, as it often is, but I wrote a list from scratch in the back of my new journal. Same categories as I’ve always had . . . travel, create, clean out/sort. And a big “NO”. Do NOT consider doing National Novel Writing this year. Well, NaNo has begun, and we’re halfway through November, so my resolve stuck. Good for me.
My children have been up in the Fort lately, because of their step-mother’s impending and now completed death from pancreatic cancer. The Celebration of Life was three days ago. We celebrate life when someone dies, but do we celebrate our own lives every day? There’s something to think about. I commit to celebrating something in my own life every day. I celebrate quiet. I celebrate a good night’s sleep. I celebrate my good health. I most definitely celebrate my relationship with Neil.
The Camino is on my mind, though I swore while I was walking the Norte that I would NEVER want to do another Camino. I think I lied. The walking takes hold of one and doesn’t let go. Choose a different, less mountainous path, and perhaps travel for a shorter distance, three weeks not six. I’m not setting any dates, but though Neil has that bag hanging over me in case I talk too much about another walk, I can dream. I can celebrate my life. I can plan for the birthday in 2016 that will force me to lay claim to septuagenarian status. And to be grateful. Now it’s back to working on my list . . . checking some of it off before the holidays.
Thanks for listening.