“Multitask, multitask, busy every day - Oh what fun it is to try to have a holiday!” - Well, you get the idea. It’s an “Attention Deficit” holiday for me – not a lot of jingle in my bell. This year my life has been about as stable as the stock market. I’ve barely done a traditional holiday thing – I’m just distracted. I put up a kitschy red tinsel peace symbol on my front door and sent a couple of cards, but for me, this holiday is about charitable donations not “stuff”. I’ve enjoyed receiving some holiday cards and letters – I’ve read some fun stories, and some sad stories. We all have our times of joy and sorrow to be sure.
Each year we are more deeply immersed in technology, which connects and isolates us. I log too many hours of screen time, mea culpa. I troll Craigslist and many job sites for work, read tons of news, and of course shop. I am addicted to Redfin studying local real estate. I have a website, two FaceBook pages, LinkedIn, a blog, plus the usual PC software, my calendar, Quicken, QuickBooks and smart phone. Argh. I am the proud owner of a Kindle Fire, an early birthday gift which has been a lot of fun. And fun I need!
I’m self employed again, after having two receptionist jobs this year – one at a retirement facility and one at a skilled nursing facility. I felt that I had better become my own boss again, or risk being wheeled in there myself on a gurney. I turn 62 this year and I am very aware of the impact of constant stress on health. I’m a hard worker, but I have no interest in drama or dysfunction - I want a peaceful life!
I applied for early “retirement” Social Security. Not that I’m actually retiring, but my work as a freelance personal assistant is part time so I can maintain a healthy life balance. The only benefit of self employment is that, yes, I can work in my pajamas with a cat on my lap! It is surprisingly challenging work – my clients by nature are not good at the things I do. If they were, they wouldn’t NEED me! So there is plenty of opportunity for MY self development too - in terms of patience and communication skills. I am working now with three clients who need some type of office support, but I’ve also returned to senior companion care. I enjoy working for seniors, and I have made several lasting friendships. Friends becoming clients and clients becoming friends is another benefit!
I’m volunteering as a driver with our local Rides & Smiles program and as a receptionist at a senior center, both as networking opportunities and community service. I have joined a local political group also. I joined a new gym about three minutes from home, and have actually been going!
My home life continues to be very quiet. I have three BFF cats, all of whom are spoiled and demanding in their own way. No such thing as a low maintenance pet – that’s an oxymoron! Have not done a thing to my house, it has been turning back in to the fixer that it was when we bought it in 2002. I’ve held off moving due to concerns about housing prices and employment. I continue to feel restless and ready for a change in many ways, but the crystal ball remains a bit hazy as my Dad used to say. I have lived in this house for almost ten years. For me, that is a long time. So I’ve been practicing gratefulness for my comfortable, if not terribly exciting life, and counting my blessings and taking one day at a time.
“Here in the Northern Hemisphere, we are only days away from the winter solstice, which celebrates the return of the light, and the promise that the days will once again grow long and warm. But until that time, perhaps our energy would be best spent aligning with nature, and like the trees, pulling our energy deep into our roots, in preparation for another year of growth.”