Saturday, June 20, 2015

Still Busy, But It's Alright...

I am so glad I posted my muddled thoughts about the balance I'm trying to strike, newly retired, between catching up on the social life I've missed for so much of my working life and the need to stay healthy and rested. Why so glad? Because your wise, supportive, encouraging, and experienced comments reassured me that this is just part of the process and that I'm pretty normal in my adjustments to a new phase of life.
As I explained in the post and in the comments (and really, the comments are so worth the time to browse, such a rich conversation I feel privileged to host), the slightly overwhelming rhythm of Fun, Fun, and More Fun I've been partaking in lately is a pretty specific constellation of good events.
Two wonderful events had been on the calendar for months (a concert reading of our friend's new opera AND a lunch celebrating his 75th birthday and the opera launch). Then last week, my daughter accepted a standing invitation to bring the kids over for some beach time, and who would ever say No to that, but it meant I arrived in Vancouver already feeling a bit worn.
Because we'd decided to do a city week, I squeezed in two lunches with friends here, both lovely visits I've promised for months and months. And I love the variety of running routes here and the chance to cycle good distances on safe paths to interesting destinations, so the days had to make room for those jaunts. Nothing here that anyone should whine about, all these activities are restorative in some important ways, but cumulatively, they seem to be demanding I put in some serious quiet time.
So yesterday, although I did a quick morning run with my sister, I stayed in the apartment most of the day. I did have an appointment in the afternoon, but even I know I can't complain about pedicure-induced fatigue!

The busy isn't quite over. This weekend, I'm taking an intensive 2-full-days Introductory Digital Photography course. My kids gave it to me as a retirement gift, and I'm thrilled to bits about it. I'm also well aware that I will come home at 5:30 today with as much pep as a wet dish rag, and then get up and do it all again on Sunday. I don't do well with all-day all-on activities, and I hope I won't be too obviously out of sorts in my mid-afternoon Arsenic Hour. Paul's back on the island, though, so the apartment will be all mine to regroup in. a luxury, really, Just me and my Netflix.
And then next week, I've pencilled "Dolce far niente" all over my calendar (thank you for that comment, Heather, a good reminder).....
Meanwhile, If you've got access to some fresh fava beans, and you'd like to build a salad meal around them, we made this for dinner Thursday night by following the very loose recipe I set out back in this post.
If, instead, you can only find fresh cherries and get tired of eating them plain (oh, you lucky thing!), you could do what I did two nights ago: pit about 2 cups' worth (I know, but you can get a kind of Zen thing going, really, while you're splattering sticky red juice all over your kitchen), then put them in a buttered, oven-proof dish -- keep them at a single layer, preferably -- and sprinkle with a couple of tablespoons of brown sugar, a teaspoon of vanilla, a grating of peppercorns, and a decent splash or two of balsamic vinegar. 10-15 minutes at 400 degrees, and you'll have the most wonderful topping for vanilla ice cream. Or plain yogurt, if you're of a healthier persuasion.
Let me know if you try either recipe OR if you have another simply prepared dish that takes advantage of the seasonal produce. And please feel free to chime in to the conversation about adjusting to retirement or even just about balancing Fun with Fear of Fatigue.
Happy Weekend!

11 comments:

  1. Delicious cherries! Well,no, I did't make them this moment,but like it this way,also with peaches,apricots,figs and plums,what I have at the moment
    Like your nail polish,I was yesterday and have chosen coral
    Have a nice weekend,take care!
    I'm going to Adriatic tomorrow for a little break
    Dottoressa

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    1. Have a lovely time at the seaside with your coral toes! I'll have to try that recipe with other fruit--thanks for the idea.

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  2. Happy weekend to you too:).

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  3. What a good name "mid-afternoon arsenic hour"! I wake between 4:30 and 5:00 each day right now. My mood and energy is high in the morning while Monsieur is lethargic. By mid-afternoon, I am done especially if I have been out for lunch (one glass of wine). This week we are going to UBC together (M and I) to attend an Ageless Pursuits lecture series. That salad looks delicious. Perhaps paying more attention to my diet would prevent the pm slump. Or else, the balance of alone and together time just needs to be adjusted. Have a balanced week-end. Whatever that is!

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    1. Did you ever see a child-rearing guide called The Mother's Almanac back in the 70s, 80s? It was a mainstay for me, and they used that term, The Arsenic Hour...my body clock would love me to have a nap to ward that off, not always possible...Hope that lecture series is good. uBC campus is so lovely in the summer.

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  4. The cherry dish sounds delicious!
    Good luck on your course. Intensive immersion is a great way to absorb all the info....then practising. It will be fun to see your new skills at work here on your blog.

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    1. Thanks, l. Honestly, I find the daylong immersion a bit much, have to really force my attention back by 3:30, and I think I'd prefer a weekly series of 2or 3-hour classes instead of 12 hours in 2 days....But I'm finding it veryi interesting and looking forward to practising at I've learned.

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  5. I've noticed some retirees keep up a very busy, even rushed life, while others slow down and enjoy being unrushed. I think it depends on personality and what each person has determined retirement will be. Looking forward to seeing the results of your course, here!

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    1. Exactly. I expect there are as many versions of retirement a there are of working careers. You seem to have found a balance that suits you and I'm counting on doing the same, eventually.

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  6. Once again, I'm working backwards. Love the term "mid-afternoon arsenic hour" as it captures the feeling so perfectly. As a lark in a family of mostly night owls I relied on naps, whenever possible, to see me through many a day.

    I am realizing that balance finds itself, and rather than looking for more things to fill my time, there are things I want to explore, like those photography skills, which I don't believe will be my strong suit, and playing the piano again. But really, who knows where I will go when. I think the joy of retirement is having time to explore the many aspects of ourselves, each in their own time.

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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