Monday, October 26, 2015

Post-travel Adjusting, Dog-gedly

May I just say that 7 weeks' travel far from home -- and the return from that travel -- is one good way to begin understanding and even constructing one's retirement identity? I'm thinking about this in writing, but I can see it's going to take me a while to grasp, shape, and articulate my thoughts on this. I've unpacked my suitcase, sorted through the huge stack of mail, dealt with outstanding household administrative stuff, spent good time with my grandkids, and now I have the house to myself while Pater's off for a week of meetings.

While I'm somewhat anxious to start making my now-free time "count," and not at all sure what that might mean, I'm determined to putter toward coherence rather than try to impose order too quickly. I've committed one day a week to taking a class (more on that later), and Pater and I are making babysitting a priority until one of our families is sleeping better. Otherwise, I'm going to leave some freedom for catching up with life in general. (I'm still thinking of Lisa's great post on this--she's touching on something "sticky," important.)

Today, my puttering takes the form of sorting through hundreds of photos on my iPhone and deciding which to keep, which to delete, and which to share. And since these photos of dogs out and about in France (with one Italian exception) were taken with either Instagram or the blog in mind, I'm sharing them with you. I hope they'll bring a smile or two to your Monday morning.



19 comments:

  1. I am more aware of dogs since we got our little one. She's five months old now and Monsieur who has never had children shows a bit of his nurturing (and more indulgent)
    side. A different retirement project! Once more we could have crossed paths as I was at Olympic Village and Granville Island to volunteer for the Writer's Festival. The most interesting talk I heard was Elizabeth Hay, Lauren Groff and two others discussing the anonymity of Italian novelist Elena Ferrante who maintains that, once the book is written, the author need play no other role. I bought the first book of the Neapolitan series. Have you read it?

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    1. I was watching for you, Mme. ;-)
      I'm just getting ready to dive into the fourth and final Ferrante Neapolitian book -- the series is so good! I've read a bit about Ferrante's anonymity, the speculation that's been made around it -- I tend to agree with her about the author's role once the book is published.
      I'd love to have a dog as a retirement project, but my guy isn't ready for another, and I have to admit it wouldn't be a good time for us . . . Yet. . .Enjoy yours!

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  2. I think you should allocate one day a week for dog photography , but then I am biased & can't get enough of them . I have two rescued Lurchers that fill my life with much exercise, laughter & , yes , exasperation at times . So thanks for this post .
    Wendy in York

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    1. Oooh, your comment sent me off to read about Lurchers as Pets and now I want one as well. But see my response, above, to Mme L-B. . . (insert sad-face emoticon here). I like your idea of a dog-photog day. . . Hey, I just realized this is a dog-photog-blogpost. . . oh dear!

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  3. Love all the dogs..in theory that is..right now as we travel a lot, so a cat is what we are enjoying as he takes our absences better than a pup:)
    Take your time on charting your retirement course! Enjoy your alone time and grandkid time..Best Coco

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    1. It's true! We've a hand-me-down cat, and she's much easier to have cared for while we're away. A pup just wouldn't work right now.

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  4. Thanks for the wonderful dog pictures. I've become a full blown dog fanatic since retiring and little Lucky the rescue dog goes many places with us but does not fly, poor guy. I certainly envy European life where dogs are such frequent companions and so socialized to urban life and different environments.

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    1. Jane, that's an important point you make -- the dogs show up in so many places in Europe that I'm not accustomed to -- it would raise my eyebrows more except that they are socialized to it and expected to behave and, generally, to maintain a low profile. No requirement that I tolerate their jumping nor would I be expected to fawn over them.

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  5. Oh,they are so cute......I want one,too. I had a collie once,it was such a love,it makes me cry after 25 years.
    Interesting,when in London last week,I spotted only two or three dogs,no more,and the city has no traces at all on the pavements.
    I didn't know about Ferrante approach, but quite intelligible,Dona Leon doesn't approve translation in italian for her books,too
    Have nice days with your family,I landed yesterday and have Polyvore mess on the floor but have lot to do ,so it will stay for a day
    Combinaton of structure,coherence and completely free time (in a day,in a week and in the month ) works best for me and I am completely sure that you are going to find your golden section
    Dottoressa

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    1. It's true -- when I think of London, I don't think of dogs as much as when I think of Paris . . . your collie must have been very sweet to stay with you so very long.
      It takes a while to sort out that Polyvore on the floor AFTER the trip, yes? Not quite as much fun as before!

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  6. Love the dog panoply, ambivalent about getting a dog in retirement as we want to be free to up and go to Europe (or more accurately since we're part of Europe, to continental Europe) on a train with a rucksack apiece.
    Your working life identity didn't happen instantly and fully formed, so your next stage identity will take time to grow. Important to give it time.

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    1. This is my ambivalence as well (and my husband isn't even ambivalent!)
      Good advice about growing my retirement self. I hope I can let it evolve. . .

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  7. Doggies:). And I am happy you think about my post. I really look forward to your thoughts. Time is important, standing close to yourself, and stepping back.

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    1. Yes, it caught me, somehow, that notion of slowing down and catching up. . .

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  8. I am enjoying your blog, and love the daily Instagram posts! As I have a little pooch (almost always with me), seeing dogs on your blog makes me smile. I followed the seven weeks of your fabulous European adventure, such a wonderful experience! I hope you will make it to Seattle! xo Joanna

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    1. Thanks, Joanna -- glad you enjoy the posts. I love your Instagrams and, as you know, drool over your beautiful jewelry. One of these days, one of those pieces will be mine, once our dollar co-operates (actually, my sisters and I are traveling to Whidbey Island in a few weeks, but I suspect we won't swing through downtown Seattle. Too bad. . . )

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  9. Love the dog pictures ... really cute. I've always said we'd get a dog if we ever stop travelling (and I don't want that to happen yet! ) as I'd find it hard to leave it behind for weeks and I'd feel it wasn't fair on him or her. I do think it would be lovely to have one to go walking with though ...
    Rosie

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    1. Sounds as if many of us are at the same stage, wanting a dog, but aware that it's not quite time yet. I agree that it would be lovely to have one as a walking companion. Someday. . .

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  10. Love the doggie photos. Didn't know I needed a dog until one found me. Now I realize potential travel plans have changed. But all in its own time. Puttering, catching up, sorting out, all important.

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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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