The things that are saving my life right now

Anne over at Modern Mrs. Darcy recently suggested listing The things that are saving my life right now. Here’s her explanation of this idea:

The idea comes from author Barbara Brown Taylor. In her memoir Leaving Church, Taylor tells about a time she was invited to speak, and her host assigned her this topic: “Tell us what is saving your life right now.”

It’s easy and often tempting to rattle off a bunch of things that are killing us: “My sore feet are killing me.” “All this snow is killing me.” “I have a couple of clients right now who are trying to kill me.”

Yes, we complain a lot when things are going badly. But what we may fail to notice is all the things that are going well. It’s easy to pull our hair, look skyward, and yell, “Why me?” when we feel overwhelmed. But we almost never ask “Why me?” when things go well. We accept the good things as our due without acknowledging them.

So Modern Mrs. Darcy’s challenge is a chance to set things right, to appreciate the good things as well as the bad. She has invited us to put together our list and post a link to it over at her blog.

Here are some things that are saving me right now.

A little bit of sunshine

Winter can get pretty dreary here in the Pacific Northwest of the USA. But last week we had a few periods when the sun actually broke through. A little bit of sun doesn’t mean that the day won’t also include some rain, but just those fleeting periods of sunshine improved my mood and reminded me of the promise of spring and summer, which are truly glorious here.

Still crazy after all these years

My husband is one of the kindest, most generous people I’ve ever known. And he loves me. ME! Out of the whole big wide world, he chose me to spend life with. I still marvel at this miracle every single day.

Getting to know our daughter

Our daughter was born and grew up in St. Louis, MO. She left there for college in Tacoma, WA (University of Puget Sound), fell in love with the area, and never came back. We visited enough to know that we, too, loved the area and decided to retire here. And here we are! We have enjoyed immensely seeing our daughter more than once a year and being able to spend holidays together. Since she left home right after high school, we never really spent much time with her as an adult. Getting to know the woman she has become continues to be extremely gratifying.

A brighter world

I had cataract surgery on both my eyes last fall, and since then the world has been a much brighter place. Cataracts smothered my vision so gradually that I didn’t notice it for a long time. But when I realized that I could no longer appreciate subtle differences in colors, I knew it was time for me to do something about it. After I had the first eye done, I would frequently cover one eye and look through the other one. I could not believe the vast difference between the eye with the new lens and the one without. And now that both eyes have new lenses, my reading glasses require a much milder prescription than before. I am so looking forward to seeing all the flowers this spring and summer.

Retirement

What a luxury it is to be able to choose what I want to do and when I want to do it (and to choose to not do many things I don’t want to do). Having relocated to a different part of the country for our retirement has given us a whole new world of stuff to learn about it. Sometimes I feel like a kid in a candy store.

Travel planning

We didn’t take much time to travel when we were younger. Life was just always too busy. To make up for that, we have committed to traveling frequently in our early retirement years, while we can still move around fairly easily. There are just so many interesting places to visit, so many peoples and countries to learn about, so much glorious nature to see.

Books

There are so many good books out there that I haven’t read yet. Finishing one and picking up another is one of the true joys of my life.

Silver and gold

Make new friends but keep the old.
One is silver and the other’s gold.

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I’m sure I’m leaving out a lot, but all of these things remind me how good my life is. I look forward to checking out other peoples’ lists on the Modern Mrs. Darcy website.

What about you? What things are saving your life right now?

Dear Community Members,

Thanks to WordPress Daily Prompt for this writing topic:

Community Service

Your entire community — however you define that; your hometown, your neighborhood, your family, your colleagues — is guaranteed to read your blog tomorrow. Write the post you’d like them all to see.

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Dear Retirement Community Members,

I’m glad to have this opportunity to address all of you at once. I want to thank you for making me feel so welcome when I moved here a little more than three years ago.

As you know, there’s always a waiting list for available independent-living duplexes. Our name made it to the top of the list in late March 2013. My husband wasn’t planning to retire until the end of the year, but we were afraid that, if we passed up the opportunity and let our name go back to the bottom of the list, we’d have to wait three to five years for another opening.

I made a quick trip to Tacoma in late March to see the unit. I’d never seen the inside of a duplex, only a drawing of the interior floor plan. I immediately fell in love with it. Even though all the duplexes have identical floor plans, I loved the location of this one on the corner, near the road. Without another building right next to it, this one felt bigger and more open.

When I returned home, my husband and I decided we’d take this duplex instead of waiting. So I packed my little car to the gills, taking what I’d need to set up housekeeping, and drove the 2,100 miles to Tacoma. I arrived at my new home on April 10, 2013. My husband would join me after he retired at the end of December.

It was a bit scary making this move on my own, but several of you knocked on my door and welcomed me to the community. (A few of you even gave me plants as a welcoming gift, and I didn’t have the heart to tell you that house plants come to my house to die.) Your kindness helped me adjust, and I quickly came to love my new home.

Originally I didn’t have much to unpack, so I soon began learning my way around my new home town. We had been visiting our daughter in Tacoma for about 15 years, so I knew my way around a tiny bit, but I had a lot to learn. Once again, many of you came to my aid, telling me how to get to Metropolitan Market and Trader Joe’s as well as other places. When I said I was interested in learning about the city’s history, you suggested parks, monuments, and buildings I might want to visit. You explained to me how to sign up for events held at Franke Tobey Jones and for excursions to other places, such as the monthly Lunch Bunch outing.

By the time my husband arrived to stay in December, I already felt well settled in. Again, many of you went out of your way to come meet him and welcome him to the community.

Now, after more than two years, we both continue to marvel at how friendly everyone here is. We knew we were going to retire to Tacoma because our daughter lives here, but we’re so glad that we chose Franke Tobey Jones. I think that the sign out front should be changed from “Retirement Estates” to “Retirement Community,” because community is what we’ve truly found here.

Sincerely yours,
Mary Brown

Me, too!

“I am happily living in ‘the other Washington’ where I have a day job that I love,” Amazon founder Jeff Bezos told Washington Post employees after the announcement of his purchase of the newspaper.