Thursday, February 5, 2015

Somebody Get Me Some Bread and Cheese...


Yesterday, I posted on Facebook that my life right now is the equivalent of a trapped animal chewing its own leg off to get free.  A tad melodramatic, but definitely gets the feeling across. 

This midwinter is becoming more tedious by the day.  No trip to Klamath this year, and no catering kitchen to get into shape for licensing.  No money for around-the-house fix-up projects.  Just day after day of swinging my legs out the side of the bed and sighing, “Well.  What should I do today?”  There are only so many loads of laundry one can wash or floors one can vacuum.  I suck at this.  Really.

I don’t know how people do this “retirement” thing.  I like to tell myself I’m not officially retired, but I’m old, and I’m not employed, so I guess that adds up to retirement.  And I really hate it.  I am absolutely NO good at filling my days with fun/useful activities. 

I started working full-time when I was 18 years old.  It’s a nearly four-decade habit that I can’t seem to break.  With all the troubles that I had working for other people, in spite of all the drama and emotional garbage I went through putting myself out there, I can’t make myself enjoy NOT having to do that.  The structure of rolling up my sleeves, wading in and getting a job done because I had to was what held up the rest of my life.  When it’s entirely up to me to choose something to keep me busy, something that really doesn’t matter whether it gets done or not,  I can’t get motivated enough to get up and apply myself to it.

For the first couple of years after we closed the restaurant, I was more than content to do whatever struck my fancy on any given day.  Or do nothing, if that’s what I wanted.  I was exhausted.  I needed the rest.  But not anymore.  I’m bored and fidgety and restless.  And, as a corollary to that, I realized that my inability to write is intrinsically connected to the fact that there is NOTHING going on in my life right now.  Very hard to be inspired by nothing.

The last time I was in this space, I went out and bought a restaurant....claiming that, if nothing else, it would "keep me off the streets."  Well, it did spades.  God forbid I should forget all that came after and be stupid enough to make such a move again.  This time, I'm pretty sure it would be the end of me, my marriage, and everything I've ever held dear.  Augh.

I’m sure if I whined about this on Facebook or where friends would actually read, I’d get all sorts of suggestions about what I could do.  Volunteer.  Take a class.  Join a gym.  I suppose I could do one of these.  And I might yet.  But everything is kind of complicated by being out here in the damn sticks.  There are limited educational, recreational and volunteer opportunities available that are not at least a twenty-mile drive one way.  Then you have to ask whether you are willing to pay for the extra gas it’s going to take to get you to where the opportunities are.  Gas may be cheap NOW, but I’ll lay bets that the price will soar back up to $4/gallon this summer.  And you can’t really commit to something “until the price of gas goes back up.” 

Humbug.  I know I’m making excuses.  Sort of.  But it’s my blog, and I can whine if I want to.  And today, I want to.     


  1. You've got a great camera and you've done some wonderful work. If you're going to take a class(es) why not build on your photography. It just might surprise you. What make of camera do you have BTW.

  2. For photography you might be able to find classes online. Once you have the basics it's mainly taking picture after picture after picture. At least with a digi you don't have to burn through a lot of useless film, just hit the delete button. :-)

  3. Jackie--I actually have TWO DSLR's--one Nikon and one Canon. I thought about the online photography course, but the cheapest one I found is $100. And I really DON'T have any money. And taking on online course doesn't get me out of the house. I was thinking the other day that if we lived in Eugene or in Tigard (where we lived the last time we lived in the PDX area) I at least could probably get some kind of little throw-away job without having to drive an hour to get there... :P

  4. Just try to relax and look at everything around you in a new light. Think about all our experience and what gets your juices flowing, and then look to see if you can apply that somewhere in mentoring or consulting. Something you can do on your own terms and leave your schedule as fluid or structered as you'd want.

    Life & Faith in Caneyhead

  5. Don't ever, ever think you can't write anymore. Your "On Darkness and Light" was fabulous and with each passing sentence I was mentally screaming yes, yes, YES!
    It may make you feel better to know that I envy you. I would give almost anything not to have to get up and go to work every day. I like my job well enough but I would love to retire right now.
    I agree that you should pursue something, I don't know what, with your camera magic. You're good.

  6. Thank you, Meredith. I can always count on you to brigten my outlook. :)