To "be" or not to "be" - that IS the question

<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:date Month="2" Day="13" Year="2010">The 13<SUP>th</SUP> of February, 2010</st1:date> is the first day of the Rest Of My life.:victory:<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
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Well,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,<o:p></o:p>
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Im waiting.:(<o:p></o:p>
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Did someone speak?<o:p></o:p>
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Whats on the agenda ?<o:p></o:p>
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Its a Saturday, the day you catch a bus to the fresh food market. The same as you do every Saturday, but this time its different.<o:p></o:p>
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On the 13<SUP>th</SUP> February, you cannot spend whatever you like.<o:p></o:p>
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There is no payday on the 15<SUP>th</SUP> of every month. There is no, eat like a rich man today & for next couple of weeks (& eat like a pauper the week before pay day).<o:p></o:p>
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What money is paid into your bank account on <st1:date Month="2" Day="12" Year="2010">the 12<SUP>th</SUP> of February, 2010</st1:date>, has to last for weeks, months in fact it has to last for too long. :eek:
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Too long? What does that mean? :confused:<o:p></o:p>
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Does it mean forever? :worried:<o:p></o:p>
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Not quite. Itll be a while before you have access to some more money, so make it last as long as you possibly can. A voice inside my head spoke.<o:p></o:p>
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So what do you buy when you have to budget?<o:p></o:p>
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Whats a budget? I said to myself. Ive never budgeted in my whole life. I am 56 years old & have never budgeted. All I ever did was..in my youth, I worked my guts out at however many jobs I could handle, & then went overseas & had a bloody good time.<o:p></o:p>
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After that part of my life, I got a secure & sensible job, paid my rent & bills on payday (always once a month, unfortunately) & lived on what was left always too little to paint the town red!- so I painted the town (Melbourne & surrounding inner suburbs) a delicate shade of vermillion.

Vermillion is a combination of late nights (or should I say early mornings?), alcohol, multi-tasking at the office accounts, late nights, alcohol, strong black coffee to multi-task at the office, late nights AND early mornings, alcohol..no wonder I was slim, trim, taunt & terrific in my youth, I never had time to just be or slowed down enough to catch any passing dollops of fat that rolled along on the side of the road.<o:p></o:p>
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In recent years, I paid my rent & bills on payday (always once a month, unfortunately) & lived on what was left. Every time a medical bill came up, I used my credit card. Medical bills had come up too many times in the last 15 years or so.<o:p></o:p>
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So what did I do?<o:p></o:p>
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In recent years, I paid my rent & bills & credit cards on payday (always once a month, unfortunately) & lived on what was left. Every time a medical bill came up, I used my credit card.<o:p></o:p>
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And so onGet the drift.<o:p></o:p>
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Now it was time to settle the debts.Uhmmmmmm.@&%#@?>. <o:p></o:p>
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The financial debts were big enough, but I had enough money in my superannuation (retirement) fund to clear those.<o:p></o:p>
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The real debts were a number of medical files with 1,000,001 medical records & a mediocre life of chronic pain, fatigue & other debilitating symptoms.<o:p></o:p>
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So, the 13<SUP>th</SUP> February & for everyday in the next few months, I was going to just be<o:p></o:p>
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That is, I was going to get out of bed, shuffle into the bathroom, look into the mirror & see a blurred outline of the possibilities of where just be-ing was going to lead me.<o:p></o:p>
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The joy & exhilaration of not knowing what each new day was going to bring, was going to be the most wonderous experience of my life.:victory:
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The only trouble with this be-ing was that I was not really well enough to enjoy the fullness of the word :sofa:.
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I was very, very stiff, in pain (constantly despite what face I presented to the world) & nearly always fatigued. I was forgetful, confused & often just plain blundered about like the newly blind without the white cane or guide dog. I couldn't hear that well (or, was it also a case of didn't want to hear?). And walking, even a wee bit too fast, left my heart pounding, chest pain & shooting pains down & around my left shoulder.

Sitting too long or too low down, left me hunched over like the Hunchback of Notre Dame - I needed to draw breath & slowly, inch by inch, straighten up & then proceed to where ever I was going.

My eyesight was decidedly poor (at best) & downright blurred & wonky - like looking through a fish eye lense at worst.

I needed a hit of caffeine just to walk out the door. I needed the constant lure of payday to keep me afloat. And I needed a mixture of analgesics & alternative remedies to keep me rowing the oars so to speak.

The fact that the ocean was deep, dark & forbidding was irrelevant in the past. I cant swim. In fact, I cant even dogpaddle. What would I do without my floaties (payday) supporting me & keeping me afloat. <o:p></o:p>
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Would I drown?<o:p></o:p>
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Or would I grab a passing lifebuoy & start madly, frantically, kicking for the distant shoreline desperate to reach shallow waters?<o:p></o:p>
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Or would I turn over, float on my back & just be. <o:p></o:p>
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Comments

Well... you have said that you gained a smidge of weight since your younger party days so the extra buoyancy should help regardless of outcome! lol :D

I also think there should be a chapter in this story entitled "The first weekday morning I realized I could sleep in for HOURS" hehe :) I suspect you will enjoy being retired Vicki. A new adventure is opening up for you!

Jeremy's dad is retiring two weeks after you are. His friends who have already retired all gave him this piece of advice - don't make any plans for the first month of retirement. Just sit back and enjoy having nothing needing to be done for anyone but yourself, when and how you want it.

Sit back, enjoy the ride and just "be" :D

Lisa :)
 
I will try to just "be" Lisa, but I suspect it will take some time to switch off my old life.

Getting up later in the morning will take exactly 30 seconds to get used to.

Quietening down my brain will take a little longer.

(I'm not actually "retiring" as such. I don't have enough money to do that. I'm taking a long restful "vacation" to try & improve my health & well-being. Hopefully somewhere down the track, I'll come up with some inspiration as too how I can earn some money sometime in the distant future. I doubt that I will ever be able to work with such intensity, full-time ever again, but I will have to earn some more money one day to pay the rent & bills in future. I don't have the luxury of owning my own home.)
 
Wow, you must be the queen of metaphors on this site. Loved this piece! Thanks for making me smile.
 
As long as you have more time to spend here with us, I think it will a fantastic rest.

I hope to see you in the chat lobby regularly.
 
Pleased my blog put a smile on your face, Kelvin Lord (is that your real name?). Should I call you Kelvin?

That's one of my favourite words to describe what I want in life - to just "be".

And for anyone interested, I have started writing a book. Toying with the title "Stop the World, I want to get off".

Kelvin Lord;bt527 said:
Wow, you must be the queen of metaphors on this site. Loved this piece! Thanks for making me smile.
 
flybro;bt529 said:
As long as you have more time to spend here with us, I think it will a fantastic rest.

I hope to see you in the chat lobby regularly.
Flybro,

I tried to get on the chat room at lunch time at work & apparently my office computer doesn't have the right software - the latest Java (is it?). In which case, my home computer DEFINITELY won't have the right software. I need to look into a few updates for my home computer & as I am "technology challenged" :ashamed:, it may take a few lessons & advice from my ever patient brothers to get me up to speed .

But improving health & well being are first on the agenda after the 12th Feb. Am not doing too well mentally or physically at the moment. I need some down time with my herbs & meditation to unwind & relax.
 
Victoria, I'm keeping you in mind: retirement is tomorrow, your time, isn't it? So, soon.

OK, just a couple of my many tips for saving money. I'm a virtual font of them.

food: my local health food store has a deal where, if you order in bulk, they will give it to you for wholesale plus 15%. That's a savings of about 30% right there, plus you often save when you buy in bulk. Maybe you could find a similar deal in your neighborhood? or a food co-op? Obviously some things must be bought fresh but you can save a packet on drugstore items, staples such as oatmeal and rice, and so on.

medical bills: since you will now have a much lower income, why not try to see if you can get some of these either reduced or forgiven? You may be able to dicker. And I don't know what the bankruptcy laws are there, but that's also a possibility which could relieve you of debt.

clothes: thrift stores are great places to shop when you have more time. (I pick up a lot of household and garden items here, too.) Consignment stores are more expensive but better organized and with consistent quality.

Victoria, from what I know of you you've been creative and able to improvise all through your life, in many situations. This is just another one.
 
All your blogs are wonderful, this one is no different. And I happen to know, you are enjoying your just being... ; )
 

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