How the Cookie Crumbles

An irreverant view of life after SIXTY-FIVE

Freedom Daze

36 Comments


Both grandkids are in school all day as of this week. The younger one is in Grade One now.

All summer as I babysat, I felt I accomplished nothing and began to dream about this fall. The extra time I’d have to myself had me levitating. Lunch or coffee with friends any time I want as long as I’m at the bus stop when school’s out.

So far, this week’s been a mirage. Monday was a holiday; Tuesday, the first day back to school. Wednesday was my bookstore shift. I had a meeting Thursday and had to rush for the bus. That was the same day my dental office called to change next week’s appointment to Friday (today) at 9:00 a.m.  Of course the school bus was late this morning, as was I. Then, the dentist pulled a White Rabbit act from Alice in Wonderland.

Hurry up and wait.

Microsoft Clipart

Microsoft Clipart

I finally straightened up my house for my granddaughter’s sixth birthday this past Sunday. I hadn’t noticed the accumulation of books, notebooks and paper. Mountains of the written word everywhere: on end tables, on my small writing desk in the kitchen, the coffee table and all over my eight-foot dining-room table. I promised I’d tackle the job this week with all the extra time I’d have. I planned to file and trash. I’ve managed none of the above.

Who was I kidding? Have I begun to knock down Paper Mountains and de-clutter piles of junk? Not yet. I’m still having trouble resurrecting my hidden treasures in preparation for the birthday party.

This is a new week. What have I accomplished today? I read blogs and commented. That’s my full-time job now. Oh, I managed to make two pots of coffee and grabbed some lunch. I didn’t go out but came straight home after my last-minute rendezvous with the tardy dentist.

I haven’t even had time to catch up on any reading all day. I did manage to entertain Lady Gaga, my cat, when she insisted on my attention. We played peek-a-boo for which she has an extraordinary fondness. And she likes me. How could I refuse when she sprinted onto my lap and pressed her check against mine, inviting a hug?  I adore my little fur-ball so we sat and mused together for a while.

This buzz of freedom might not look any different than it did before both grandchildren were in school. Even if I don’t accomplish any more than a hill of beans with this extra time, maybe I won’t feel so whacked at the end of the day. I must reserve energy for more than going cross-eyed reading posts all day. Maybe I’ll accomplish something for a change: finish projects, read a book, write something interesting.

For the past seven years since I retired, the hours in my day are shorter than ever and it’s not because I have time to nap.

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Author: Let's CUT the Crap!

I'm getting a little LONG in the tooth and have things to say about---ouch---AGEing. I believe it's certainly a state of mind but sometimes it's nice to hear that you're NORMAL. I enjoy reading by the truckload. I'm a grandma but I don't feel OLD although I'm not so young anymore. My plan is to stick it out as long as I can on this lovely planet and only will leave it kicking and screaming!

36 thoughts on “Freedom Daze

  1. You entertained Lady Gaga… I’d say that’s accomplishing a lot! Amazing what does and doesn’t happen with the time.

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  2. Everyone I’ve talked to who has retired has no idea how they ever accomplished anything when they worked a full time job AND had to do all other activities of living. I found myself holding my breath while I was reading this.

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  3. I think I am laughing a little (sorry). Why not draw a breath and let the days smooth out before you, I think you might be less frazzeled.

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  4. Isn’t that funny how expected free time always winds up being so busy?! Nice post, Ms. Tess – enjoyed your journey through the week!

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  5. I find that whatever really needs to be done gets done…the rest isn’t all that important and I’m not going to let it stress me. At least that’s what I am saying tonight with the week end ahead of me.

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  6. They say if you want to get something done, give it to a busy person. I feel so much better at the end of the day when I have accomplished a lot. It’s great for mind body and soul.

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  7. Oh, boy, you are living my life. I so identify with this. I’m having as much luck restricting myself from social media and blogs as you are. At least I’m not alone!

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  8. Love the line “hurry up and wait”. I’m hoping that when I get to retirement, I will have a bit more freedom, if not time to choose what gets done. There will always be the “must dos” like going to the dentist (at least if you want to keep your teeth!) but perhaps a little more freedom to go with the remaining flow? A cluttered living room is the sign of a full life 🙂

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  9. It’s funny, whenever we imagine we will have plenty of time to do things, it just never works out like that! When I have time off work, or if I have a weekend where the kids are off doing things without me, I draw up a long list of things and think that I’ll easily get through them all, and then I manage to tick like one thing off my list! What happens to time?

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  10. It seems to me you’ve accomplished a lot of things. Maybe they’re not “big” things – do you find the “little” things somehow less worthy? Or was there something specific you wanted time for?
    I for one appreciate your “reading and commenting”, and I’m sure so do many others. 🙂

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  11. Whatever you do in your spare time is what you do Tess. Nowhere is it written that you HAVE to be constructively busy all the damn time!!
    I suggest, enjoy the time, and if everything still looks like it did this morning, so be it 😉

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  12. Boring women have tidy houses Tess and that’s not you 🙂

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  13. Tess, retirement is a double edged sword in a way. All the time in the world, and none at all. I seem to have filled all those empty hours up again without noticing when I did such a thing. The art of sitting and picking up a book is lost on me. After I turn a page or two my mind starts its incessant chattering about peaches needing to be washed or the painting project not getting any younger. Ah well, I guess I don’t know to be gloriously bored or simply rest quietly. Maybe I’ll start observing Boo the Cat, she has it down to a science and could teach on the subject. I’ll work on that – you might too.

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  14. Isn’t it amazing that once we’re “retired” we don’t know how in the world we spent so much time working? There’s just more than enough to keep busy, but you really are. You have a lot of responsibility with grandkids. I know they can be exhausting, but I know mine remind me there is young life “out there.”

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    • They ARE exhausting but at least they’re both in school now, although one is home today sick (already). At least I’ll have more time to get organized.
      If I stayed up later, I’d do better but I need my beauty sleep.
      Nice to see your Rebecca.

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  15. There is a saying that work expands to fill the time available and although I’m not retired it has certainly proved to be true in my case. And having a cuddle with your cat or in my case, one of my dogs, is important in keeping one sane 😉

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  16. Your cat’s name is Lady Gaga? Love it. They always say that you’re busier as a retired person than a working person.

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    • At least I DO only what I enjoy now–waited long enough to have all this time, but…

      Yes, I called her Lady Gaga because she’s ‘different’ (brindle). She is like a three-year-old child. Every so often she has to find me, hop onto my lap for a cheek to cheek cuddle. I found her at the SPCA one year ago at a year old.

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  17. Great day!! It is retirement at it’s finest. I’m there 10 years and am still trying to declutter. Amazing how fast the piles show up..

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    • I know. It’s like dishes. I only have me to prepare meals for and I can’t believe how fast my sink fills up. (I have a dishwasher and use it sometimes).

      Your quilts are fantabulous. Lots of patience. I stopped sewing when my daughter hit high school. She has two kids now but I’m not sorry I did.

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  18. Hmm, so what you’re telling me is that when my kids have kids of their own, I will still be looking forward to the start of school? 😉

    Good of you to babysit them. I can’t even imagine being a grandparent yet, but with two teen sons, it’s not like it’s all that far away (but hopefully at least another decade…)

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  19. It’s amazing how fast the time goes. Sound like your days are always full!

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  20. I think after a summer of grandchild sitting we deserve and need to use that “extra time” to rest, recuperate, and refuel initially.
    I remember very well by the time school started and my grand children..were back in school it took me a complete month to get into the swing of my life again after summer vacation. I needed an Autumn vacation for me.
    I also recall being perplexed when my mom would say to me after retiring that she had to learn to “finally just let go and go with the flow.” I do get it now.
    Great post Tess. ~

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  21. Time really does fly when we are having fun 🙂

    Have a lovely evening Tess 🙂

    Andro xx

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  22. No matter where we go, there we are! I guess that includes “no matter when we go….”

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Some things in life are complicated. Let's keep it simple.

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