Tag Archives: change

Gifts: Then and Now

15 Sep

I attended a Pampered Chef party a couple of weeks ago and today, my order was delivered!  It felt like Christmas morning, opening up the various cardboard and plastic containers, revealing my new goodies.  All too soon, all packages were open and I had a pile of empty containers and a display of shiny kitchen accoutrements.  I turned each over in my hands, admiring the clear, easy-to-read markings on the measuring cups, the edge and blade guard of the knife.  Just like Christmas, I have left them out so I can delight in them each time I pass by.  I just can’t bear to hide them away in cupboards and drawers just yet. 

When this comparison occured to me, I was inspired to take a picture of my culinary treasures on a holiday mat.

The child or teenage me would never be excited over measuring cups or a cookie scoop.  Well, maybe if they came along with an Easy Bake Oven.  But still.  I’ve been thinking about how my priorities have changed as I’ve aged.  As a kid, I carefully studied the Sears toy catalog, constructing a list for Santa.  I looked forward to a fabulous coconut-covered cake for my birthday and more toys.  The teenage me loved getting clothes.  Then I went away to college, got married, moved to an apartment and finally a house.

I remember the first washer/dryer I owned.  I was so, so happy to not have to go to a laundromat anymore.  My latest new washer and dryer–front loaders on pedestals–were ordered as part of a New Year’s sale and delivered months later while I was at work.  I hugged them when I saw them.  Yes, I hugged an appliance. 

This year for my birthday, friends got me absolutely the cutest measuring spoons ever–shaped like flowers, each spoon a different pastel color!  I love-love-love them!  I’m hoping for a new stove or maybe a cool leather chair I saw at IKEA for Christmas this year.  Pampered Chef catalog or IKEA catalog=Sears toy catalog?  Yup.  Same kid, different toys.  New toys are always fun!  🙂

Lest you think that I’m all about the toys of life, I’d like to share the best gift I ever received:  a private saxophone concert from Mr17, who was 15 at the time.  He learned a new piece, part of a concerto written by his favorite composer, explaining the significance of the 4 movements, including the one he played for me.  Everytime I hear the piece, I’m back on my couch, Mr15, his soprano sax and music stand in the corner, playing just for me. 

Other gifts that mean the world to me?  The people in my life–friends, family-loved ones all.  Each visit, each hug, each smile, each kiss are gifts that enrich every moment. A gift I’m giving myself right now is attending a warm yoga class every Tuesday and Thursday morning.  The first meadowlark call of the spring, hummingbirds fighting over the feeder, the first tomato of the season, lazily drifting snowflakes on a grey morning, thunderstorms circling the valley, scrunching through big piles of leaves breathing in their warm scent.  Delicious food and wine.  Mr17’s marching band performing.  Kissing the hubby good morning or good night. 

So many, many gifts each day.  I have so much to be grateful for.  What are you grateful for?

Advertisements

Release the Kraken

12 May

A retirement affects more than just the retiree.  Completely logical.  Different people react in different ways to the impending leave-taking.  Sadness.  Abandonment.  Indifference.  Anger.  Unfairness.  Happiness.  I hadn’t really thought about the possibility of  such a range of responses as I released my “Kraken.”  Actually, never thought of retirement as a Kraken until experiencing the negative effects it’s having on others.  The Kraken is here, confronting them on a daily basis.  

The response that caught me completely by surprise was Anger.  Anger with me because I choose to celebrate the end of my career and the beginning of the next part of my life.  Anger from the assumption that if I’m happy with my decision to retire, I’m being a drain on those around me, detracting from the quality of my work.  The assumption that I’m a “short-timer” and have no motivation to do a good job.  Nothing is farther from the truth. 

The reality of retirement is that it’s change, and change is hard.  You get to choose how you handle change.  I’m choosing to learn and grow from it.  I’m choosing to let others deal with the Kraken how they see fit, but I’m not letting him drool his negativity on me.  I’m just gonna have another cup of coffee and plan out what to do with my first day of “freedom.”