It’s a date!

When my grandpa began his well deserved retirement from working at the Coca Cola factory in Germany, he wanted nothing more than to tend to his garden. What a magnificent garden it was. It changed according to the seasons and had the most delicious fruits and vegetables. It was my happy place, too. I climbed all the apple, cherry, and pear trees, picked strawberries, gooseberries, plums, carrots, green beans and devoured them until my belly hurt. I loved helping him sow the seeds, water, harvest, haul the potatoes and onions into the root cellar. Everything was done with so much love.

Two weeks after his retirement he developed a toothache. My grandpa was never ill, not even with so much as a cold, and has never been to a doctor for any reason. His daily ritual of taking a shot of vodka before braving the elements and making his way to work on a bus always made me laugh. I loved watching him do that. While he was sitting in the dentist chair he had a stroke. They didn’t take his blood pressure or realized how anxious he was. Two weeks after that he had another stroke. Paralyzed on the left side of his body, he was in constant pain. My grandma had to lock the basement door and hide the key to prevent him from throwing himself down the stairs. Seasons past and unable to tend to his garden, he watched as more and more of his beautiful garden turned into a grassy ordinary yard.

I did not know what retirement really meant, but I saw how defeated my grandpa looked and it made me feel so so sad. Before I ever held my first job I made a pact with myself to retire early, to enjoy life, to do what I truly loved and what inspired me. Over the years that desire has never shifted or faded in the background. On the contrary, it was in the forefront of most everything I did. I had some setbacks, no doubt, but those made my desire to retire early only stronger. To be sure, I’m not retiring to sit in a rocking chair on my front porch with a shotgun in my arm, yelling at kids to get off my lawn. I am retiring from a solid, benefited position I held since 1995, and that translates to 50 % of my pension, 10 years of having to pay for my own health insurance, and a mortgage payment for a house I just purchased in April. Yes, I’m aware. Unthinkable for most, yet I have never been afraid of not having enough money. I let that shit go a long time ago. I will always have more than enough. I might not be able to buy my Tesla, but honestly, if I really wanted to, I would find a way. I find ways, I guess that’s it. When I really want something, I go after it. Unconventional ways, most of the time, but they got me here to this point, and I can say that I am very excited, and not the least bit scared, or maybe I have my feelings mixed up, let me check, nah I’m excited for sure. So it’s a date then…….March 31st, 2019.

Clever title here…

In an effort to actually write instead of staying stuck on what headline to give this blog post I’m moving on…. new year, new me! Not really, lol.

I’m wishing everyone a happy, healthy, prosperous, full of sunshine and good vibes kinda New Year. I suppose a lot of us are making New Years resolutions right about now, or rather recollecting what was said during last nights celebrations. I was never a fan of such practice, but I will admit, in recent years I too have been giving it serious thought. The trouble is, I’m having a hard time deciding on what resolution to choose. The dictionary clearly states that it is “a firm decision to do or not to something”. Last year my resolution was to keep my plants alive, which has been unsuccessful all of my life thus far, and to buy a house. I’m happy to report that most of my plants are doing very well, and then some are just hanging on for dear life.

The house I bought unseen. Well, I looked at it on the internet, told my agent that I think it’s a good idea to put in an offer. I signed the offer while having a beer with my friend Sylvia at the Gypsy Den, saying to her: “I think I just bought a house”. Yes, I know to most this is unthinkable, or a totally stupid, irresponsible, even naive thing to do. “What are you thinking, woman!!!” I follow my gut feeling, my inner voice, my heart, my intuition, and whenever I don’t, I usually regret it. That doesn’t make me irresponsible, au contraire, I work hard and pay my bills, and along the way I regret nothing. In this way I choose to look at everything from a perspective of learning, or lessons learned, rather than wondering what might have happened. Is it right or wrong? I don’t know, but it makes me feel alive, present, and happy, and I truly get up every morning excited at what this new day might have in store for me.

This year my New Years resolution is all about doing more of the things I love and truly passionate about, and also a few ones, like this blog. Besides the obvious, travel, retirement, I want to get back to my creative side which took a backseat to all the DIY projects at the aforementioned new home. For now I’m leaving you with a quote I love.

“It’s impossible, said pride

It’s risky, said experience

It’s pointless, said reason

Give it a try, whispered the heart”

Author unknown