Who Am I?

who am i 2Ones’ identity is usually defined by what we do… that produces income. Policewoman, congress woman, business owner, are all nice neat definitions that anyone can understand. But, If ones identity is tied to what we do then who are we when we don’t do anything that generates money (i.e., retired, consultant, artist)? In my past life, my answer would be used to determine my value so as to ascertain whether the questioner would engage in conversation with me.

Unlike those born with a name (i.e., Rockefeller, Hilton) that in itself says they don’t work, I found myself contemplating an answer. Though I would never want to be defined by the police as a “person of interest”, I also don’t want to be classified as a “person of non-interest”.

Rather than be stymied by this question of identification, an opportunity was surfacing. I can define myself! Wow! What a novel idea.  I should have thought of this years ago. In fact, I remember a time when I was in a playful mood while at a B&B, and passed myself off as a travel writer. That was a hoot. I still remember speaking the words out and watching the expressions on the faces around the table. Suddenly, I was a celebrity. I was interesting!

Self-identification is liberating! Plus it offers the added benefit of changing whenever the mood or circumstances change.So I ordered business cards that have the title “adventurer / explorer”. When I wrote that 2 months ago, those two words embodied my dreams. Now… working on making that dream a reality (if I don’t kill myself trying).

Under the guise of adventurer/explorer, I climbed Cowles Mountain, the highest peak in San Diego. It’s a heart-pumping 3 mile vertical climb, but the key word here is “vertical”. I thought I’d never get to the top, but my husband wouldn’t let me give up. It took an hour and a half to make the round trip followed by a 2 hour nap. The next week we went on an urban hike called “7 bridges”.

Who said hiking has to be in the woods? Urban hiking is so cool! It allows you to see the details, hear the sounds and feel the energy that city life vibrates.  Houses and buildings that we previously zoomed past in our car, take on a certain richness and come to life when hiked by. Then there are areas that I would never have seen if not for this hike. It was an adventure and exploration into the heart of the City of San Diego. Unfortunately, the explorer in me pooped out after 5 bridges and two hours of walking over hill and dale. But, since I’m not a quitter, I now have an opportunity to redo the hike to completion!

With my hiking juices flowing, hubby and I hiked a few Torrey Pines trails that started with an ascent as steep as Cowles Mountain, but only about a mile long (whew!). The total hike was about 3-4 miles with the last leg along the sun-dappled Pacific Ocean, which made the hike totally worthwhile.

The adventure continues…..

Stay tuned…

It’s All Relative

EscherIf Einstein is right then it is okay to sleep late and stay in my PJ’s all day because there is only NOW. I can’t waste time. Is it lazy to sleep late and stay in ones PJ’s all day? Should I feel guilty wasting this precious commodity called “time”.

I know I shouldn’t feel lazy, but a 30-year habit of waking at 6am is hard to break. Waking late makes me feel as if I’ve wasted part of the day when I could have been doing something productive. In the time I spent sleeping, I could have been improving my body (exercising) or my mind (reading/studying). I could have been productive, which is how I’ve always measured myself. At the end of a day, I would look back and see what I checked off. If most things were completed, then I counted myself productive. If not, then I wasted the day.

On the other hand, wasting time by resting, is really relaxing and that should be just as important as exercise. I choose to view my time as an opportunity to recharge my batteries. To destress. To unwind. To become whole again.

So today I relaxed.

Stay tuned,

Tennage redux

Zits 2Living life as a teenager is really cool especially when you’re over 50 and retired. Think about it…. I go to bed whenever I want. I get up whenever I want. I do whatever I want to do and I’m not responsible to or for anybody or anything. Hallelujah!! This is actually better than being a teenager, because I know what the alternative is like.

I always thought I knew how to do things better than others. Therefore, I needed to be in charge, which led to full-on responsibility. It was life as puppeteer. Pulling strings to get people to do what they were paid to do. Helping clients understand that what they needed isn’t what they wanted. Guiding and directing without letting folks know they were being guided and directed. Determining the big picture (vision) and getting others to buy-in to it.

Relationships were based upon the barter system. First one had to quickly determine “what’s in it for me”. If the answer is nothing, then one quickly moves on to the next person. In fact, receptions or other events geared toward “networking”, became a dance. Like the “if-then-else” of app code, I became adept at determining the potential value to a relationship within the first 30 to 60 seconds of conversation. If the answer was “none”, then I would extricate myself quickly and move on to someone with “some value”.

Now my relationship meter is more geared to my level of interest. For example, I met a guy who was an aspiring Cirque du Soleil gymnast while working as a medical technician. He and I had nothing in common, but his life was so much more interesting than mine. I was thoroughly engaged in our conversation. In another world, he would have quickly extricated himself from me, but he was stuck sitting next to me at a banquet table. So I had an opportunity to pepper him with questions so I could peek into another world. Just imagine how much I could have learned from all the others I have encountered over the years, if only I had not been so determined to ascertain their business value to me.

Except for the parental nagging, peer pressure, college decisions, and hormonal changes, teenage life is not so bad. They just don’t know it. Like Jeremy in Zits, I never want to grow up.

Stay tuned.