SusieQ Please B True

gingerbread manHad a long standing agreement with SusieQ that I wouldn’t bother her and she wouldn’t bother me. So, I stopped tennis, golf, and racquetball. But, I was able to do yoga, weight training, hiking, bicycling and dancing, so all was well. Until it wasn’t.

SusieQ broke our agreement when she began complaining at random times. So after a series of shots over a period of years to shut her up, it was time to be more proactive. Visited my orthopedist and he said he could stop SusieQ from bothering me ever again. So I go under the knife next week to get a Total Knee Replacement (TKR).

First, I had to go through the phases of preparation that included 1) fear 2) panic 3) risk of death and 4) anxiety. Since the best defense is always to get informed, I immediately went to YouTube to see what TKR looks like. Boy…. Was that a mistake.  Ugh… gross!

So much to do. Had to get food for my incarceration; searched out books for download; apologized to my husband for the witch that I would become. But, then a delay came. SusieQue didn’t want to let go and planted bacteria in one of my teeth so surgery has been delayed for two weeks to eliminate the infection.

Two more dental visits to come this week… but if all goes well… SusieQ will be banished next week.


The Oarsman

galley slave 4Forty years of pulling on the oars is hard to walk away from. You get used to getting up in the morning and trudging to work. You get used to being the “goto” person for problem solving because it makes you feel important. Now I sit on top of the deck trying to relax while others do the rowing. I sit on the deck drinking mint juleps and listening to the oars as they dip in and out of the water. I want to tell them which direction to take.  I want to tell them to grab hold of the handle with both hands, and their stomach and chest should be resting against the tops of their thighs. But, I don’t.

It feels like I’m slacking off. They say I deserve it. They say I’ve earned it. They say, I owe it to myself, but even after 5 years, there’s still a bit of nostalgia for smelling the sweat of hard work and wiping the tears from failures. Nostalgia for “being the boss.” It is still hard.

The funny thing is I know I’ve earned it. As I drive by office buildings in the late evening, I see people working at their desks and I’m so glad I’m not in there with them. I look through office windows and see people sitting around conference tables. When walking through hotels, I see all the conferences in progress. And I ask myself…. What am I missing? Do I miss working late evenings? NO. Do I miss the endless non-productive meetings? NO. Do I miss wagging the dog? SOMETIMES just because it’s fun.

Now I get to sit on the dock of the Bay. I get to climb the highest mountains. I get to travel the world. I get to explore museums and road trip with my husband. I get to sit indoors on a snowy day and crank up the fireplace as others go to julep

Would I rather be in the hole pulling on the oars? NO. I’ve earned my mint juleps and I’m going to drink my fill!

Fear of Success

You are invitedAll the music that I had been practicing for weeks poured out of my brain and splashed on the floor. I was paralyzed until Mom came up and retrieved me. She took me back to my seat where I buried my face in her breast wishing I could disappear.

As I sat and watched G’daughter (teenager) struggle with homework this past weekend, I observed her paralysis from fear of failure and fear of embarrassment because she couldn’t do something. My first thought was that someone had taught her and I to fear failure. Then I realized that the opposite was true. Fear of failure is as natural as our need for love and belonging. It is not taught… it just is.

It’s interesting to look back at other times when I feared failing. The first time I had tosuccess failure make a presentation as part of a team project at work. At the last minute, I tried to back out, but the team would not let me. Then I started using a different (chickenshit) technique. Whenever I had to “perform”, I wouldn’t tell my friends, family, or coworkers just in case I embarrassed myself. So, when I was in a triathlon, I didn’t tell my friends or family…. Not even my kids… just in case I failed.

As it turned out, my performance events were successful (except for the piano recital). Over the years, I have successfully and comfortably spoken before audiences of 300 or more.

I now realize that I denied myself the pleasure of being comforted by friends and family when I fail and the joy of sharing my success.

So for my upcoming storytelling event, I have invited everyone.

Stay Tuned….

Continue reading “Fear of Success”


putupshutupIt’s easy to be a Sideline Advocate and stand next to the parade route cheering on the participants. Like men/women at strip clubs, I place money in their belts/garters and watch in the comfort of my home. To my credit, I also write letters to Congress. When there is a march occurring,  I lament that I didn’t know there was going to be a march. Sip my cup of tea and send another $100. While living in San Diego, I lament that the action is occurring in Washington DC while sipping a cup of tea and send another $100.

I proclaim that I am fed up enough to march, as I continue to sip my tea, scream at the TV set, send another $100, but I am now out of excuses. When I found myself yelling at the TV set this morning, I recognized that it is time to put down my cup of tea and march at the upcoming rally in front of the U.S. Capital to protest gerrymandering on this coming Tuesday (10/3/2017).

I know that gerrymandering is a political ploy to arrange voting districts to benefit one gerrymanderingparty’s candidate over the other party, which weakens our voting power. But as I was trying to explain the issue to a friend, I realized that my knowledge is shallow especially concerning the particular case being heard by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). I’m going to have to get up to speed in the next 24 hours. If a reporter asks me why I’m out protesting, I don’t want to be that Black person …. without a clue.

I am taking a break from re-reading the origin of gerrymandering and the basis of the case being heard by (SCOTUS). It’s clear that I cannot learn all that there is to know about the topic in such a short period of time. What I do know is that it is time to stand up for what I believe which is that current political tactics by both parties reduce the power of our vote and they MUST stop jiggering the voting districts to favor one party over another.

Stay tuned…


Donkey assCould have gone forever not realizing that parts of my body float (and not the obvious parts). Been looking for the right combination of exercises to reduce the overall “float”. My health club offers cardio, weight training, spinning, circuit training, swimming, yoga, barre, and pilates. Which is a great smorgasbord, but the number of options are overwhelming. In addition to the variety, I have to figure out which ones to do on which days and which times will give me the most benefit. And the last layer of complexity is which instructor to choose, because not all instructors are created equal. Oy vey!!!!!!!

I am avoiding my Type A tendencies which are crying out to “create a matrix” of classes and instructors, but I refuse to do that. Instead, I am actually trying out a different class every day until I find “what works for me”. After 3 weeks, I have just about found the right combination of classes, days, times, and instructors. Whew!

Since I work out in the mornings, many of my fellow workoutees are retirees too. And the best instructors know that some of us are dealing with knee issues, back issues, shoulder issues and a variety of other stuff. Hence the best ones give us “modifications” and constantly assure us that modifications are not only okay but good. Thanks to my feet, knee, and back, I have now become the queen of mods.

Regarding the float…. While doing water aerobics I felt something on my rear end that bounced up and down every time I jumped. I knew that things had moved south, but I had no idea it was that bad!!!

Oh well…. Just more incentive to get my fat a__  to the club.

Stay tuned……




Post headlines had story about girl in Mexico who wass under rubble from earthquake awaiting rescue. Then instead of reporting on the number of dead, as they usually do, they reported on the number saved. It doesn’t change the fact that many have died and probably more to be tallied, it just tweaks the focus of the story. It changes the feelings from sad to hopeful.

Made me think about how we should all consider tweaking things in our lives. Instead of lamenting the unexpected traffic accident making you late “tweak it” to hoping that no one is hurt. Instead of complaining about your job “tweak it” to being glad you have a job while you look for another. Instead of lamenting the “bad” weather (rain or snow or cold) “tweak it” and revel in the ability to walk in the snow; to smell the rain; and having clothing to protect against the cold.


Tweak It

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Stay Tuned

Secret Admirer

Secret Admirer 2

Look into your daily life and see who you a­dmire, who you look up to, or who you want to be like. Those people are your role models. ­­There is a lady and her gentleman friend probably in their eighties at my healthclub. If you ran into them on the street you’d never guess that she used to do centuries (bike riding 100 miles) and has recently had to drop down to “only” 50-mile rides. Usually run into them in my spinning class after she has completed a round of singles tennis and he has completed his weight training.

I have referenced John and Margery many times during conversations with others about how I admire this couple at my healthclub.  But I have never told Margery or John. So yesterday, I was having a conversation with Margery while waiting for spinning to begin and decided to tell her. “You are my role model”, I said. She acknowledged my comment with a nod and class started so I didn’t get a chance to explain. Just realized that my comment could have been interpreted by her in so many ways like “is this woman a stalker”, “what did she mean by that”, “maybe I’d better stay away from her”, or she could have just been embarrassed.

Now I’m sorry I ever opened this can of worms. I could have continued to admire them Dont tellfrom afar. But no…. I had to speak it out. So now I have to clear this up by tracking her down (stalking) and explaining that I admire their tenacity during a time of life when everything is difficult. I admire the fact that just getting up out of bed can be challenging while waiting for everything to realign from laying to sitting then standing. I admire the mental and physical strength it takes to do a 50-mile bikeride. Essentially, I want to be like them when I grow up.

The moral to this story is that it is not important to tell our role models who they are and why. It is important to know that we are all role models to someone including our children, our siblings, our co-workers, and everyone we come into contact with.

Stay tuned………





Serenity prayer

Many have heard the “serenity prayer”, but the meaning becomes clearer as we age. It applies to all people, everywhere and of every denomination. Parenthood is the only exception, but it shouldn’t be. Parents see the best in their children, but do not accept them for who they are. Frequently lamenting that if only Johnny would apply himself. If only Suzie could see herself as I see her. If only they would try harder.

Whether we accept it or not they are who they are. Johnny is applying himself. Suzie sees herself as herself, and they are both working as hard as they can. The hard part is for the parents. The parents must love them and accept them as they are.

Typical scenario is that you push Suzie to [fill in the blank]. Then as soon as you stop pushing, Suzie falls back to her old ways. Then you fall back to your old ways and pushsisyphus 3 Suzie again. This scene repeats itself  like the myth of Sysiphus until you’re both exhausted and you are broke. I threw in the broke part because pushing frequently means spending money.  Stop trying to change them, because it makes you and them crazy.

Love them as we did when they were babies when their poop stank, kept us up all night crying, and they wrote on walls with crayon. They couldn’t help it then and they can’t help it now. We get especially crazy when our friends are raving about their daughters and sons who are doctors, lawyers, biologists, and ironmen. We tell our children about the super children without meaning to compare but to encourage. When all we are doing is saying to them that they are not good enough. That they can and should be better. We are all guilty.

No matter how old they are…. Tell them you love them like you mean it and accept them as they are, and when all else fails…. Refer back to the Serenity Prayer.

I Love You and Accept You Just As You Are

Stay Tuned…….


Bouncing is Hard

Wi am a writeroke up this morning with an insatiable urge to write! Haven’t felt this way in a longgg time! Thoughts are swarming like a bee hive. Thoughts about retirement, options (i.e., what to do with my time), noise, routine/ruts, relationships, etc, etc. Blog title is indicative of my minds activity this morning. But why today?

Last night I meditated for the first time in months. Two days ago I reduced one of my medications by half. cut a pllYesterday I took a very strenuous muscle building class that sucked out some of the stored fat.  Moved back home. Began taking Vitamin B12 in hopes of restoring my memory cells. Any or all of these things could have triggered this mental energy. But… why ask why? Because, all of my thoughts are connected but each idea deserves its own space.

Speaking of space…. I’m trying to find a creative space in which to work similar to when I used to write at our condo in Ocean City. When looking back at previous blogs, it’s easy to point out the ones written at the beach, because they were so fluent and more importantly…. they were interesting. Makes me want to build a “she shed”, which is one of the latest trends. It’s akin to a “man cave”, but softer, lighter, cleaner, and smells better.

But I digress and considering this mornings’ state of mind with ideas popping, I suspect I will have to continuously pull myself back from my beehive mind. I even find myself editing as I write which is a major no-no­­­­­­­ for writers.

dad deathBouncing began when Dad died and escalated with semi-retirement. Psychiatrists always consider the relationship between childhood life events and ones’ development. Since our childhoods revolve around our parents or other caregivers, it follows that losing a parent is a traumatic event. It’s also interesting that the type of relationship one has with a caregiver doesn’t matter…. their loss still affects us.

Since Dad was my rock and the last parent to “transition”, my immediate experience was a feeling of release. Because, not only was he my rock but my tether. Like a hotair balloon ride… I was able to float off into the world and wow did I float. First stop was Dubai where I taught for a year followed by a four-year sojourn in San Diego to take my dream job that turned into a nightmare which I’m finally ready to talk about in another blog.

Dubai was never a dream. Was not on my radar and I barely knew anything about it. As part of my untethering, I was looking for an opportunity to work in a country where Spanish was the primary language. So, I posted my resume on an education website, and up popped the United Arab Emirates, Ras al Khaimah (aka UAE, RAK, which is like a suburb of Dubai). So, without any other offers, and lots of encouragement from Hubby who had also recently been untethered…. off we went.

San Diego resulted from a surprising rejection. While doing volunteer work at a business development office, I learned about a paid opportunity that completely matched my background and interest. Having been told that I was a shoe-in for the job, I submitted my resume but didn’t even get a call to interview. Not that I am egotistical, but…. I know what I know and I knew I was the best candidate so I was flabbergasted when they hired someone else.

Recognizing how much I wanted that job made me realize that I was ready to work plusnew job my ego was significantly bruised. So I had to “show them” and myself that I could get an even better job. I launched on a deliberate search for what I assumed would be my last paid employment. Won’t go into the details of the job search, suffice to say that I got hired in San Diego.

Funny thing is that Hubby and I previously took two separate trips down south in search of a place to retire on/near the water; in an urban setting; with good weather year-round; walkable; purchase price below $300k; and, with a low cost of living. After two visits to the Carolinas (Raleigh, Cary, Durham, Asheville), Savannah, GA, Charlotte, and Orlando) we decided that what we wanted, did not exist and gave up our quest. Shockingly, our dream was fulfilled in San Diego… except for the part about the cost of living.

The last 4 glorious years were spent between the Washington DC area (home) and onBouncing

San Diego’s Coronado Island “where the livin’ is easy. Fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high….” As I sit at our dining room table (home) amongst boxes to be unpacked from our latest bounce across country, I am reflecting on the difficulty of bouncing as one gets older. Like most of the things done in my early years… everything is more difficult now. But that’s another story.

Stay Tuned

Life is an Unknown

Snowbird 2Every so often, hubby and I move from San Diego to Alexandria, VA and back again. We are reverse snowbirds, because we usually go east during winter. That sounds crazy, but we want to be with the family for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Plus, the oldest G’daughter has asked us in a threatening way “you will be back for the holidays… won’t you?

The most amazing thing about life is the unknown. We don’t know what will happen next year or next month or in the next minute. How could I have not been consciously aware of that! Here I am busy planning for the unknown? Huh… that doesn’t make sense!

So, I’m stymied and in limbo surrounded by packing boxes for our pilgrimage back East. Friends ask if we are coming back to San Diego next year and like a nincomunknown

poop I answer that I don’t know. Then I remind myself that next year is an unknown. Therefore, I am justified in saying that I don’t know so I don’t have to feel stupid because I don’t have an answer.

But I can talk about what “I want to happen next year”. I want to come back to San Diego at a time that is convenient and stay for as long as I want. A “convenient” time is when there is a place available at a reasonable price overlooking some piece of the San Diego Bay near the friends that we have accumulated over the last four years. Wow…. That’s quite a wish list and that’s why it’s so difficult to answer the question not only for others but for ourselves.

We have actually found Paradise and there is a whole island of people who say the same thing literally every day. No-to-low crime; constant sunshine (except for the periodic days when we wait for the “marine layer” to burn off; average year-round temps of 70 degrees; all the essentials (googobs of restaurants; 2 hardware stores; 2 live theaters; live Coronado heartmusic on the Bay every weekend; 1 movie theater; yoga and exercise studios galore including beach yoga, etc. etc. Our neighbors have put together a potluck with games every Wednesday and Saturday night. So, between our community activities and island activities… our dance card is full. And the icing is that everything is within a 1-mile radius, which means you don’t need a car.

So why on earth would we want to move back East!!! The obvious answer is that family trumps everything! Our kids and G’kids live back East. Plus, as strange as it may sound, I miss the changing seasons, which add a rhythm to life. As Summer nears an end, you begin to feel the change in the air as temperatures cool and leaves change colors. When Winter nears its end, you begin to think about Spring and warmer temperatures. Then as Spring is ending you begin planning for Summer and the cycle repeats.Family

Recently, a friend told me that the trouble with year-round sunshine is that you don’t get a chance to rest. You run from one activity to another and exhaust yourself. But the biggest downsides to living in San Diego are high rent/mortgage; noise from our largest neighbor… Naval Air Station; and everyday sounds from urban living. We get truck noise, jet plane noise, helicopters, and dogs  yapping.

Note: I am reading a blog by a couple that sold everything; bought a catamaran; and, are now cruising on the Erie Canal for a year. This is dangerous reading for me because I might start dreaming that it would be a really cool thing to do next!!!

Guess we’ll have to wait and see how life unfolds.

Stay tuned