Now that I’m retired, I have more time to consider things.

For example, Bake and I went on a cruise up Elkhorn Slough, down by Moss Landing the other day. We saw a lot of sea lions and otters and shore birds, even an egg yolk jelly fish. But my big takeaway was something the captain told us. He said, ” People think of the tide as either in or out, but it doesn’t really work that way. It’s in constant motion, either rising or declining.”

I nudged Bake. “So the tide is like the earth breathing, right?”


Well , that is a thought to ponder all by itself. However, today is Monday. Yesterday was church, and I had slides. Busy, busy, busy. Love it! Worshipping with and serving God’s people.

Today, I’m not looking for anyone to hang around with. I like catching things up around our acre (Baker’s acre, get it?). The weekend kind of throws me off schedule. I groomed the dog, fed the chickens and cleaned their house, cleaned up the kitchen, got the house ready for the Roomba (do I love multi-tasking, oh yeah!) Two parenthetial statements in one paragraph is a bad idea. I do know that. Anyhow, in the midst it occurred to me that I don’t need to see any people today, well, except Bake, who doesn’t really count, being my other half. More breathing.

So I posted something to that effect on Facebook. Sure enough, other people feel the same way. Some even more than I do. I would be ok with seeing people tomorrow, some people could give it another day. Breathing – people, no people, people, no people.

Now, I realize that not everyone gets the luxury of breathing that way. Take parents, therapists, teachers for example. I am truly blessed to be retired. However, since I have had time to realize this, please feel free to steal it. If you are one of those folks who don’t usually get to choose solitude, when you do, go for it, take a deep breath.


What if …

What if I made it my plan to do a kindness every day. I could: give a dozen eggs to someone one day; listen to someone who needed an ear another; give water to someone who was thirsty; pay for the person behind me in a drive thru; smile at the driver who changes lanes without signalling on my front bumper; teach someone to speak English or read; hug everybody I know when I see them; send a donation to help in Texas.

OK, that’s seven. That’ll keep me busy for a week.

Now get out there and change lanes in front of me without signalling.

How Do I Know?

IMG_0898.jpg  So, I look around me, and a bunch of people appear to know exactly what to do in any given situation. Yet, when I’m faced with more than making a cup of tea, I hesitate and wonder. How do you know the difference between serving and codependency? How do you know the difference between reconciliation and doormatism? Fortunately for me, I’m married to a marriage and family therapist. He’s been working on me for 48 years, not in public or anything, but kind of nudge therapy.

For instance, every Saturday morning since we got smart, we eschew the world, and hold a pow wow on our bed. Usually, we start off with small talk, or what the coming week looks like. I admit, I do most of the talking. Suppose, after we get the small talk and planning out of the way, I said, “OK, So and So said such and such about whoseit. Do I have any place in this?”

I can tell you what he would say, or pretty close. “Do you have a monkey in this circus?”

That would make me consider. I do this best out loud. “Well, whoseit is my friend, maybe I’m supposed to defend or support her?”

And he’d say, “Does she need defending or supporting, or can she handle it herself?” (See that’s the codependency thing. If she can do it herself, and I get involved, I’m being … codependent.) I’ll leave the reconciliation vs. doormat thing for another time, but get my drift.

Honestly, it’s a little irritating to me that I can’t have this whole conversation with myself. However, on the other hand, God made us to need each other, right? So, maybe I’m ok needing the “Old Man” to help me think. He, on the other hand, does most of this kind of thinking inside his head. That’s why he’s the mft, and I’m not. He has other stuff he needs to hear out loud, like whether we’ll populate Mars, or if he ought to make a pinhole camera to watch the solar eclipse with. I just smile and nod, and encourage.

I’m beginning to suspect there may be more people like me than I thought. Otherwise, the Old Man would be out of a job, right?