Party Hats & Noise Makers

Today is the first anniversary of Old Lady in the Heartland. Including this one, I’ve managed to get 23 posts up during the year, an average of almost two each month. That’s not as prolific as I’d hoped; I thought I had at least one each week in me, but I’m not dissatisfied with my total.

I’ve tended to write about myself and things I’ve done — my musings have been totally self-centered. I apologize. There are more important things on which to opine, and there are smarter people than me to do so. Why display my ignorance?

Golden Gate Bridge

I thought I’d share more of my photographic exploits; alas, that didn’t happen. I guess I had fewer exploits than I anticipated having. I could have written something that allowed me to post my totally iconic photo of the north tower of the Golden Gate Bridge. If you want to see more photos check out my Red River Gorge travelogue.

Another thing I’ve considered during the year is finding a different content management system. WordPress is OK, but for me it feels a little clunky. If I’d made the effort to learn more about it I’d probably be happier, but I’ve read some of their (ahem) documentation. So far, I haven’t found a replacement that meets my requirements — simple and cheap.

I began by writing in Byword. It’s a great text editor that works well with Markdown, the easy-to-learn formatting language used by many professional bloggers. Somewhere during the year I drifted to BBEdit, which has more useful features.

Why this? I wanted to write. I have a journal, but I liked the idea of learning the technologies needed to post online. I wasn’t delusional enough to think anything I posted might be of interest to someone… anyone… other than the spammers who tell me what a wonderful writer I am, and how I should click on a link to get inexpensive prescription drugs, hot Asian women, and cheap car insurance. The fact is I don’t care if anyone reads my posts. I like to write and this is a perfectly reasonable outlet for doing so.

So, if you’re here reading this, thanks for stopping by. The party hats and noise makers are on the back deck.

Every Day is Saturday

Three years ago today was my first day of retirement. Having no job and, most importantly, no need to find one, wasn’t necessarily liberating. I wish I’d taken the time to write my thoughts back on that day. Had I done so I’d remember how it felt to wake up on a Tuesday morning on my own time.

I probably didn’t sleep very late since my body clock was rigidly set to be asleep by 11:00 pm and awake by 6:30. Since it was January, when I got out of bed I would have put on at least three layers. I would have headed downstairs, turned up the heat, and put on the coffee before planting my butt at the computer — a Dell 15-inch laptop. I wouldn’t have known at the time it was my last week as a Microsoft Windows user, although I had started to think seriously about getting a Mac.

Had I written my thoughts and feelings I’m certain I’d have recorded that I felt badly Jennifer continued to be employed, that we couldn’t just begin retirement together. I continue to feel that way — we’ve frequently discussed moving to a more desirable place to live out our years. I feel guilty about being free to spend my time as I choose, every day is Saturday. When Jen headed to her office I felt lost because I was alone and it was January, and cold, and I had no where to go, and I didn’t know what to do with myself. I got over that.

I acquired my first Apple computer, a mid–2011 MacBook Air (11-inch), on Friday of that first week of retirement. I began visiting websites and listening to podcasts that specialize in Mac technicalities, which have provided access to knowledge that has allowed me to move beyond rank n00b status. It’s a good hobby for me.

I’ve had the time and resources to acquire a good camera and I’ve learned to use it. The local university has an offering of classes for those over 50 that includes several photography classes. I’ve taken most of them, and if nothing else, learned to recognize a good photo. I’ve played more golf than I ever imagined I’d have time for — my game has gotten better although it took a hit due to injury this past year.

As I look back at the last three years I realize I haven’t changed anyone’s life but my own. I have not made the world a better place. Since every day is Saturday, I frequently don’t know what day of the week it is. My body clock has shifted — these days I’m rarely in bed before 1:00 am; I only get up before 9:00 for special occasions. There are things I promised myself I’d do that I haven’t, which only makes me mad at myself for not taking the time, or learning the skills, to accomplish them. Maybe in year four?