I am struggling a bit during our continued isolation. I go back and forth between too much media exposure, which tends to stress me, and then no media, which makes me feel bad about being uninformed. I’m finding it hard to concentrate on reading, to pick a new course to take, or to identify a new topic to write about. I miss my friend’s connections, our date nights, and going “out & about”. A big deal was a trip to Home Depot last week! I am trying to take each day as it comes, using my tools (journaling, gratitude, yoga) to ease the stresses as they surface. This week’s blog is a series of random thoughts along the way.
New Symbolism – From Kite to Key?
A recent blog post from Retirement Voices (link here) made me think about my personal life symbol. I’m not sure if it’s common to have a life symbol or not, but for years my life symbol has been a kite. It reflects how I “live best”.
Consider a kite: It functions best when it’s lightly connected to someone who can give it a slight tug to help it soar. Tug too hard and it crashes. Tug too lightly and it’s out of control. Not connected and it crashes. The need to be connected in almost everything I do is a deep part of my psyche. Yes, this also does show my need for external validation. But a kite has always accurately symbolized when I best soar. Tethered, perhaps. Or, perhaps it’s grounded. But, definitely connected
In the Retirement Visions post, there were a few things about what a Key can teach us about retirement that I found very intriguing.
Consider a Key: You don’t fit in everywhere, and that’s okay. You know you’re in the right place when things just click. A key can open up doors (opportunities) and keep out dangers.
I like the uniqueness of a key symbol. I wonder if I need to shift my personal symbol to being a key? Or maybe it’s a key-shaped kite? LOL
Continuing the Struggle – Be Versus Do
While many folks slide into the “being” aspects of retirement life, for me it has always been a struggle to achieve balance between my previous life’s accomplishment-focused, workaholic, Type-A planning & doing mode and the ability to be in the present, be mindful, and relax into the time abundance of retirement life.
An added craziness right now is my hubby is in doing mode! He’s the guy who relished the newfound freedom of retirement and space to just be… to relax into days of doing mostly nothing – reading, surfing the internet, watching movies, napping, occasionally mowing the lawn. Now, he’s a home-project machine with everyday a new project, or part of a project, accomplished.
And me…. I’m spending days trying to enjoy being. Trying to allow things to exist without the pressure to change them. Trying to accept the imperfections (or the less than ideals/expectation) in our new home. Trying to accept that this low-doing-mode isolation is how the present time needs to be.
I continue to focus on a one-day-at-a-time, let things happen as they unfold mindset, to stop the scenario-what-if-worrying when it starts, and to be kind to myself in the struggles. And not compare to my multiple-projects-completed hubby!
Creating a Summer in Isolation Action Plan
The irony of using the word action is not lost on me. I need more to do! I’ve reflected and still believe in my retirement lifestyle vision statement – to be active, connected, creative, and contemplative.
- Active for me is a combination of healthy living and going “out & about”. Since that second aspect is not an option this summer, my action plan will include healthy meal planning (I am cooking more with one new recipe a week as a goal, but am adding in using summer fruits & veggies more.), trying more on-line cardio options, and working on individual nature walking. Two of these actions are a personal challenge for me because there is no accountability (no “kite” connection!).
- My “Connected” space needs work in this time of isolation! I will create an intentional reach-out connection plan again, like when I was first retired. Maybe try some more physical-distance walks or some zoom happy hours.
- The Creative part of my action plans always has the most possibilities and the least actually executed action. But I WILL explore taking another on-line class, as well as do more writing (book #2?), and do some crafts.
- Contemplation is a continuation in many aspects. Continue journaling, gratitude writing, release awareness, and yoga. I’m also going to watch the Sunrise at Stonehenge on the Solstice… kicking off my summer action plan. (It’s being broadcast live as they are not allowing a gathering this year.)
What’s on your summer in isolation plan?