Mid Summer Musings

It’s surprising to me that it is mid-summer already.  I’m doing well on most of my summer activities with a few exceptions that I’m wondering if I really want to do them or not.  I’m struggling a bit with content for a blog posts, as daily life is full but not necessarily exciting to write about.  So here are some musings for this mid-summer moment:

Doom scrolling.  Why do I waste hours doing it?  I did it with Covid-19.  I did it with the capital fiasco. I did it with Hurricane Elsa.  And now I’m doing it with Red Tide.  For those of you unaware of the environmental disaster that’s impacting me (and I know many others have their own environmental disasters to deal with – from flooding to wild fires to staggering heat waves), Red Tide is a naturally occurring algae bloom in the ocean.  It usually happens in late August and is very patchy.  It’s toxic to fish and marine life but (supposedly) only irritating to humans, impacting our respiratory systems. Some people are more sensitive than others to the irritation – I’m moderate.  This one started in June (way too soon in the summer), is huge, and is doing massive fish kills throughout the Tampa Bay area. That means there are tons (literally) of dead fish, causing even more respiratory impacts.  Yes, our lovely (new) beach has dead fish washing up with every tide, we can’t sit outside because of the stench, and even beach walks & beach yoga have been curtailed.  The algae bloom while huge, remains patchy, floating with the tide and the wind, so you never know when the beach will be OK to breathe or bad to breathe.  But my doom scrolling is looking at people planning to visit the area and asking, “How bad is it?” on social media and then everyone arguing about it!   Why?  It’s patchy.  It’s impacted by tide and wind.  Some people are more sensitive than others.  So every response to “how bad is it?” is simply one person’s truth at one moment in time.  And I continue to doom scroll through all the arguments, including the spirals into politicizing the event.

Mid-life.  I’ve wanted to call myself a mid-life blogger.  But in reality I’m approaching the moment when mid-life is past.  I did the math.  If the middle is one third [as in beginning, middle, and end] and I hope to live to 90 years of age, then the middle of life (mid-life) is 30-60.  I’m going to be 61 this summer.  No longer mid-life!

Roots.  This is the first time in over 10 years we don’t have two houses we shuttle between.  For years, I kept certain things in travel readiness – bathroom kits, jewelry, extra drugs, bins/bags of things to move between locations – because we were always within weeks of heading to the other house.  I also got in the habit of not planning things too far in advance because we were often weeks away from not being here.  Now, there is no other house.  This is it.  There have been many moments these past weeks where that realization has stopped me in my tracks.  This is not temporary.  We need to finish unpacking and settling in. Put down roots.

Throwback Thursday.  I have decided to do a series of posts on Thursdays, highlighting elements of the Retirement Transition Process that started my blog and is the framework of my book.  Hopefully some newer readers will be interested!

How’s your summer progressing?

Picture credit: Pixabay

18 thoughts on “Mid Summer Musings

  1. I’m so sorry to hear about the return of the red tide. It must be so frustrating to (a) have that happening right in your backyard, and (b) have it affect your enjoyment of beaches, walks, etc. May this somehow be resolved in our time!

    I’m not heard the word “doom scrolling” before, but I sure understand what it is. For me, it’s reading about all the people who refuse to get the vaccine, and in particular how that’s making life difficult for healthcare workers. I get deep into articles about it and end up angry and depressed afterwards. Must. Stop.

    I cannot believe it’s August already! – Marty

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  2. The summer, as always, is going way too fast. I always get a little depressed when July 4 hits, because that feels like the middle of summer. It’s almost August. However, it’s been really hot here and I am ready for some cooler weather. But not too cool.

    I’ve been down there during red tide before and I don’t think it bothered me too much. We did limit beach time a little bit. But I have a friend who’s panicking about it, even though they don’t plan to be down there until October. I do hope it clears up soon as dead fish are not pleasant and it would be a shame if it affected tourism.

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    1. Interesting. I never felt July 4th was mid summer. Maybe because where I grew up, July 4th was the first big summer thing. Memorial Day was often still too cold to plan anything outdoors and we were in school till end of June. Interesting how we retain so many feelings from childhood. It was in the 90s already here in May and yet I didn’t think about summer until Jun 1st.

      The challenge right now with the Red Tide is conflicting information. Because of the concern about being too negative and scaring away tourists, most governing bodies have been either silent or downplaying it. But the water is full of dead rotting fish, including large fish now. While the air might be better depending on which way the wind blows (literally), the water is not. They clean the beaches daily (early morning) of dead fish. So I see families still coming to the beach and kids playing in the surf…Ugh.

      We are all hoping it begins to subside, but the continual heat and rotting fish (more nutrient) is not helping matters. I feel like I went from being home bound by Covid to being home bound by Red Tide – it’s good I like my new home.

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  3. You’ve had some deep thoughts recently, Pat…well that’s not new for you, but it does seem like you have more than usual on your mind this summer. I’m sorry to hear about the red tide. We are dealing with the smoke from fires in the west. Some days we can’t even see the mountains, and it’s not safe to spend time outdoors. It is strange to contemplate the fact that we have most likely lived out 2/3 of our lives…I’ll be 60 this year. Can we stretch out the middle to be larger than the two ends, so midlife is maybe 21-70? 😉 I haven’t even had a chance to retire yet! In all seriousness, though, I am doing my best to live in the moment and appreciate each day. Otherwise, time does seem to fly by without us even noticing. Take care Pat. Good luck setting your roots and with your Throwback Thursday posts.

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    1. Christie, I wondered if the smoke was affecting you. I have friends visiting Washington State and they were quite concerned, because they plan on driving from location to location Apparently there’s some “smoke app”! And yes, I am trying to live in the moment as well. Perhaps I need to look at my daily gratitudes and craft a thankful post. Your posts are always inspiring!

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  4. Hi Pat, I’m new to your blog. I’ll be 61 in Dec and planning on retiring sometime next year. I’m very interested in reading about your transition and how you structure your days now. Thank you for sharing!!!

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    1. Look for the first Throwback this week (today if I can get all the links working). I’ve got 6-8 weeks planned out. Yeah… if you haven’t figured it out yet…I am a planner. 🙂

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  5. Your comment about not being a mid-life blogger anymore made me laugh out loud. We’ll have to come up with a new category.

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    1. Oh dear… finding a term that’s widely acceptable is so hard. How many folks have tried to find new term for retirement?! I guess I’ll be sticking with “retirement lifestyle blogger” though. Should have added that into the post!

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  6. Hi Pat, I hate to hear about the red tide, especially since you just got down there to set up permanent residence. And I know that you are way over researching it, but that’s part of who you are and really what you like to do. But for everyday of red tide and not so fun to go outside, think of the freezing cold you won’t have to endure up here!
    You know you don’t have to settle everything immediately after you move in. You can take your time, set things enough so you’re comfortable and then take the rest of the unpacking at your leisure, you’re retired after all. Maybe put it on your things to do of 1 box per day or per week. Or even as you figure out where the stuff in the box is going. Or maybe that stuff just stays in the box. It is all good!!
    I look forward to reading the flashbacks and all the new posts about how retirement in Florida is.!
    Keep it up!

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    1. Candyse, You do realize most of the unpacked boxes are Tim’s… right? And getting him to move on them has been almost impossible. Ah well….most are out of sight in “office” and garage.

      The funny thing is, we are having the kitchen cabinets redone – painting as they are in good condition plus new hardware, so everything will look new. So I’m repacking everything up! LOL. More boxes! But also a second chance to say what might go away.

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  7. Hi Pat, I’m looking forward to your ‘throwback’ posts, but I also enjoy reading about your everyday life. What may not seem interesting to you might be the thing that inspires a reader to live a better/fuller life. Your coast has red tide, we have green algae. It hasn’t been bad this year, but it just takes one nasty release from lake O and our river will be contaminated. Take care.

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    1. Suzanne, thanks for your interest in the Throwbacks. First one this week. And thanks for the reassurance about what might inspire others. It reminded me that when I first retired, it was super helpful to see what others were doing and the breadth of things gave me ideas for myself.

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  8. I am new to your blog and love hearing get from you. Glad you will be doing a throwback Thursday to help me see where you started this journey.

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  9. Hi Pat – interesting the feeling you had of still being transient. Enjoy putting down those roots and settling into a new life. Maybe we’ll all live to 120 and Midlife will cover more years 🙂

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