I normally get several free calendars from organizations asking for money. Some of these organizations I freely donate to but they always ask for more. Others are ones I don’t donate to but are similar enough to the ones I do donate to that somebody figures I might be a good target. For some reason, I guess I didn’t save any of those so I find myself in the new year without a calendar to hang on the wall.
Not that you need one of those anymore. My phone will tell me what day it is and I can log all of my important events into that calendar so I don’t need to write anything down. I really just liked the calendars for the pretty pictures. The good news is that the sell date for calendars goes pretty quickly. Before Christmas, there is always that kiosk in the mall that sells calendars because they make a good default gift. After the new year, the prices get slashed. I guess it makes sense but if you buy something in January, you still get to use it for 11 months but maybe we all have something against buying a calendar after the year has officially started.
I actually do have the remnants of a calendar I got last year. We always did a gift exchange among my team. It was supposed to be a white elephant thing (never understand that phrase) but everyone was too nice to buy something totally useless. Anyway, I ended up with a desk calendar that listed all the various “days” that someone had decided we needed to celebrate. I used that at the beginning of last year in my “what day is it Wednesday” to try and lighten the increasingly dark mood at work. Ironically, we were all officially told on a Wednesday. The back page of the calendar does contain this year so I guess I’ll hand on to it for a bit. Memories and such.
And we also have a new decade to worry about. Although there are many people who will spend hours debating with you that this is not the start of the new year. I think the reasoning is that we never start counting with year 0 so the first “decade” would have been years 1-10 and so the year ending with “0” closes the old decade rather than starting the new one. Personally, I think these people are humorless types who should be avoided at all costs.
So what do we do with the new year. Well my first big decision is when to take down the decorations and the tree. Yes, that’s a big decision. Something about seeing the Christmas tree still makes me happy. Sat out in the great room reading while the lights twinkled beside me. Lots of memories wrapped up in the ornaments and so I do resist taking it down. It does have to go at some point and likely in the next couple of days. Kind of depends on the weather. Nothing worse than dragging a tree out in the rain when it is leaving a trail of needles that can’t easily be swept up when they are wet.
It is no secret that I had a big life changing event last year. Since I don’t like setting specific goals, I’ll just give myself a general one to settle into retirement this year. At least maybe figure out if I want to start doing something new and different or just put more focus into things I’ve been doing like dancing and writing.
I do read a fair number of blogs. As I’ve said before, most of them are from younger people at a much different stage in life. Funny to read worries about what they are going to do with their lives and here I am still dealing with that question. I know when you are young, the focus is primarily on finding a job but you may end up learning that a job is just a temporary distraction. OK, it’s a long “temporary” but it is still a distraction. Maybe you will be one of the lucky ones who loves what you do but, sooner or later, it will end and then you’ll be right back where you were – trying to figure out what you should do.
Of course, I’ve talked before about figuring out some more consistent theming for my little corner of the internet. Maybe I’ll do that. The only thing I know is that I enjoy doing this. The other thing I know is I like to talk about a lot of things and trying to narrow the focus here is difficult. But since I will have lots of time on my hands, this might be the year to really sort things out and see where this ends up.
I know I’m not a resolution person so it might seem strange as to why I’m discussing things like this. Guess I haven’t totally gotten over the programming that a new calendar page means you should think about these things. I’ve certainly thought about this multiple times during that whole transition phase from being employed to having every day open to lots of possibilities. From talking with another friend who retired, he said it took several months for it to stop feeling like a vacation and maybe that’s what is going on.
And maybe I’ll just decide that I don’t need new goals or direction. That just doing more of the things that make me happy is really all I need. It is certainly true that I could have chosen to leave my job and start over at any time. But I had sort of grown comfortable with my short commute and with all the earned vacation days and benefits. Plus, I could make a strong case that with my wife having her own business, it made a lot of financial sense for one of us to stay in a place where benefits were more locked down. Even if the place started to eat away at my soul the last two years. Was that the right choice? I don’t know. I do know I certainly have more options open to me now.
Sometimes I wonder what life would be like if we didn’t need money for everything. Yeah, I know that’s a silly thing to think about. How many people were like me and trapped in prisons of their own making because we prioritized financial stability over everything else. Would life be more fulfilling if people could just follow their hearts and dreams without needing to worry about how they are going to pay for things. Silly but as I said at the start, sometimes I’m all about the dreams.
Well I’ll wrap this up here. We have a new year and, despite the claims of the overly literal, a new decade. In my corner of the world, it is sunny and the birds are singing (while they devour the food I’ve put out). It is cold but more seasonal cold than “you’ll freeze instantly” cold. We didn’t take Rocco the wonder dog out yesterday because it was rain snowing and windy. So I think that’s what I’ll do. Besides, it is always fun to see how many people show up at the park on the first day of the year.