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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Learning to do nothing: Part Two


First Journal Entry:February 9, 2003


"How many weeks? Stop counting*
The days flow, stopped only by trips to get this and that . Mostly, we need to make this place accept us, show us the rythms and the tides.

"The Ocean pounds-sometimes incessantly rushing to shore like a freight train changing tracks-the same sound the freeway behind our old house made day and night.

"We are purchasing more stuff than we need, trappings of our old lives, to feel comforted again. We bought a bedroom set at a whim. Massive headboard and footboard, two dressers, side tables. Do not need all this. Clothes, we gave that all away. We need sturdy stuff for this place, from shoes to coats.

"I have this tingling feeling that we rushed into this and other decisions. Hubby hates lists and schedules. I feel better when I have a list, checking things off, feeling a sense of accomplishement. But, with no lists, I feel like a kid again, free to jump in and enjoy what's in front of me. This part I enjoy.

"I feel guilty only on one account:not feeling guilty. Seems that I want to like like this-no responsibilities, no agendas, no appointments.  Our days are filled with things we want to do.

"What I miss: Barnes and Noble, Nordstrom Rack, Milano, P.F.Chang, Gelson, Western Bagels, The Hollywood Bowl, The Music Center, Museums, Live music venues.

"What I now have: Ocean, lake, gardens, ability to walk everywhere in town, ability to leave the house unlocked all day and all night, clean air, quiet streets, privacy, birds, racoons, deer, turkey and assortedfowl. I don't even know the names of all the trees, bushes and animals around."

31 comments:

ds said...

I love what you have now!(love both parts of this story, btw)Living in deepest, darkest suburbia I know that when the time comes I will not miss the things you left behind. Except perhaps for museums...

Renee said...

I love a good bookstore too.

Of course you all ready knew that.

xoxox

Helen said...

Nordstrom Rack is the first place I head when I'm in Seattle! And even in Bend with 80,000+ citizens I feel totally safe! After all those huge metro areas I lived in, this is pure heaven. Enjoy your day, Ms. Rosaria. ps ... I do miss the Guthrie and Walker in Minneapolis and the Morse in Winter Park, FL.

RNSANE said...

There are SO many things I would miss about San Francisco. I love all the ethnic restaurants - I have so many favorites..and being able to go any night to great music venues, small clubs with cover charges...of course, I don't have a special someone with whom to run away....but I am not sure I could leave for a long time, maybe an escape of a few months. I do know I need to downsize, now that I have retired. There is far too much I DON'T need.

I do so much enjoy reading your blog.

pink dogwood said...

I love your life - can't wait to read more about it. barnes and noble and nordstrom rack are my favorite places too.

staceyjwarner said...

Sounds like heaven...I'm not sure what I would miss...I know I would miss my friends...but everything else I bet I could find replacements for...

Jennifer said...

It sounds perfect.

Carol @ TheWritersPorch said...

Rosaria, I miss PF Chang's too but when I visit Nashville, my daughter treats me!
I've lived in both worlds also!
Give me sunrises,sunsets,dark nights,my own home grown veggies and meat,5 dogs and a peace of mind anyday over what city life offers! I never noticed nature in the city the way I do now ! Hey, Amazon comes right to the door with my books! You are living the best life now and will probably live longer because of it!! :)

ellen abbott said...

Considering what you have now, I'm guessing you don't miss all that other stuff any more.

Lori ann said...

Sounds like heaven to me. I'm not much of a shopper though.
Thanks for sharing your journal Rosaria, I really enjoy your writing.

Man of Roma said...

I liked that: I feel guilty of not feeling guilty. So you confirm that your retirement is like a very looong week end, or, a paese dei balocchi (a Land of Play). Lucky you. But I will not surrender to Calvinism. Milano? Why you missed Milano? Unless you meant something else. Barnes and Noble. I guess the virtual one doesn't have the same charm, oh no no. Sorry for all these questions, but, what do you have to share about Italy and what did you mean?

Elizabeth Bradley said...

We give one thing up to gain another. Sometimes we change our minds about where we want to be. My dad retired to Northern California, where he bought land and built his dream house. As my step-mother and him grew older they sold the place and moved back down to be near us kids. His needs changed, he needed us. But he had the memories of the twelve years he spent living out his dream. What I love, when the kids are gone things are really up to us, we can do whatever we want. What a concept!

lakeviewer said...

Note: Milano is a restaurant that served Italian food, close to where we used to live in California. This post is a journal entry copied exactly. Where I lived was close to two malls. I didn't miss those; I missed individual stores, like Nordstrom Rack and Barnes and Noble, the hunt for bargains at the first one, the getting lost perusing books in the second one. Now, we go to Eugene and Portland to get our fix of bookstores and restaurants.

This entry was written the first week of retirement. Still early!

Eva Gallant said...

Sounds ideal!

Natalie said...

Sounds wonderful.....ahhhhhhh.

m. heart said...

"the same sound the freeway behind our old house made day and night" reminded me so much of my first apartment in Providence. Interstate 95 sounded just like the ocean and that's part of what I loved about living there. And you could smell the salt water, so that helped with the illusion.

What you said about belongings bringing comfort really resonates with me as well. I have, literally, a lifetime's worth of stuff in my house/attic including my own baby clothes (!), toys, etc. I feel like I'm anchored by all of it but can't seem to let it go.

Marguerite said...

Your life sounds wonderful! Know what you mean about the lists. I used to be obsessed with list making! Then, one day I decided to try life without a list, for two years. It was so liberating and I loved it!

Nortehanon said...

Where you are is my idea of a place where I will stay after retirement. I'm still in early 30's though. Still a long way to go, I guess :) Retirement age at my work is 65.

Man of Roma said...

Thank you for your reply Rosaria.

Shadow said...

how i love your what you have list!

Maggie May said...

You seem to be living the idealistic life!
As for lists..... I am a writer of lists and make lots of them, only to walk out of the house & leave my shopping list on the table!
Going away, lists are essential as I would be sure to forget an important item.
My husband once left his case behind, after I had carefully filled it with carefully listed things!

Nuts in May

Lyn said...

Sounds like paradise to me. I know that I will have no problem leaving the structure of work life behind if and when I retire some day. I yearn to be immersed in nature and your description of the pounding ocean sounds simply wonderful! Thanks for sharing ...

Reya Mellicker said...

I bet it was a huge adjustment. All for the better, eventually, but since we are animals of routine, shaking it up, even if you want to, can be stressful.

I'm loving this series. Hope you continue to describe your process. xx

♥ Braja said...

Leaving it behind is wonderful....but the little attachments pop up, don't they....it's those we must deal with, not the big things....

♥ tuğçe♥ said...

it sounds perfect

Gaston Studio said...

When we first moved to this little town from Atlanta, I missed every kind of store imaginable but then realized I traded off a 3 minute rush hour for a two hour rush hour and all was okay.
Love your stories and know you love your ocean, lakes, gardens and walks!

Brian Miller said...

the changing pace and memories of what we leave behind...i would miss the book store too...but sometimes you leave the good for the great...

karen said...

Great posts on the retirement topic! I love the way you have described it, and can't wait to hear more :)

Derrick said...

I'm sure you'll have got the hang of retirement by now! Having possessions is necessary for some folks. I'm not good in an empty space and I like to be comfortable. But I've learned to enjoy living in the countryside so long as the city isn't too far away!

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Overall, I think the exchange was great!!! But a good bookstore? That is truly something to miss and mourn the loss...Love to you~Janine XO

The Things We Carried said...

I would miss the book stores! But for now I miss the scent of water and the sound of the ocean!