For Better - Or What?

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April 26, 2017

Done But Not Finished

Once we had packed up our possessions and moved out of our house, I was ready to leave it all behind and hit the road.

But it isn't that simple.


How Can I Miss You When you Won't Go Away

People keep asking us when we are leaving town, and few people were under the impression we were already gone. That would be great! But there are just a few things still holding us back.

The good news is that our house sale is pending, and the better news is that escrow might closer sooner than originally predicted.

There is still plenty to do. The sale has required an amazing amount of paperwork (now mostly all completed). We need a termite inspection (and possibly some action based on the results). There are a few small repairs that need to be done. We are also stuck in town for a couple of extra weeks beyond escrow because I have a doctor appointment that just couldn't be scheduled any sooner.

A few months ago, we had a long, long list of things to do. That list is now pretty short. Although it has been difficult and frustrating at times, it is doable, and we are doing it.

Every time we check off something from our to-do list, Steve says, "One step closer." We feel closer to freedom each day.
 

April 15, 2017

Missing Link?

It appears that this blog's email subscribers who receive posts on mobile devices did not receive the link to a short video that was part of yesterday's post, a clip showing Steve at his retirement party. For those who missed it, here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7G4kgQcUB4.

April 14, 2017

"But Not For Lunch"


"For better or worse, but not for lunch."

It's a saying familiar to my mother's generation, a humorous way of suggesting that when a husband retires, his wife may not welcome having him home all the time.

After Steve and I announced our plan to retire and spend months or years traveling together, some people wondered if this might turn out to be too much of a good thing. Will being together "all the time" prove to be boring, irritating, or suffocating?

Not yet.

Maybe if we were sitting around doing nothing all day we would have a problem, but for the past few months we have been busier than ever, as we get ready for the next phase of our life together.

We couldn't stay in our house once we moved our possessions out. Everything was either stored, sold, or donated. We moved into temporary housing (a small, one-bedroom apartment) while preparing to sell the house.

We do spend a lot of time together, working on whatever project needs to be done to move forward with our plans, taking walks, and — yes — having lunch. We also have time to pursue our own interests. We agreed a long time ago that it's okay to have separate activities, or just to seek a little solitude.

Our biggest challenge is probably the bathroom. In our old house, we shared a large master bathroom with two sinks. Conveniently, there was another bathroom off the hallway, and a third one downstairs. Nobody ever had to wait.

Here, there is one small bathroom, with one sink. Additionally, the only mirror in the apartment is the one over the bathroom sink. We need to remember that getting ready in the morning will take a little extra time. And sometimes someone may have to wait a few minutes. But this no worse than normal vacation conditions. We've had to deal with smaller spaces than this one. If this is the biggest problem we face, we'll be okay.
 

March 29, 2017

Let's Go Somewhere Else

My husband and I have started a new blog to chronicle our next big adventure.

It's called Let's Go Somewhere Else. We'll be writing about life on the road, and posting lots of pictures of the places we go.
 

March 8, 2017

This Question Changed My Life

In my last post, I wrote about the experience my husband and I had with a questionnaire designed to help people feel closer.

The questionnaire encourages people to share some of their thoughts and feelings in a way that becomes more intense as the questions progress.

Question 19 asks, "If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living?"

This is a powerful question, because it requires us to examine our priorities and think about the value of how we spend our time. It asks what we really want from life.

My husband's answer was, "I would sell everything and travel the world with you."

The more I thought about it, the more I realized it was what I would want to do, too. A few nights later I said, "You don't have to die to travel the world. What if we just did it, sold everything and started traveling?"

It didn't take much discussion for us to agree that this didn't have to be a fantasy. We really could leave our jobs, sell the house, and hit the road.

And that is exactly what we are about to do.
 

Note: The name of the published study that includes the questionnaire is "The Experimental Generation of Interpersonal Closeness: A Procedure and Some Preliminary Findings". You can find it by clicking on the questionnaire link in the above article. If you just want to go straight to the questions, click on this link to a printable version.

Although some sources say it takes about 45 minutes for a couple to answer the questions, I recommend setting aside two hours when you will not be interrupted. That way you can move at a relaxed pace without any pressure to finish too quickly.