Wednesday 3 April 2019

2019: Where I am and where I’m going

In the past two years, I've written "2017: Where I am and where I’m going" and "2018: Where I am and where I’m going". Why not 2019?

My last day at work was January 26, 2018. I've now celebrated one full year of not working. It may seem odd not having a job, but I'm enjoying not having to rush off in the morning. A second cup of coffee in my bathrobe is nice.

However, I didn't want to fall into bad habits — sleeping in and staying up late — so I have my alarm permanently set to 8am. — I wake up before that a fair number of times.

Everyday, I take two to five breaks throughout the day and do a set of exercises: 30-50 sit-ups, isometrics, tension bands, various things given to me by my kinesiologist. I go to the gym every other day. — Experts say you should let your muscles rest 48 hours between workouts. Am I disciplined? No, I'm scared. After my 2012 sports injury which left me in pain for five months and unable to move much for ten months, I vowed to do whatever necessary to (try to) make sure that never happened again. Every once in a while, I have an "incident" (mild injury) which reminds me (scares me) to faithfully continue.

In other words, I'm trying to maintain some semblance of order.

Retirement: the golden years. But the joke is that you have to have enough gold. In the lead-up to my retirement, I analysed my finances every way imaginable, wondering and worrying about how I would survive. The concept is that I stop working, stop receiving a regular paycheque, and yet, I still manage to pay my monthly rent. How is such a thing possible?

Last fall, I spent the day with two business friends, the same age as me. We walked around, had lunch, and chatted about life and everything under the sun. Our conclusion: None of us were rich, but we were okay. We didn't own a mansion and a Rolls Royce or jetted off to the French Riviera to hobnob with the world's elite, but we were okay. We'd all get by. Financially, we had enough to live our lives, not extravagantly, but comfortably. And in saying that, we all recognised that we were lucky, aware that some people work very, very hard and still fail. I'm reminded of this meme:

The only thing golden about my golden years is my urine.

Novel Numéro Deux
I wrote "The End" at the beginning of December 2017. Over the next eleven months, I did ten beta reads, a line edit, a manuscript evaluation, two copy edits, and finally a proofread. In between each step, I poured over my text, correcting, rewriting, deleting, and adding. I clicked on the Publish button on November 4, 2018. On to marketing, an aspect of writing I know little or nothing about. It's an adventure.

Will I write another? I have to chuckle because over the years, I've heard some people say that they write because it's in their blood, it's part of their DNA, or some other allusion to a higher calling. I've come to realise that if I put pen to paper so to speak, it's for a much more mundane reason.

I write because I'm bored, and I can't think of anything better to do.

So much for the pretentiousness of my higher calling.

In March 2018 I spent a week in St. Petersburg, Florida visiting family. At the end of September 2018, I spent ten days in the Canadian Rockies also visiting family. So far in 2019, I dropped back down to St. Petersburg again, but other than that, I haven't planned anything. The world is my oyster, but I think twice about solo traveling. It's amusing to discover that the world, well the world of travel, is for the most part geared to couples.

If I do something, I can stay close to home. I've come to appreciate how little of my own country I know. Yes, there are many places in the world I've never visited, but there also many parts of my native land, Canada, I've never visited. I've taken to using Google Maps and its Earth View and Street View to explore places with the vague notion of hopping on a plane to see them in real life: St. John's, Newfoundland, Iqaluit, Whitehorse, and Churchill. Why? I'm just curious. I've never been there, and I know someone could argue that there's nothing there of any significance, but people deliberately moved there and continue to live there, so there has to be something good about these places. Besides, wouldn't it be funny to share a picture of me standing in front of a road sign like "Dildo, Newfoundland"?

Okay, one crazy thing I've become obsessed about is Moonbeam, Ontario, specifically the flying saucer. At my previous company, I chatted with colleagues who, as part of their job, had to travel around the province of Ontario, visiting far-flung outposts such as Kapuskasing, Hearst, Dryden, and Sioux Lookout. Yeah, I had never heard of these places, either.

One guy told me about Moonbeam, and after looking it up, I kept thinking about the crazy idea of taking a picture of me in front of the flying saucer. I've checked flights to fly from Toronto to Timmins, rent a car, and drive the one hour and thirty minutes to the saucer. And what else is there? After all, Moonbeam has a population of merely five thousand people, not exactly a top-ten tourist destination.

I've used Google maps to check out the area: scout restaurants and motels, locate gas stations, and view natural features like Remi Lake and René Brunelle Provincial Park. I could see myself spending a day or two just driving around enjoying the scenery. I'd want to put lunch at Mi Cafecito on the list. Doing this would remind me of the various cottages I've visited over the years. There are thousands and thousands of such areas, microcosms of summer fun in nature: beaches, swimming, family-run general stores for supplies or the occasional ice cream cone, a temporary reprieve from one's regular life, a complete change of pace.

Will I do this? It's been fun researching it. I calculate I need to set aside a thousand dollars for this, but then again, a once-in-a-lifetime memory is priceless.

At the moment, I can't see myself going back to blogging regularly. The thought of writing about myself seems unworthy of consideration and self-indulgent. While I have opinions on a variety of topics - political, societal, sexual - I can't find the motivation to write it down. I estimate I wrote over a million words on my blog from 2010 to 2013-2015, so what else could I possibly have to say? Every time something in the news or social media awakens the need to espouse my views, I realise I've already written about them. I could take a blog posting from a few years go, change the date, and republish it. Why bother restating what I've already said?

Besides, a Facebook friend posted pictures of her vacation down south. I commented that she should write a travel blog, and she responded, "Blogging is so passé." When I started in 2010, I had the impression for several years that everybody under the sun was blogging. Now? Is everybody still doing that? Somehow it no longer seems to be desirable to be writing long-winded, detailed tracts about personal opinions or personal activities. Why? We all have opinions and activities. Is anything I do exceptional? Is anything I do worthy of committing to paper so future generations can marvel at the profundity of my thoughts and view of the world? Then again, maybe it's just me. Maybe I'm bored with writing, and I'm looking for something better to do. Ha!

I'll be 67 this coming October
I don't want to give anybody the impression I'm obsessing about age and death, but I'm certainly aware of it. My father died two days shy of his 80th birthday, and the average life expectancy of a Canadian male now stands at 82.3 years.

Over the holidays, a family member by marriage died at the age of 75. (Death at Christmas). I just heard this past weekend, that another distant family member by marriage died after a massive stroke. He would have been 70 on April 8, 2019. I don't know if this is true or not, but I had a friend tell me a couple of years ago, that if somebody lives to the age of 70, there is a good chance they will live to 80. I'll be biting my nails for the next three years. Ha, ha!

Recently, a business acquaintance turned 51. I couldn't help thinking that while I have 13 years left before my 80th birthday, he has 29 years. How different is his perspective on life? I'm retired. I must plan out my finances with the idea of not having employment income. He still has another 15 plus years to accumulate wealth. I will add, as a sobering thought, that the actor Luke Perry, of Beverly Hills 90210 fame, died at the age of 52. One never knows when their time will be up.

In the meantime, let me see where all this goes. I didn't have anything better to do at the moment. :-)


my blog: 2018: Where I am and where I’m going - Jan 30/2018

my blog: 2017: Where I am and where I’m going - Jan 28/2017

Quote Investigator - Oct 18/2014
Don’t Like to Write, But Like Having Written
Dorothy Parker? George R. R. Martin? Frank Norris? Robert Louis Stevenson? Cornelia Otis Skinner? Clive Barnes? Gloria Steinem? Hedley Donovan?

In conclusion, this family of expressions is difficult to trace because of its mutability. This article represents a snapshot of what QI has found. Based on the 1915 citation QI would provisionally credit Frank Norris with the statement “Don’t like to write, but like having written”. During the almost one hundred years since 1915 many other writers have made similar remarks. Strengthening the emotional valence by changing “like” to “love” is a common modification.

my blog: Writing: Humour - Mar 26/2017
Ya gotta laugh: it beats sobbing uncontrollably.


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1 comment:

Zanelle said...

I used to blog every day. I had a wonderful time. Many of the people i follow on Facebook are from those blogs. But I would get in fights. LOL I dont miss that. I have some blogs referenced on my facebook page but mostly I just play with my art. I do need a new explosion blog. I remember in the late 1990's a boyfriend of my daughter made me an explosion painting blog. Amazing that I am still doing that. What will my legacy be? No one reads me blogs and the one on Open Salon that we all loved is closed down. I tried Our Salon and you might like to take a dip in there. Bunch of interesting people. too intense for me tho. Anyway. Enjoy your retirement. Come to Hawaii. Never dull here.