“Being connected to everything has disconnected us from ourselves and the preciousness of this present moment.” L. M. Browning
July 1 finds me settling into retirement with a few holes in my “plan”. I won’t be spending some of that extra time with dad. I won’t be hiking the Scottish Highlands. I won’t be joining a weekly knitting circle or an in-person book group.
But I am sure there will be some wonderful, tiny moments this month. The not-so-tiny person will be joining me each week to dig in the garden and read books. And I bet I will be able to arrange some baby dates with the tinier person – more likely playing on the floor and reading on the couch.
There will be time for walking and hiking and dusting off my bicycle. I have plans for finishing a few quilts and a few knitting projects. My July notebook is ready for the pen. Flowers, fresh fruit, lots of water and vegetables, and an occasional scotch on the rocks (dad’s drink of choice) while I sit on the deck.
July seems a good month to notice the “preciousness of the present moment.”
Dwell – to delay, to linger, to abide, to remain, to inhabit, to reside
This one word has been showing up even though I wasn’t paying attention. Now that I have had a chance to take a few deep breaths, I am noticing how this word describes life these last four months.
There is no easy way to tell you that we said goodbye to dad last week. The last year was hard on him. The quarantine and isolation, even harder. I was able to start visiting again and for those few visits I am very grateful. But finally, he was worn out, ready to go, ready to be reunited with mom. He did not linger, did not delay. He closed his eyes and took his last breath. My sister and I were by his side.
I will miss dad. We have spent a lot of time together the last 5 years. But this little boy, the one who shares his great grampa’s middle name, he will help me linger with the memories of this man, a dad, a grampa, a great grampa, a man who lived a very good life.
Today I am joining with Honoré and sharing an update on my journey with my 2020 One Little Word.
I am mystified at the response I get about retirement. Most people start with, “Have you figured out what you will do with your time?” When I say that I haven’t (I don’t say that I am not worried about “filling my time”), I get a lot of suggestions for volunteer positions that sound like work to me. So let’s revisit- I am retiring from work, not life. And life has a lot left for me to discover and explore.
I am looking forward to having time to:
Read, read, read. I don’t think this stack will fill my bingo card but I am excited to read and learn and ask questions and learn some more.
Dig in my garden, pull weeds and tidy for the most part but that is on life giving list.
Pause. Rest my head and my heart. These last months have taken their toll on my body and my soul. I am especially looking forward to sleep that is not disturbed by worry over work decisions.
I have struggled a bit with my word – DWELL. These last few months I have not wanted to dwell too long or too deeply. I have been thinking of dwelling as something to avoid. I’m sure I am not the only one who has been told to stop dwelling on something.
But then I noticed this beautiful image. Every morning, I pause here while the water is boiling. I stand and look out at the hummingbird feeder, the reflection of the twinkle lights in the window glass, the flowers (there are always flower these days – I make this a priority when I do my weekly shopping). I chose this word because I wanted to dwell – to stop; to linger; to remain; to stay. When I chose this word, I had no idea how much time I would have to dwell on the everyday, ordinary moments. But this is what I needed, a time to slow down and pay attention, to dwell in all the gifts and joys.
Thanks Honoré for these monthly nudges to notice how are words are showing up.