Who am I?

Strangely enough, I am not at a half marathon race today. I signed up a week ago when the temperatures didn\’t look too bad; but that changed. As of last night, the low was to be 20F plus a wind chill. I reconsidered the 3 hour drive and the 2.5 hours in the cold…. I didn\’t make it out of bed.

So that left me with time to relax this morning and regroup on my dreams. Yes, it is easy for hopefulness and creativity to get lost in the ordinary world.

It is new years weekend and this year, Across the Years 6 day race is being live streamed. I know several people in the race and saw them on youtube. I so wish I was an ultra runner. But, when my feet start to hurt, I always quit. I can\’t seem to get past the pain like others; and maybe that is smart. But I never got to the miles I wanted. Somewhere around 38 miles, I wonder why I am doing this. I do however enjoy my 7 to 10 mile runs I\’ve been doing in parks here in Kansas City. So many nice bike paths and parks. I\’ve really enjoyed myself. Is running who I am?

The jury is definitely out on my job at Starbucks. The store is always packed with people and even if we have enough baristas, we can\’t keep up and rush like crazy. My job is usually to supply baristas with what they need. It is an endless stream of: make more coffee, make cold brew, make iced coffee, make mocha sauce, get more vanilla, get more cups, get more ice, take out the trash, take out the trash, take out the trash, get milk, get lids, make more coffee, make black tea, get espresso beans, make green tea, make whipped cream, make sweet cream, get more frapp mix, wash the dishes, make cold water….. make cold water? There are two ways to make cold water, just to you know. Being busy makes the hours go by fast, but it is tiring and many mistakes are made. Sometimes I feel good after a shift, sometimes not. So, the jury is out. Is working who I am?

Part of the problem is me. I am so critical of myself. Yeah, main problem of my life. I could be outstanding and amazing on the outside; but terribly critical on the inside.

I get tired at work and then don\’t write. My novel languishes a bit. The app has languished. I need to gather momentum for these dreams. So, that is on my mind. How do I organize my life to have energy for carrying out dreams? Will I get used to Starbucks and then have more energy for other stuff? I don\’t know. The jury is out. Is writing who I am?

My other job, as a tax preparer, is tugging at my time. It will get into swing more the second week of January. This job has been on my retirement bucket list for over a decade, so I will definitely keep it. The question is do I keep Starbucks.

Part of why I left my career was to have time in this lifetime to do more than work. Discover my self. So you may find me trying a variety of things. I juggle my Artist Mind with my Critical Mind. I like these terms better than inner child and inner parent. Discovering is in the moment, but also over a period of time. We\’ll see how this goes. The Universe keeps sending me clues.

Morning Pages

Yesterday, I discovered a new book, \”The Artist\’s Way\” by Julia Cameron. For those of you in recovery, it does not mention AA, but it does mention that she got sober in 1978. And the book is filled with \”higher power\” and \”spiritual experience.\”

I\’m sharing this tool, Morning Pages, with you because I think is helps me to feel better. If you are an Abraham Hicks fan, I think this tool will help you to get on a high flying disk, write rampages of appreciation, get in alignment, stop doing that thing you are doing, get all the way to San Diego instead of stopping in Yuma and going back to San Antonio.

Lets review where I am coming from. I quit my job because I wanted to become a writer, yes. But also because I want to be the real me sometime before I die. The corporate engineer me is a logical brain construction and mainly exists to earn money and protect me from the world. Very little joy, or happy consciousness is allowed by the logical me. I\’ll be 60 in January. It is time to let go and find some joy in life. To find some happy reason for my existence. Yes, I can die as a millionaire, but did I experience The Universe\’s love for me?

Truly, I\’ve sought Love for most of my life; and only caught glimpses. The logical brain always calls me down.

\”morning pages are 3 pages of long hand writing, strictly stream-of-consciousness…\”

Right there, I become unstuck. I was trying to write a rampage of appreciation when I had none. Or I was taking my inventory and only feeling worse. Or trying to write a novel instead of getting in touch with me.

\”These morning pages are not meant to be an art. Or even writing. I stress at this point to reassure the non-writers working with this book. Writing is simply a tool. Pages are meant to be simply the act of moving the hand across the page and writing down whatever comes to mind. Nothing is too petty, too silly, too stupid, or too weird to be included.
     The morning pages are not supposed to sound smart….\”

But I will share further promises.

  • All that petty stuff you write down in morning pages is what stands between you and your creativity.
  • The morning pages are the primary tool of creative recovery.
  • We are victims of our own internalized Censor who constantly criticizes us. The morning pages are a way to evade the Censor and find your Artists Brain.
  • The morning pages are meditation because the stream of consciousness writing gives us insight and helps effect change in our lives. Moving from the logical Censor to the Artist Brain is meditation.
  • We meditate to discover our own identity, acquire a connection to our inner self. Morning pages build a link to the inner creative identity. (What wouldn\’t I give to have that. I\’ve spent my life wanting that.)
If you made it to here, google \”morning pages\” or go to the library and get the book The Artist\’s Way. I\’m not going to type entire directions for morning pages here. But I GUARANTEE YOU WILL BE INSPIRED. A being inspired feels good. Inspiration is good energy and I love it.
Today was my first attempt to get 3 pages written and I was successful. I couldn\’t do this when Abraham said to write 3 pages of a rampage of appreciation every day. Because, I don\’t appreciate that much or I am too afraid of the Law of Attraction looking in on my crummy thoughts and sending me more. Judgments and restrictions on my writing allow the Censor to shut everything down. And then I have nothing. But if I just free flow write with no restrictions or judgments, I find that the positivity does come out. Free flow writing is a way for me to dig myself out of my negativity. My negativity is mainly fear. My life has sort of mainly been about fear. What if I could dig out of feat and actually love being alive?
In any case, it felt good to let go and just write whatever. I feel better and that is important. This morning, I realized an important point: the life I created here in KC, post career, has room for the Artist and the point is that I need to learn who I am and be who I am. So working at part time jobs  with a hap hazard schedule does that. 
Also, I have created in my life some people I need. Like last night I met my tax office boss. But who I really met is a young guy who is extremely creative. By young, I mean really young. But he shared alot of his creative activities and explained why he like working for the tax office: to have time during the off season to be creative. So, I had the same life I have now 15 years ago, but went back into engineering because of the money. Also, 15 years ago, I had no creative projects so no reason to have a life with room for creativity. Now however, financial insecurity is not an issue and I do have creative projects. So, while this kid is my boss, I can surreptitiously watch a guy have a creative life. A real person, not a book author.
I feel inspired now. I feel good about my life. What could be more important than that?

Christmas on Shoal Creek

Today\’s walk was really nice and the little tree that someone decorated sparkled. I felt really good being outside. The air is so fresh and crisp here.

I am in a period of life where I feel good most of the time. I think it is because Abraham Hicks\’ (google that) teaching how to deliberately feel good. Like, yesterday at Starbucks, we got absolutely slammed. We were missing two partners and the store was filled with people the entire 6 hours I was there. So the 4 of us who were on duty were running the whole time. Driving home in my car however, I felt energized. While I was working, of course it was a struggle. You wouldn\’t believe how many bags of garbage I took out (making coffee drinks generates lots of garbage from grounds to milk bottles). I toted ice from the machine to the bar. I washed dishes. I made all sorts of sauces. But still, somehow, it feels good at the end of the day.

I know this because yesterday also, someone from my old career contacted me to inform me that my old boss was moving on and his job was posted. I did go look at the posting. But I felt no happiness at the idea of going back.

I\’d rather focus on the real purpose for which I came to this time in my life. I want to be a writer. I have two writing projects. I know that I can engineer words and produce kick ass products. That\’s my path. Truly, everything is on that path. I just need to keep putting ink on paper, typing up the first drafts, connecting with helpful people, learning how writers publish and become successful. Not easy or quick but doable.

And in the mean time, enjoy the beautiful paths and my vibrant health.

Youthful Exuberance

Yesterday, I got up at 3 am to spend an hour on my writing project, clocked in at Starbucks at 4:30 am, spent the morning making coffee and taking out the trash, clocked out at 11 am and did shopping quickly for my Secret Santa project, went to a noon meeting because I wasn\’t tired yet. After the meeting, went home to eat and rest. Then work online for my other job for 2 hours, then suddenly remembered I had a WordPress 101 class so ran off to the library for the class. Got home at 9 pm. Wow! I actually spent more time working at various jobs than I would\’ve at my old job. I\’m surprised that a 60 year old is still going this strong.

People think that since I retired, I don\’t do anything. But now, I\’m not chained to one one job all day so have time to fit in many jobs. I\’m more energetic than ever since a corporation is not sapping all my energy.

But here\’s the thing: I felt exhilarated about this day. I was energized by it; not exhausted. Not locked in an office, not bored. I am happy shifting around between various work activities, being flexible. If this busyness is retirement, and it looks pretty busy for the next 5 months, I\’ll take it. I retired to have more fun and enjoy my life; and that\’s what my current work gives me.

I got to run for over two hours on a trail today. It was a beautiful day and I love my new trail shoes. Slippery mud? Bring it on!

Just Like I Thought

Howdy Folks!

Hey guess what?

This year, my Christmas stocking is hanging in a Starbucks:

Yeah, thats me. Barista!

For as long as I can remember, I had envisioned retirement as being downsizing and working part time. And that is exactly what has happened. What is a surprise are the writing projects I have going on. Plus the ability to go running on park trails during day light ( spent the 38 years of my career running at 4:30 in the morning).

I have been very happy the past few months since leaving my career. I can\’t explain why I couldn\’t stand my career for even one more day. I can explain why I had to get out of Houston (all health related). My attitude about my career sucked and I couldn\’t go on living like that. So I am glad I changed my venues.

Now, I drive off to work in a snow storm and feel like the luckiest and happiest person on earth. Obviously I feel that way from the inside; not because it is that much fun driving in the snow, or having a job where you take out the trash and make coffee. I just feel better. I feel free. I love my access to trees and wooded pathways.

Besides Starbucks, I also work for H&R Block. I\’ve never worked harder to get a job! You have 60 hours of education plus examinations. And the first year won\’t be such a big deal as far as pay goes. But after the first year, you have clientele and you make commissions. Eventually, this will be my only occupation. At HRB, I find myself in a leading edge electronic environment. It is exciting to be using the latest; stuff like Watson!

I urge anyone: the instant you can live on a small bit of grocery money, you should down size and shift your life so you have time to enjoy yourself and the world around you. Don\’t stay employed just for health insurance. I assure you, there are health care solutions and you don\’t need to be trapped in a corporation. Don\’t wait for social security retirement age; take social security early if you have to. Get a smaller house if you need to. Don\’t stay in your corporate job because of the stock market. Life is for living. Give yourself the gift of life as soon as possible.

Last night, I was in a class with about 25 new tax preparers for this region. I noticed several people just like me: tired of the corporation, tired of being in jail 40 hours a week, but not ready to quit. So we have all crafted out individual lives of freedom, doing what seems fun.

Today I went for an 8 mile run and tomorrow, I hope to have time for 12 miles. Then, a Christmas party in the afternoon. I bought myself some new trail running shoes for Christmas.

I love my life and myself for the first time ever.

Hit the Trail Sunday

Yesterday, I had a really great run along Line Creek. I rained for about one hour of the 2+ hour run, but I was dressed for it. It was enjoyable to actually run the whole time; not having to put in walk breaks because I was so hot, as I did in Houston. And to run on hills. I can\’t tell you how much I enjoy hills.

Today, I went for low impact trail running. Trail running is good for using more muscles than you do when running on roads because of the tricky footing and needs to balance. I enjoyed today.