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Posts Tagged ‘time’

Time to Fill the Holes

“My favorite things in life don’t cost any money. It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.” – Steve Jobs

The view from my living room balcony, from which I've been watching fall come to my apartment complex -- because I've had time to do so. -- Photo by Pat Bean

The view from my living room balcony, from which I’ve been watching fall come to my apartment complex — because I’ve had time to do so. — Photo by Pat Bean

            “Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.” Bill Keanne

What Holes?

Once upon a time, when my life was extraordinarily complicated, I told a psychiatrist that I would be OK when I got through whatever the current crisis was at the time.

A fall leaf and a wooly bear caterpillar, which some say can predict the upcoming weather. -- Photo by Pat Bean

A fall leaf and a wooly bear caterpillar, which some say can predict the upcoming weather. — Photo by Pat Bean

He then asked me what would happen when I had no crisis to face. I thought it a stupid question until a few years later when my life suddenly did become crisis free – except of course for the occasional sh*t happens incidents that hit everyone. I discovered that without the stress of surviving one emergency situation after another, there was a great big hole in my life.

It took a while for me to adjust, and many mistakes along the way, before I filled up that hole. I did it by staying extremely active, especially in the outdoors. I hiked, I skied, I rafted, I sailed, I bird-watched and I canoed. And when I wasn’t doing one of those things I was most-likely at work or sleeping.

But because I loved my job so much, I knew that when I retired there would be a big hole once again in my life. That simply wouldn’t do. So I filled it quickly by selling my home and taking to the road full time in an RV. Every day was a new wonder full of route planning, sight-seeing, driving, hiking, bird watching, meeting new people and learning new things.

I stayed on the road, traveling this awesome country for almost nine wondrous years. But then it was time for that life to end.

Three years ago this month, I settled in a small apartment in Tucson. Of course that meant there was another hole to be filled. But I only partially filled it this time around, leaving plenty of time for my mind to gallivant the world from an armchair.

While I still take a few short hikes, write a bit every day, play around with my water colors, do a bit of bird watching, take in a couple of local plays every month, walk Pepper four time a day, and have a friend over a couple of times a week for happy hour, that still leaves plenty of down time, something I’ve never had before in my life.

I love it. I never knew before how much time alone I needed, and would treasure so passionately, until I had time to be alone to simply be with myself.

There are no holes in me.           

Blog pick of the Day. Check it out.

Blog pick of the Day. Check it out.

Bean Pat: Sunday Meditation http://tinyurl.com/z7jm9qx Positive thoughts in quotes. I loved them.

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A Dead Mouse in the House

“If you can dream it, you can do it. Remember this whole thing was started with a dream and a mouse.”  — Walt Disney

Just playing around with color. -- By Pat Bean

Just playing around with color. — By Pat Bean

A Mind-Boggling Journey

I’ve been house-sitting my daughter’s home and five pets (two dogs, two cats and a horse) this past week. It’s a large house with TVs in almost every room, including a large flat screen in a family room that my entire apartment would almost fit into.

My daughter's West Tucson backyard is full of cactus, but this sketch of saguaros was made from a view of the Catalina Mountains closer to  my East Tucson nest.

My daughter’s West Tucson backyard is full of cactus, but this sketch of saguaros was made from a view of the Catalina Mountains closer to my East Tucson nest.

It was a whole different environment from my own little nest, which has no TV. I decided to just go with the flow, especially after I discovered an NCIS marathon on the boob tube. After all, I was only going to be here for three days.

But then my daughter’s family decided to expand their spring break for a day because everyone was having so much fun. Then it got expanded for them for another day because Dad got vertigo and couldn’t travel for 24 hours.

When I got that news, I decided perhaps I should get my butt out of the comfortable recliner that sat in front of the TV and catch up on e-mail, my writing, do a little art, and post a blog. That’s when I discovered the dead mouse.

But it wasn’t an eek moment. It was a time for a visit to the computer store. Suddenly I felt the whole world had changed while I had my back turned doing something else. I had gone from a childhood, in which my geometry teacher told me man would never get to the moon – and relying on my cat to catch the mouse that had invaded my bedroom – to being annoyed that my access to the whole Web World was hindered because of a dead mouse.

I was awed just thinking about it.

Bean Pat: Birding in Cape Town http://tinyurl.com/nny3ucq A delightful armchair journey.

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            “Time has been transformed, and we have changed; it has advanced and set us in motion; it has unveiled its face, inspiring us with bewilderment and exhilaration.” – Khalil Gibran

Anybody else out there play Plants vs. Zombies? I played it a lot yesterday, and probably will again in a few months.

Anybody else out there play Plants vs. Zombies? I played it a lot yesterday, and probably will again in a few months.

            Where Did March 1 Go? It would be fun to respond: “Dude, I have no response to that” – which is a line from the corny, but fun movie, Joe vs. the Volcano.

I also participated in a couple of play money poker tournaments. My avatar is the cat.

I also participated in a couple of play money poker tournaments. My avatar is the cat.

But I do have a response. I played it away.

Despite all my good intentions to do something productive, I let my mind get erased by playing “Plants vs. Zombies,” Full Tilt Poker (in which, over time,  I’ve amassed almost $200,000 in play money), Spider Solitaire, Hearts and Mahjong. I went from one game to another, breaking only to walk Pepper, go to the bathroom  and eat.

The fact that that it rained all day here in Tucson yesterday made it the perfect setting for such a mindless day. So even when it was time to go to bed, I kept playing.

I also played many games of Spider Solitaire and Hearts, and a couple of games of Mahjong.

I also played many games of Spider Solitaire and Hearts, and a couple of games of Mahjong.

It’s kind of how, when I was a newspaper city editor, I would come home from work every few weeks and turn on the television and watch one dumb show after another until the wee hours of the morning.

Both the television watching, and now the game playing, have the effect of wiping my polluted brain clear of cobwebs, which gather over time as I fill my head with too many plans, too many ideas, too many ambitions and too much pondering.

I awoke this morning refreshed and ready to go about my daily activities with new vigor, The cobweb pondering, however, began anew with my questioning if  I’m the only one who needs a brain washing every now and then, and if not what mindless activity do others engage in for cleansing relief.

The Wondering-Wanderer's blog pick of the day.

The Wondering-Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat Sycamore in the Sun http://tinyurl.com/lo89cku I enjoy Steven Schwartzman’s blog “Portraits of Wildflowers” because I love putting names to plants. This particular one I enjoyed because near my apartment stands an Arizona sycamore, whose stateliness I enjoy every day. Steve, along with a nature guide for the area’s Sabino Canyon, helped me put a name to the tree

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    “You must have been warned against letting the golden hours slip by; but some of them are golden only because we let them slip by” — James Matthew Barrie

Tucson has escaped the ugly cold and flowers can still be seen in front of my apartment complex. I thought I would share with my more northern friends. -- Photo by Pat Bean.

Tucson has escaped the ugly cold and flowers can still be seen in front of my apartment complex. I thought I would share with my more northern friends. — Photo by Pat Bean.

The Last Day of January

If you haven’t broken all your New Year’s resolutions by now, I want to know your secret.

And of course cactus blooms as Tucson is located in the desert.  -- Photo by Pat Bean

And of course cactus blooms as Tucson is located in the desert. — Photo by Pat Bean

As January’s freakishly cold weather for most of the country slips past into February’s what will the days ahead be like, I ponder on my past month’s accomplishments, which of course includes already breaking most of my New Year’s resolutions.

Thankfully, however, I’ve finally learned that acknowledging what I did get done is more rewarding and encouraging than beating myself up for all the things I didn’t do.

That actually was a 2013 resolution that became easier to do as the days slipped by. I don’t know about you, but I can’t live every day as I’ve planned it in my daybook.

For example, on today’s list I have four writing projects that need to be done,  house chores, a trip to the library, art projects that include making two  cards for upcoming family birthdays, and half a dozen more trivial things.

I know that marking a line through each item when completed will give me great satisfaction. But I also know the wisdom of James Barrie’s words.

Finding time to enjoy playing and walking with my canine companion, and smelling the flowers along the way, and leaving time to watch the hummingbirds at my feeder, or simply letting my frantic brain think about nothing for a while, is just as important as what is actually on my to-do list.

I hope you do, too. Have a great last day of January.

The Wondering-Wanderer's blog pick of the day.

The Wondering-Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: Craves Adventure http://tinyurl.com/khs4jkx Words to live by.

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Even at a young age, it's easy to see how eager Junior is to accomplish all those firsts.

Even at a young age, it’s easy to see how eager Junior is to accomplish all those firsts.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Fleeting

First attempt to feed himself, which I was there to see and capture in this photo. -- Photo by Pat Bean

First attempt to feed himself, which I was there to see and capture in this photo. — Photo by Pat Bean

I missed his first birthday, but isn't he cute.

I missed his first birthday, but isn’t he cute.

While I rejoiced at seeing my children grow up, taking their first step, getting out of diapers, speaking their first understandable word, feeding themselves without more food ending on the floor than in them, attending their first day of school and endless other firsts until they walked out the door to start their own independent lives, I find the way my grandchildren, and now great-grandchildren, advance in life way too fleeting.

Perhaps it’s because I don’t get to see them often.

I wish they would grow more slowly.  But I’m so glad for the digital world of pictures so I can see the progress of Junior’s fleeting moments, even if I wasn’t there to take them.

Did you ever see a cuter kid dressed up for Halloween? Junior will be four next month.

Did you ever see a cuter kid dressed up for Halloween? Junior will be four next month.

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            Sunrise, sunset. Swiftly flow the days. Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers. Blossoming even as they gaze. Sunrise, sunset. Swiftly fly the years. One season following another, laden with happiness and tears. – Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick and music by Jerry Bock, from “Fiddler on the roof.

Where in Timbuktu Did May Disappear?

I looked at the calendar this month and saw that the end of the month was only a few days away.

I didn’t realize I had seen that many sunrises and sunsets. I’m not always successful but I try to catch them both.

One means the start of a new day

Pink and purple to start the day. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Pink and purple to start the day. — Photo by Pat Bean

 

and the other means I survived whatever the day brought my way.

And orange and gold to end it. -- Photo by Pat Bean.

… and orange and gold to end it. — Photo by Pat Bean.

 

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            “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your head and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.– Steve Jobs

I suspected when I visited Rocky Mountain National Park this past fall that it would be for the last time, which made seeing it all the more precious. -- Photo by Pat Bean

I suspected when I visited Rocky Mountain National Park this past fall that it would be for the last time, which made seeing it all the more precious. — Photo by Pat Bean

Changed Perspective

            I was born at a time when southern men thought it was a good think to keep women barefoot and pregnant. I lived that way for a while, mostly because I didn’t know anything different.

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And seeing the Blue Ridge Mountains this past fall was a first in my lifetime, I suspect it will also never happen again. — Photo by Pat Bean

And then I sat in front of a television with my children and watched Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon and utter the words that have continued to live in my little gray cells: “That’s one step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

The words were spoken at a time when forward leaps in my own thoughts and actions were exploding.  I had become a working mother in a field – journalism – that exposed me to a larger world than I knew had existed.

I became knowledgeable about Vietnam, body bags, equal rights for women, and equal rights and integration for Blacks. I learned that that life was not fair, which was as devastating to me as learning there was no Santa Claus when I was 10.

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But since I now live in the desert, I expect to see many more cactus blooms … Photo by Pat Bean

I struggled, as all caring parents do, to raise my children to be honest, hard-working, contributing members of society. I watched as the Cold War ended and the Berlin Wall came down, and as terrorists, including the ones who lived next door, eroded our sense of security.

Life became easier for me at last, even as I watched it become more difficult for my children and grandchildren. Opportunities and apple pie are harder to come by these days. I stuck in the backdoor of a newspaper without the proper education that even I required when I moved up to being the one who hired reporters.

And then along comes the Internet, which truly has changed everything. I can’t imagine living without it, yet I grieve for all that it has taken away.

... and many more Tucson sunsets -- Photo by Pat Bean

… and many more Tucson sunsets — Photo by Pat Bean

Finally, I come to today when I have to accept that there are fewer days ahead of me than behind me.  I especially felt it on my cross-country journey this past fall. This will probably be the last time I visit Rocky Mountain National Park, I thought, as I drove Trail Ridge Road through the awesome mountains; probably the last time I’ll ever drive  the Blue Ridge Parkway. It was the same for each of the many sights I experienced on the journey.

Realizing how fast the clock is ticking away has made me look harder at everything, to breathe in each spectacular landscape more deeply, and truly, perhaps for the first time in my life,  live in the moment. That’s not a bad thing. Actually it has been rather exhilarating, and certainly has made me more thoughtful.

I got to thinking about precious moments this morning after listening to the Rolling Stones belt out “This Could Be the Last Time.” The musical number was a YouTube video posted on my blog pick of the day.  Perhaps you would like to listen, too.

The Wondering Wanderer's blog pick of the day.

The Wondering Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: Flickr Comments  http://tinyurl.com/brllod2 Maybe the Last Time – but hopefully not.

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