Monthly Archives: September 2016

Fall is No Time for Being in a Slump…

Wow, I have just spent about a week and half mostly doing nothing that I would call constructive or worthwhile.  This waste of time is alarming to me; but, I am having an awful time trying to pull out of the slump.

(See my last post where I tout relaxing, or a previous post claiming it’s good to be idle sometimes – both contradict what I am whining about in this post.  But, I didn’t mean we should relax or be idle ALL OF THE TIME!)

Since I just retired last December so this is my first fall not working, perhaps this slowdown is a normal state of mind, and I just have never noticed because previous years I was too busy.  Maybe the change of season does something to our psyche – or at least, to my psyche.  Though I don’t much like the season that follows, and I don’t like the fewer hours of daylight, I do enjoy autumn weather and nature’s beautiful colors at this time of year in Minnesota.  Why then am I experiencing a decrease in the amount of energy or gumption I have?

One should not be in a slump during such a beautiful season.
One should not be in a slump during such a beautiful season. (MN Landscape Arboretum)

So, though I can’t quite put my finger on the cause, I need to do something about this malady.  This morning, I resolved to try the following tactics to hopefully assist me in getting my butt off my chair and becoming productive again –

  • return to writing down (or at least mentally listing) five things each day for which I am grateful – back to keeping a gratitude journal to remind myself I have a pretty darn good life;
  • clear my living spaces of any clutter that is weighing me down – e.g., the desk top that has been piled with papers and pamphlets all summer long;
  • limit (not eliminate) time spent on social media and playing games on my tablet or phone – you would be surprised at how much time I can waste trying to win at Spider Solitaire;
  • get outside for my walks on a more regular basis – my measly 3 times a week is not conducive for improving my morale…and besides, it will be winter soon and then the weather will force me to move inside to a track for many of my walks;
  • remind myself that being is just as important as doing – it’s okay that I spent 2 1/2 days last week just reading a novel instead of cleaning my bathrooms;
  • realize I am responsible for my reactions to circumstances out of my control – e.g., I can’t control the weather or the change of seasons, but I can control how I deal with them…adjust my attitude.

The bottom line here is I need to play an active role in pulling myself out of this slump.    I’m wondering if any of you also experience a mild (or major) slowdown at this time of year, and if so, what do you do to overcome it (or not)?  I’d love to see your comments below.


Relaxation IS all it’s cracked up to be…

Labor Day morning finds us both sitting in our easy chairs side by side (well, an end table between) in the living room.  He, on the laptop reading the morning news, me sitting on a heating pad to hopefully ease the pain in my back, watching Live with Kelly on TV…both, with a cup of coffee in hand.

How very like old people we seem, comfortably sitting and whiling away time.

(Oh, wait a minute, we are old!)

The easy chairs - RC left, MC right
The easy chairs – RC left, MC right

Magazines I’ve read or TV programs I have watched (think Leave It to Beaver or Father Knows Best – back in the day ) have depicted such scenes showing a couple sitting next to one another, the woman perhaps knitting while the man reads the paper or watches TV.  Seems so very nostalgic to me – harkening back to slower-paced days when people took time to sit down and relax.  (Did that really happen long ago, by the way, – or is it just a fantasy and really, most people have never relaxed?)

As a younger person, I never imagined myself in this homey type picture…I was always too busy “doing” something.  However, I’m happy to report now, RC and I can usually be found in our chairs (always the same one for each of us) at one time or another each day; and, it is one of the many joys I have in my life.  I’m grateful we are getting old together and though we are usually engaged in separate activities as we sit, we are together.  I guess that is known as companionship.

I am now content and comfortable just sitting and being.  Yes, as I sit, I am usually engaged in reading, working on a crossword puzzle, or messing with my tablet.  But, in times past, I found it very difficult to sit and do something enjoyable rather than be involved in constantly moving about working at completing some kind of chore…you know, household drudgery type activities like washing dishes, vacuuming, tending to the laundry or the like.  (RC, on the other hand, has always known how to relax – many times, much to my annoyance when I wanted his help with one of my chores “right now”.)

I’m guessing that this newfound ability to while away time is a natural happening as one ages.  Retirement and having more discretionary time available certainly helps the cause.  Anyone reading this that is still raising children and/or holding a full-time job likely will not be able to relate…(let alone, be familiar with the TV programs I mentioned above).  I get that – been there, done that.  But, I’m here to tell you relaxing now and then is a good thing.  It IS all it is cracked up to be!  I encourage you to find a comfortable chair in your home and strive to just sit there and do something for fun when you can.

And, if you are lucky enough to share your life with a significant other, I hope you too will enjoy moments of companionship sitting side by side in your easy chairs.