A Plan is Born

I love to plan things. This is no secret to those that know me. The J in my personality profile (INFJ) needs decisions to be made, like NOW.

The sooner I get shit nailed down, the better I like it. I’m OK with changing plans – even at the last moment – but I want there to be a plan in place to begin with.  I am not happy with drifting along aimlessly. Course corrections/deviations are always allowed but there needs to be a flight plan first!

I have just come off of a long period of my life in which my ability to plan or control it was extremely limited – living with someone with OCD meant “the plan” was always gonna be his plan.  And try as I might to have some control over my life and jointly plan our future, there was very little input I had as the disease had the final say on  just about everything.

Then, after JD passed away I was left with the issues that the OCD had created…to clean up this huge mess literally and figuratively. But at the same time I was feverishly planning my new life as a widow.

Confession time: the planning actually started as JD’s disease progressed and my tiny fragile sliver of hope for his survival evaporated. That sounds cold but it is the truth. While caring for him as he withered away from the cancer, a part of my mind was also busy drafting a plan for dealing with the aftermath of his passing. This is how I was able to hit the ground running right away and get his messy, chaotic life and hoard cleaned up in just under a year. They say not to make any major decisions in the first year after a spouse passes away, but in my circumstances these decisions were absolutely necessary and thought out well in advance. 

My new life plans only existed about a year or two out up until yesterday, and they lived in my head and nowhere else except for some brief mentions on ye olde blogge. I was flipping through the new National Geographic Travel Magazine while eating lunch at work when I came across this article:

The Mother Road turns 90 this year.
Route 66: The Mother Road turns 90 this year.

Holey moley! It hit me all at once. In less than 10 years I will be retired from full-time work if all goes well. In 10 years Route 66 will be turning 100. And I will be 66 for part of that year. Getting my kicks on Route 66 when 66…how can I NOT do this?

As I was thinking this and looking at the article, I felt like I’d been really close to a lightning strike and a huge thunderclap was reverberating through my body. I knew I had to make a long-term plan to get from A (now) to B (The Mother of All Road Trips) successfully.

So then I got to thinking about retirement and how I don’t really have much of a plan from now until then either. Except for some vague thinking about what to fix on my building for the next couple of years AND to start putting the equivalent of my car payment into savings each month once Edward II the Sparkly Prius is paid off next December…

I realized I didn’t even know the year of my retirement off the top of my head, except that it is about 8 years away (that’s 2024 for those that are still reading).

So WB (I said to myself), how ARE you gonna get from here to adventuring off into the Western sunset in your hippie van/Airstream Bambi/ragtop convertible/Harley Davidson/Mercedes Sprinter Camper/whatever? Aha! The zygote of a game plan was conceived at the moment I asked the question.

That night the 10 Year Plan spreadsheet was born. Not only that, it’s fraternal twin (surprise!) – the Badass Budget – took its first breath as well. Both babies are doing well and Momma couldn’t be more thrilled. More about them later…

Rock on,

The WB

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A-Z Blogging Challenge Reflections

Another April, another 26 posts.
Got through them again, without too much angst although some posts were pretty durn lean due to time and creativity constraints.
I am disappointed I didn’t get to visit as many blogs as I was intending to, before the madness that is the challenge began pre-April. No one to blame but myself.
However, I do have the list of 2016 participants bookmarked and it is my plan to dive in to it throughout the next 12 months to find more great bloggers to visit.

I am so very thankful to the A-Z Team for making this possible every year! I find this exercise revitalizes me and reminds me how much I get out of spewing my guts on keeping up ye olde blogge.

My goal for 2017 is to come up with a theme. There, I said it.

Rock on,

The WB

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It’s been a Mother of a Day

I hope everyone had an absolutely delightful day yesterday because I know I did!

I had been dreading Mother’s Day a little as this year marked my first motherless Mother’s Day in 56 years. But the anticipation of how I would feel was, as usual, worse than the actual way I ended up feeling.

I was determined to make it a good day and that in itself paved the way for me to have a very good…no, great day! Because I had planned ahead to make Mother’s Day my bitch.

I woke up early , raring to clean and reseal the slate tiles in my bathroom. I also did laundry and finished binge-watching the rest of Season 2 of Grace and Frankie. Goddess bless Netflix, I say. And Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin and the writers and the rest of the cast. And yam lube and Count Drinkula and Hitler’s Circumcision. And so on.

Then I went to the Village Rec Centre and signed myself up for a 10 visit pass and got ready to attend my first drop-in fitness class. Of which I ended up being the only participant. SHIT. No hiding in the back or dogging it. I was the centre of the instructor’s attention. THE. WHOLE. CLASS. And today I hurt where I didn’t even know I had muscles. It was glorious. Especially watching Instructor Ian show off all his killer fitness moves (which I am supposed to be aspiring to perform myself, one day) as I was egging him on.  Hah!

I kinda committed myself to trying out his yoga class tomorrow night too. Damn.

Anyhow, while I was wrecking myself at the Wreck Centre all hell was breaking loose back amongst the famille. Mizz  J had been trying to reach me and I wasn’t answering my cell phone since I left it at home. As this was unusual behaviour for me, she enlisted her brother, Miztah K (lives 5 minute walk away), to come over to my place to recover my certain-to-be-dead body before she could drive across town to do it herself. Before a pack of wild cats came in to eat me, I suppose.

So this was the situation I dragged my sweaty self home to, after Instructor Ian handed me my ass.

Miztah K had told his sister that I was just probably out and about since there was no dead body (or cats) to be found in my place. So I found her making herself breakfast in my kitchen and relatively calm by the time I arrived back home.

The rest of the day was nice and peaceful. I made supper for us all, including Miztah K’s delightful girlfriend, Mizz C. I also made my kids work, carrying a bunch of stuff down to the basement in preparation for next month’s renovation of 3 rooms. No free lunch at Mom’s house…hehehe.

I was the beneficiary of the most wonderful Mom’s Day gifts. Behold:

108 bead Mala necklace created by Mizz J. So pretty!!!
108 bead Mala (Tibetan rosary) necklace created by Mizz J. So meaningful and pretty!!!
Kayaking and hiking gear, colour-coordinated to go with Floyd the Pink Kayak. From Miztah K and Mizz C. So damn nice!!!
Kayaking and hiking gear – colour-coordinated to go with Floyd the Pink Kayak. From Miztah K and Mizz C. So damn nice and thoughtful!!!

After supper, it was time to sleep through make fun of bitch about watch a couple more installments yet in the never-ending James Bond film festival ongoing at Chez Badass. Roger Moore’s interminable reign had finally ended so it was Timothy Dalton’s highly forgettable turn. Next up is Pierce (Mamma Mia) Brosnan.

All I can say is I appreciate Daniel Craig more with each movie I watch in this series.

Hope you remembered your momma and/or your kids were good to you.

Rock on,

The WB

 

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Survivor!

survivor-atoz [2016] v2

And congratulations to all my fellow survivors! We did it! Some of us did it again! (Year 2 for me.)

Yay everybody!!!

What a weekend for finishing up challenges this was. Mizz J and I got our Niagara section end-to-end badges on Saturday – look:

Yes, we were also awarded chocolate "Congratulations" bars. Which were inhaled immediately after this selfie.
We were also awarded chocolate “Congratulations” bars from Monk’s Chocolate. Which were inhaled immediately after this selfie.

Eighty kilometres down. Only 805 to go. Tobermory or bust!  😉

Saturday was another stellar hiking day. Eight Saturdays spent outdoors with nary a drop of rain. Incredible luck with the weather.

The previous week's hike, as captured by the Garmin.
The previous week’s hike, as captured by the Garmin.
Saturday's hike data.
Saturday’s hike data.
We saw at least a thousand of these. Trilliums - the provincial flower.
We saw at least a thousand of these in the woods. Trilliums – the provincial flower.
Falling water.
Falling water.
Only a trickle right now, but still more falling water.
Only a trickle right now, but still more falling water.
Always seeing Lake Ontario through the trees and in the distance.
Always seeing Lake Ontario in the distance, through the trees.
Forest floor carpeted with trilliums and trout lilies.
The forest floor was carpeted with trilliums and trout lilies.
Thirty Mile Creek
Thirty Mile Creek

I think I’m suffering a bit of a post-challenge let-down right now.

Mizz J and I are wondering if to continue on our own or leave off hiking for a bit till the fall. The next few weekends are tied up with other scheduled events and by the time we are free to hike again, the heat/humidity and biting insects will be out in full force. It may be time to switch to other pursuits like kayaking instead.  Oh goody!

Rock on,

The WB

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