Work Is More Than a Four Letter Word

“No man needs sympathy because he has to work, because he has a burden to carry. Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” 

Theodore Roosevelt

Lunch seems to be the common thread of my stories lately.

Lucky, aren’t I?

Today Michael and I had lunch with a former coworker of mine, Kathy Willer and her husband, Denny. Interesting thing is Kathy and I worked in the same NE Iowa community for the same radiologists but at different facilities. Kathy worked at Schoitz Memorial Hospital. I worked at St. Francis Hospital. Even though we were only a few miles apart our work environments were very different, each hospital had its own specialty and way of doing things. Looking back it’s a little bit comical and a little bit sad.

As radiologic technologists we technically worked for the hospitals. In reality we worked for the radiologists. Because the radiologists covered both hospitals, the staff knew each other and saw each other at different professional meetings and always at the annual Christmas party. We were a very diverse group of people–as you can see from the picture of the St. Francis crew I’m re-sharing today since both Kathy and I forgot to take a picture today.

Today’s lunch was a walk down memory lane for both of us. We said things like–“I think it’s been over 30 years since I saw and talked to you.” Or “I retired after working 42 years in imaging.” WHAT! Is that even possible? How old are we anyway?

As we talked and laughed it seemed like it was just a few years ago we were both balancing our work and home lives. Who would have thought when we started our careers the changes we’d see in the field of medical imaging. We saw the first CT and MRI images, watched ultrasound grow from B-mode/M-mode scans to 3 and 4D imaging with incredible flow studies, marveled at the advances in invasive radiology procedures, advances in nuclear medicine and the birth of PET scans, and all the incredible advances in radiation therapy.

We were both so fortunate to be a field where we could grow beyond our wildest dreams professionally and be surrounded by people who grew from coworkers into friends.

Thanks, Kathy and Denny for a wonderful leisiurely lunch.

I am smiling, I am humbled, and I am grateful.

“Motivation comes from working on things we care about. It also comes from working with people we care about.” 

Sheryl Sandberg, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

I am…

B…simply being.

~Peace~

When It Is Not a Job

“I often think about dogs when I think about work and retirement. There are many breeds of dog that just need to be working, and useful, or have a job of some kind, in order to be happy. Otherwise, they are neurotically barking, scratching, or tearing up the sofa. A working dog needs to work. And I am a working dog.”
― Martha Sherrill

A few weeks ago a friend commented that I was working hard on my blog.

Funny. Until he said that, I never thought of my storytelling as work. The writing was something I always wanted to do. The only work I had to do was find ways to deal with the fear of failure.

Until I started writing, I was pretty lost in this world called retirement. Even on days like to today, when I discard more than I write, I am happy to be sitting in at my desk. My afternoons are filled with searching memories with haphazard methods resembling scavenger hunts. After enough successful finds, I scramble to find words I hope enable me to tell my stories in some sort of coherent manner.

I understand that there will be days when the ideas are short ones. I’m okay with that.

It’s days like today when I thank God for people like Rabbi Naomi Levy who write such beautiful prayers I can share. And photographers like Linda Larson Hoopes, who allow me to share their photos she’s posted on the IOWA Abandoned Images Facebook page. Thank you, Linda.

I’ve turned to Rabbi Levy often these past few months as I’ve questioned what was next for me. This is a short prayer from her book, Talking to God.

May you receive an answer that will bring you joy and peace. May God be with you, may health and strength sustain you, may nothing harm you, may wisdom and kindness enrich you, may blessings surround you now and always.  Amen.

I am…

B…simply being…

Love and peace Y’all.

Back Home

Retirement.

An interesting and often confusing time in my life. Why confusing? I am discovering that I have some pre-conceived ideas about retirement. Now that I am not working, does a vacation still exist in my world? From some new awareness that came on board last week, I’d say I had a pretty strong belief that once retired, I was on a full-time vacation.

As we “vacationed” I was given another life lesson opportunity. Yes, my friends, I now am now a believer that vacations do exist post retirement. Not only are they real but they are just as important now as they were when we were working.

I must make a confession to you–not that it is a surprise. Some of the things I need to learn the most are often the most difficult things for me to recognize. I started this blog again–an important word–again–only a few weeks ago. Sharing my life experiences and lessons with those readers who find my posts is very important to me. But, finding balance in life is difficult. When a passion is a new, it may push aside some other things that are also important. Hell, what do I know? I do believe ambitions can blind us to other important things.

Sigh…

My very individualized writing plan did not take into account what was important to Michael, my husband, my best friend, and my mostly patient traveling companion. I was in need of a serious reality check.

As my stories unfold, we will all see that self-care is not my strong point. A few days ago, God gave me another gentle reminder, via Michael, that rest, relaxation, and renewal are just as important now as they were when we were employed. In order to grow and thrive, our souls needs rejuvenation.

Balance.

There is a lot to share. It will be important for me to remember to take it a little at a time. Being a Libra, the scales have been a part of the search whenever I searched for what made me, me. The balance of things have not often gone in my favor. Now, I have the time to take things slowly and weigh all the grains of my life stories out carefully. What a blessing, to have the time to be a story-teller.

With the grace of God, I will share the lessons as I go.

As always, I am

B…simply being…

God bless us all with love and peace. Join me in praying for those who struggle tonight We live in very hard times. I love you.

 

 

Be Kind…

Our world has become so busy it is difficult for any of us to be patient.

My patience was put to the test today. As a fairly new person to the retired world, I am still learning. A note for other new members–social security payday is Wednesday. The message here is that Wednesday and Thursday may not be the best day to shop. Especially if you live in a community with a lot of retired people.

Sigh…

Cell phone use is dangerous in many situations. Cell phone use while shopping is probably not dangerous–although today it was pushing every hot button remaining on my personal dashboard. From what I observed today, aging does not improve your ability to multitask. Talking on the phone and grocery shopping in a very busy  grocery store will not make you friends. Be warned, my friends. Those of you shopping and those of you talking. Take my warning to heart, be aware, and be kind.

We have so many resources at our finger tips but so little time for each other. If I could make my own rule for a day, my rule would be NO electronics for that entire day. Listen not only to those around you but to your environment. Listen to the wind, the birds, the people around you. Talk to each other. Have eye contact. If you have not done that for a while, make eye contact and feel the power.

In this world where we are alerted with every change in the “world-wide web”, I wonder if I don’t know more about “movie stars” than I do about my own family?

The weekend is coming. Earth Day was last weekend–maybe this could be Human Day or Person Day or…whatever you want to call it. I suggest we all be more aware. Pay attention to our personal interactions. The phone will always be there. The person we are with may not–cherish them and the moment. We all have heard the stories of how things can change in a second. It will not always be someone else. Some day the regret of those lost minutes will catch up with us all.

I am

B…simply being…

Love and peace, y’all.

 

 

 

Another Beginning

Today is the start of my new blog. I am very far from understanding all the ins and outs of WordPress–I’m not sure but I think I may have already posted a blank page! The one thing I do know for sure is if I don’t get started, I will continue to find ways to delay this first post.

Years ago I started writing a blog as a way to escape some of the stress I had in my daily life. Now, I am writing to share my life and the lessons I have learned along the way. I have learned that trying to escape something never really works–at least not for very long. Which may explain the failure of my first blog.

I retired from my life long career in medical imaging nearly two years ago. I have used this time to listen to my heart. I came to realize that I needed to find myself. Who was I? Why was I here? Was my purpose now complete or was there more ahead for me in this new world filled with what seemed to be unlimited time and new freedoms?

I started to search for my soul–the me that was always on the bottom of the never-ending “to do” list. I had this nagging thought–maybe I was always busy so I never had to really think about things. I began to realize that I had been what a friend used to call a “human doing” not a “human being.”

I made some discoveries than led me down some dark and scary roads.  Some paths were to difficult for me and I had to take the fastest detour out–at least for a while. Some were just deadend roads. Others opened up into amazing places filled with wonderful memories. I hope to share them all.

Like me, this blog is still under construction. I’ll figure things out along the way. As I learn I will continue my soul searching and share with you what I discover along the way.

I am

B…simply being…

Peace.