I have felt a little lost on occasion since retiring. My sleep patterns changed and I became out of sync with the rest of the world but in sync with myself. A friend suggested that I create some daily rituals. I gave thought to her suggestion.
The need for routine came with the birth of our daughter. We created rituals together during the many routines that made up our days. For years my life became routine filled with rituals until I retired and my daughter got her driver’s license. Gone were the daily trips to work, school, theater, driving McKenna and her friends. Oh, how I miss it…once, maybe twice a year!
Going from a state of tight structure to semi-structured to no structure hasn’t been easy. Mix in a some chronic migraines and pain and I found myself with no structure AND a fear of commitment. Afterall, not everyone understands migraines let alone 43 years of them. They get a little upset when you cancel plans. They think you are a flake, a wuss, hypochondriac, faker, or weak. It’s seems so much easier to just not make plans.
So I make plans with myself. I awake whenever I wake, rather from outside influences or on my own. I fill a large glass with ice water, grab my camera, and step into the backyard. I am immediately struck by the loud volume of bird songs and I stop in my tracks to search for the choir. At first look I see only the structures and vegetation. At second glance it is as though my eyes have focused and all I see are birds. There are birds everywhere.
I have a large planter along the back fence and a container garden. There are six types of roses, geraniums, petunia’s and others plants amongst the seeds I recently planted. The seeds are various strains of sunflowers and wildflowers. I don’t know if they are germinating or are weeds growing since I’m not familiar with these plants! I’ll wait…
I pull the greenery I know are weeds after watering all the while keeping my ever watching camera eyes (some days I see only in pictures) open for photo ops. I just can’t help myself as I take pictures of the flowers and insects, both of which I have plenty of photos already. But I just can’t help it because I am seeing with my morning eyes that are fresh and ready for radiant, colorful input after slumber. And nature is always changing. A single flower never looks the same two days in a row.
I trim the roses, fix the trellis, and check on my newly planted clematis. One of the three plants seems to be dying. Good thing I got them at Lowe’s with the one year guarantee! I’ll give it a few more days before I pull it.
After I finish my garden chores and feed the fish I drift over to the rocking recliner swing. My dog, Corbin, always wants to join me and he stretches out. I rock one leg side-to-side to set it swinging and relax, soaking up the morning sun. I close my eyes and feel the always present delta breeze caress my cheeks and tousles my tangled hair. Ah, it is good to be alive and living in this moment. Thank you, Universe! I begin to feel the sunshine and what promises to be warm day and have finished my glass of water. Time to head inside and see what the day brings. Before I do that though, I pause to survey my back yard with all of my senses. I listen to the birds, see the colors of the flowers and nature’s bounty, smell the orange tree blossoms, and decide to have breakfast since there is no taste to my water. Then I have an epiphany.
Retirement has granted me the opportunity to become more like the flowers as I relax and find my way. I notice that like a rose tightly budded opening into a fragrant burst of beautifully painted velvet petals I, too, have bloomed into a newer version of myself. I feel better after my daily ritual of wandering the garden.