Thursday, April 29, 2021

Reflections and Armchair Philosophy


What a beautiful spot this was at Bear Lake in Colorado.  When we were there five years ago, I felt like I could sit in this spot forever just enjoying the views. How pretty is the reflection of the trees in the water. I've been reflecting lately on lots of things. Especially how time passes so quickly. How can it be five years since we last traveled together to this beautiful place? Our travels have taken us to Colorado over the last four years but for other reasons. Family visits, the loss of a family member. A funeral. Necessary travels to be sure, but still....we need to return to this place of beauty that refreshes our souls and revives our spirits as only a place of great beauty can do. 

We had hoped to do more traveling when The Mr. retired. And then Covid came and all travel stopped. What a year it has been! But, there is hope on the horizon and things are rapidly improving and I am dreaming of more freedom in the future to take some of those planned trips. And to just resume doing things locally that we always enjoyed like going into restaurants for lunch and whiling away the hours in used bookstores. And doing these things without feeling fearful of getting sick. Little things for sure (the activities not the getting sick part) but they mean a lot to us. 

For me, this has been a year of holding my breath and waiting for the next shoe to drop with Covid going on. Worry for family members who got the virus and, thankfully, recovered. Not so for The Mr.'s family who did lose two family members to the virus while others were sickened by it. And our church family lost members to Covid as well. I was thinking the other day that I never thought I would be living through a pandemic in my lifetime. I had read and heard about the Flu Pandemic of 1918 but, like much of history, it was something in the past. Horrible, of course, but it didn't have the feeling of being real. This year has been REAL. And, I will be more than glad to see the end of Covid-19. Hopefully, enough people will get vaccinated so that will happen. But many are choosing not to. I won't go there in today's post. 

Revisiting Burnsville on a Sunday drive

One thing that I will treasure from this past year are the Sunday drives we have taken. These drives were a safe way to get out of the house and be outside when we arrived at our destinations. We usually didn't know exactly where we might end up and we have so enjoyed the delightful places we ended up driving to such as nearby small towns and hiking areas. I loved becoming re-acquainted with places that I have not visited in a long time. 

A local hike next to the French Broad River

We even explored hiking locally around our town and discovered areas that I had not seen before. And we became experts at having "car picnics" with our favorite foods eaten in take-out style. It's amazing how we managed to turn lemons into lemonade during the pandemic this past year finding things to do in a safe manner. But, I'm ready to get back out there and do more in-person type things. I don't want to give up our Sunday drives, though! 

I guess making lemonade from lemons is something that most people do when the going gets rough. This past year brought tough times to be sure, but nothing like what some people had to get through. Being retirees, we didn't need to worry about lost jobs or teaching during a pandemic. I am grateful for that. I can think back, though, on our earlier years as young marrieds when job losses did occur and we worried about how to pay the bills. We had to make lemonade from lemons every once in awhile during those days. It taught us to stand on our own two feet, to economize, to make changes, to work hard and, most of all, to not give up. Better times came with better jobs. And we were able to look back and see where we had been. Where we had come from. And how life had changed for the better. And that is what I am looking forward to now. Looking back at this past year and a half when things seemed so scary and different and seeing where we were then and where we are now. Thinking about the lessons learned during this time of pandemic. Things to never take for granted ever again. I wonder if people had these same thoughts after the Flu Pandemic of 1918 was over? I wonder what lessons they learned?

These last four years have brought many lessons to me as I have learned to live in retirement. I still can't believe it has been FOUR years! How have those years passed so quickly?! In a post written after I first retired I spoke of trying different things in retirement as "trying on different coats to see what fits and what doesn't fit." I still feel that is a great analogy for life in retirement. Part of the fun of being retired is trying new things. And what I have tried so far have been pretty simple things. I haven't gone in for sky diving or cliff jumping to be sure! But, I have tried simple sewing projects, card making, painting home decor signs, traveling to the beach with a dear friend and traveling on my own to visit family in WV and PA. I've taken classes on Zendoodling and watercoloring and offered online classes on serenity and faith, hope and love. This last year hasn't been a big year for trying on many new "coats" but I'm hopeful that the days are coming when some new coats can be tried on once again. Don't expect to see me jumping out of airplanes or hiking the entire Appalachian Trail. BUT, you just might see me flying on an airplane to a fun spot or taking a day hike on the Appalachian Trail! And if I do, you can be certain that I'll be sharing it with all of you right here on the blog. After all, that's what this blog is about. Styling life and sharing a little bit of this and that with all of my readers! 

So tell me....what are you reflecting on these days? Be sure to let me know in the comments and if you want to share a little armchair philosophy with me that's OK too!

Until Next Time,


Sharon said...

Oh, Debbie, how I enjoyed this post! It was nice to be part of your armchair philosophy, especially since I have many of those same thoughts about the pandemic. I have had a few wake-up calls along the way and hope to use those to make a few changes and be always grateful for the simple things in life.

Debbie Styles Life said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed the post, Sharon. I think being grateful for the simple things in life is one of the greatest things we can do!

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

Drives are a way I keep my sanity too

Iris said...

You're right, it's definitely been a difficult year. There have been times I've felt like I lived on a different planet.

I'm so sorry for your husband's lost family members and I pray the worst is over with covid.

Grace & Peace, Iris