No Regrets – First Quarter Update

In January i identified a few things i’d like to focus on this year – things that will help me get to the finish line with no regrets. Not ‘resolutions’, but an attempt to be more mindful about things that matter. Last year, the quarterly blog updates proved to be a useful accountability tool. While these are certainly not the most riveting words, it helps, and i appreciate your tolerance of my introspection and intellectual monkey-spankage.

To better position myself for a ‘clean house’ at the end of my life, i picked three general categories:

Bridges – repairing relationships that have mattered to me.

Ducks – getting things in shape to assure the least hassle to my children after i die.

Vessel – assuring that my body can carry me through the adventures i desire.

Here’s how i’ve done in the first three months of the year.

Bridges: Got off to a quick and easy start here because an old friend finally replied to an e-mail i’d sent him last year!  Yoda re-appeared, after a post-retirement hiatus. He had been a friend and mentor, and we had an intense and occasionally tumultuous friendship until he retired a few years ago. Through a series of e-mails, we caught up a bit, reflected on our relationship, and considered prospects to meet up again.

One close friend was set adrift about four years ago. In a moment of anger, i slammed the door on a decade of friendship, with no explanation. He politely responded to my unexpected birthday greeting in January, and through an exchange of e-mail, we shared updates on the current contents of our garages. Not all that weird considering we’d spent a lot of time together in automotive pursuits. Need to keep working this one… at least i started a conversation.

Ducks: Building on my efforts last year, i have continued to work on reducing my physical footprint by shedding unnecessary ‘stuff’. A good start here, with three Jeep-loads of possessions taken to thrift shops. Also did a few ‘facebook flea market’ weekends, where i gave away items to friends. Re-homed many former necessities, and cleared a good bit of space in my storage room.

Six months after her death, i continue to bash through my mother’s estate. i have learned just how unprepared i am to die. Not much progress here, but i did manage to visit two different financial establishments today, the last day of the quarter! Making two major bank accounts payable on death to my children will reduce the complexities if i drop dead tomorrow.

Vessel: Started the year with a three week “cleanse”. Mostly as a means to jolt my brain into a healthier eating mode, it was also a chance to let my digestive system re-boot. Studley joined me, and we set about eliminating alcohol, dairy, wheat/grains, caffeine, sugar, artificial sweeteners and most fruits from our diets. Instead we ate a shit-ton of vegetables and lean protein. It was a good thing. i re-learned to make soups, and cook. Packed my lunch and saved a lot of money by not eating meals out. Saved money on booze, too.

Biggest surprises? i didn’t miss alcohol, sugar or caffeine all that much. What i missed? Cheese. Oh, lord, i do love a blast of bleu cheese or goat cheese on a salad! A nice hunk of smoked gouda makes a great snack! But we made it. We were eating well, shitting like cows, and very focused on whole foods. Many of these habits have stayed with me, and i feel pretty good.

Exercise has picked up, too. i added a ‘high intensity interval training’ workout on Saturday mornings, with modified workouts at home a couple of nights per week. Typical week has 4-5 workouts, plus bonus bike rides now that the weather has improved. I’m down twelve pounds in three months. A lot more to go, but a good start.

no regretsMuch more to do in all three areas of my life, but i’m content with the progress so far. The quarter ahead offers some challenges – major home remodeling project, several business trips, two significant vacations, three heavy-duty volunteer gigs and maintenance of an active social life, while working full time and finishing up Mom’s estate.

i can sleep when i’m dead. And if i do this right, it’ll be with no regrets…

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26 thoughts on “No Regrets – First Quarter Update

  1. Those of us much closer to the finish line are inspired. There will always be some regrets, however, we are only human. Make it a regret about not doing something perfectly, rather than alienating a friend or relative and you are doing well.

    • Exactly – i will certainly regret a few things… most likely the cake i did not eat the week before death. The trick is to keep these things relatively small.

  2. Intellectual monkey-spankage, shitting like cows – now tell me lady what’s to tolerate with beautiful phrases such as those? Interval training is the best thing in the world for you, burns a shit ton of calories and does wonders for the old ticker, apparently it’s what the ancient Greeks or Romans? used to maintain top shape, i do it 3-4 times a week and incorporate into a longer workout, what i lovingly dubbed 40 minutes of hell but man do i like it… i laugh cuz as i told my old man it only took me 43 years to finally fill out my shoulders… keep up the good work!

    • You love it when i talk sexy like that, don’t you? 🙂 There are things i love about HIIT – the fact that i can get in a killer workout in about 40 minutes. The one i’m doing, with a trainer and small group, works every muscle i own — well, at least it feels that way. The hard part is that when i do it at home on my own, i don’t push myself as hard. Need to kick that up a bit… i finished a home gym a couple years ago, and need to use it more effectively… Those shoulders? Probably make you even more of a presence…

  3. Circling the drain. Ha! Nice. You’re quite the project manager, aren’t you? Were you always this organized and goal-oriented? I could use a dose of this. I’ve never looked past my own stupid nose. What’s my next blog post going to be? That’s about it. Now that my girlies are getting older I should be more mindful. Do you meditate?

    • i am a professional program manager, although my training is in engineering. cost, schedule, performance, baby! Not always wired this way – and the fact that i tend to be more kinetic and tactical in my thinking and behavior is what forced me to step out into the realm of more strategic thinking. goal-oriented can be over-rated, but i’ve found it useful to at least pull my head out of the chaotic realm of ‘every day’ and think about where i need to be going.

      i do not meditate. It would probably do me good. i generally don’t sit still for that long – there are things that need to be done, and i’d rather do them than think about them. sometimes, on long bike rides, when i’m already ‘doing’ something, i can drop into a zone of reflective thinking. that’s probably as close as i get.

  4. ya got it goin’ right there Ms Daisy Fae, keep at ‘er. I did a similar thing about 2 yrs ago myself, bit of a slip back on the vessel bit but back at it again in earnest of late. Mostly and biggest is tackling past ghosts which threatened to derail everything all the time, but with support that too is being “fixed” biggest hurdle for me was accepting help both by people and meds. Happy to report I’m on track. Really proud of you, reading these updates in a way supports me. Thanks.

    • As always, good to see you cat! Those ghosts can be pesky, persistent things. i have a few demons – not bad ones, but enough to sneak up and surprise me on occasion.

      There are times we all need help – and i’m glad you were able to find and accept what you needed! i’ll be doing the updates at the end of June, September and December – and hope that we both stay on track for this year!

    • i’m quite fond of my sleep, too. For what it’s worth, i’ve been getting 6-7 hours per night, and sleeping pretty well. With all that is going on, i find it’s reading (including blogs), movies and other forms of entertainment that have gone a bit by the wayside… Still trying to keep up, but i need those hours of sleep or i can’t function. Hope you are reacquainted soon, dear lady!

  5. I’m trying to do something about the grossly unfair way age is shaping my frame. Easing back on the wheat.dairy.sugar.Not so easy when you’re a no-sugar black coffee drinker! My downfall is cheese!But the grains part is pared to one small slice of rye per day.
    But it’s happening, if slowly. And you? You’re still managing to make fun out of whatever you have to do. As I’ve said, it’s the best way to get through life. Now…I have an exercise back calling me…

    • i used to gain weight fairly evenly all over. now? the dreaded gut-fat. i hate it. i shall never have a flat gut, but i do not like this ‘grossly unfair’ distribution!

      Slowly is the most effective approach… it is my goal to lose another 40-50 pounds, but i know that the best i can realistically hope for this year is another 15-20. i’d be happy with that…

  6. Good for you! As always, you are an inspiration. HIIT is tough—had a taste of it in a class last year. That Tabata guy who invented it must have been some sadist. Lately I’ve been doing 45 minutes to an hour of Zumba four times a week and two miles on the elliptical on weekends. I love to dance and it’s fun to see some of the “young’uns” try to keep up with us old broads. Keep up the good work.

    • I love the efficiency of HIIT – time is at a premium, and I’m trying to make fitness a priority, so it fits me for now. I LOVE Zumba – any form of dancing never seems like exercise to me. It’s a matter of timing – again, something that will likely be easier when I’ve got time during the day!

  7. Mmmm, cheese. It’s my weakness, as well. Especially when it’s on a pizza. I’m glad you are doing these updates. You’re an inspiration whether you like it or not. There is an inflection point a few years ahead. You are wise to get ahead of it.

    • Going to attempt a gluten-free (cauliflower crust) pizza soon – I suspect I won’t like it, but if I put enough cheese and meat on it, perhaps it won’t be as bad!

      “Inflection point”. Exactly. The vast majority of my career was unplanned – and I’m amazed that it’s gone as well as it has… I worked hard and things happened. With that clock hanging over my head – an unknown number of ticks left – I do not want to leave the rest of my life to chance…

  8. I too have returned to the gym. Waiting for them to bring back the Warrior X cross-training on Saturdays now that Spring’s here.

    And I’ve knocked out two things off the things I’d regret not doing list this year. One is getting Tag Larkin on stage for an audience. The other is creating a web series (yeah, this is what I write now).

    • YES! So very happy that you’re still writing – and that Tag Larkin is still out there, being Tag Larkin! i’ve posted the links on my FB page, and will continue to stalk Dr. Trocadero on the Tube of You’s….

  9. You rock, girl. Reading your musings on retirement reminds me that I am not far behind you. Only the fact that I married a woman with young children later in life has caused me to postpone that wonderful event by 5-7 years so they can get through (I can pay for) college.
    And, having almost died last month really spurred me to thinking about retirement and what to do. I will in no way be as active as you but I have to tell you that the bridges/ducks/vessel plan is an awesome thing that I plan on pirating (ar matey) at once. The vessel is first. Ducks are essentially taken care of. Bridges? No idea. I’d love to have lunch one of these days to catch up if you can fit me into that crazy schedule of yours. Give me a call when you have some time. And keep on rocking!

    • You almost died last month!?!? WHAT THE FUCK?!?!? Yeah, it’s obvious we need to do lunch soon – and i will build that bridge, schedule be damned! We work in the same building complex, and i’m a complete tool for not stopping by…

      Having both spawn out of my house AND my wallet was an important milestone (surprisingly, they did not occur simultaneously! 🙂 ) In some ways, i feel like i’ve done all the work i needed to do here, and now it’s my turn – although the volunteer gigs keep rolling in…

  10. Hey, Daisyfae! Good to see you’re still here and kicking like a mo-fo. I just read about your mama, and I’m so sorry for your loss. I don’t know what I’ll do when my mom goes. I can’t even imagine what that’s like, but I know you probably miss her very much, even though mom-daughter relationships seem to be the tetchiest. I’m cleaning house myself, so taking the opp to touch base with peeps I actually like on the Interwebz that I have sort of lost touch with due to work and family and writing a book and, well, life. You sound like you’re doing well, so I won’t worry about you. 🙂

    Best, Kimber

    • Good to see you here, Kimber! Like you, i’ve been busy with life and haven’t been as diligent in my blog reading as i’d like to be – hate to lose these connections, and i’m very glad you stopped by! Will wander your way to catch up as well!

      Saying goodbye to Momma has been a journey – and as you can see from the post i just put up, she sure left us with some festive Easter Eggs to find after she left! Enjoy your Mother while she’s here… Looking forward to hearing more about the book! Mine will get started after retirement… if at all…

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