No Regrets: Second Quarter? Already?

At the turn of the year i set forth on a quest of mindfulness. As i did last year, i’m doing quarterly updates on my progress, or regress as the case may be… Slow and steady going through the end of the first quarter, i’ve been on a bit of a roller coaster this quarter, so results are a little jumbled.

The 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.

My scorecard for the second quarter:

Bridges: Small efforts yielded wonderful re-connections! A comment on the first quarter update by an old friend, cramnitram, led to a lunch date, and a few other looooong overdue conversations. Yoda surprised me with a book for my birthday. i hosted a party for my daughter – and spent time with a former sister-in-law that i haven’t seen in years. Facebook brought me a meet up with one of my former “kids”, who is all grown up and doing well professionally. Being attentive and looking for opportunities, slowing down enough to make time to talk… This has been a very good quarter, and i hope to maintain momentum.

Ducks: STILL working through Mom’s estate, i found myself with yet another carload of old memorabilia, photographs, journals and letters after excavating the large storage locker. My office remains buried in paperwork, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. It’s proven difficult to take care of my own estate planning while up to my tonsils in her business…

Due to the kitchen renovation, i gave away two tables, 8 chairs, a refrigerator, a stove, a dishwasher and 14 serviceable kitchen cabinets as i launched into construction. It has been a massive project, but almost done. While unpacking all of my kitchen gear, i was quite brutal, giving away unnecessary stuff. A bit of a draw, volume-wise, considering the scale of the new kitchen.

i also set up an ‘Advanced Directive’ for my senior doggie with my veterinarian. It seemed the right thing to do, staring at so much travel this year. i didn’t want to leave my pet sitter dealing with difficult decisions, should i be out contact.

Facing the end of the quarter, i also printed out several ‘change of beneficiary’ forms. These are currently payable to my ex-husband. i’ve never really worried about it since the divorce, knowing that he would do the right thing with the funds and hand it all over to the kids, but it’s kind of simple to take care of, and i’ll get it done before the end of the next quarter.

Vessel: Holy shit, this one is a demon! i’ve done well with exercise, despite a pretty busy schedule. Sticking with lunch hour cardio, the Saturday morning fitness classes, and regular after work bike rides, i’m not too horrified at my follow through here. But food? Booze? i’m eating like it’s my job, and no longer holding my alcohol consumption to just weekends. The cruise – where we had access to an endless variety of food, and unlimited top shelf liquor – was a factor in keeping me chubby. i’d lost about five more pounds early in the quarter, and have managed to gain that right back in the last few weeks.

During construction, i had one month with only small refrigerator and a microwave for a kitchen. i was eating peanut butter, microwaved popcorn and oatmeal for dinner most nights. No reason i couldn’t have done better, but i was living in a major construction zone, working on my pieces of the project at night, and wasn’t particularly motivated to do better.

With the new kitchen up and running, i’ve started cooking again! Went from an electric cooktop to a glorious gas stove!  i’m learning how to cook with the new gear, and it’s been fun! So there’s hope that my lean eating habits from earlier in the year can be dusted off…

Bridge, Duck, Vessel - Get it?

silly image found here…

Halfway through the year. Much more to do. Putting together the scorecard, i’m optimistic that i can at least wrap up “Ducks” by the end of the year… Onward!

26 thoughts on “No Regrets: Second Quarter? Already?

  1. So good of you to not want to be a burden to your children. That’s my goal, too. My wife’s old-world Irish grandmother wanted everyone around her to attend to her every need, including her suffering. She’d have dragged them all down to the crypt with her if she could’ve.

    Hard to believe your mom’s estate was so voluminous. You’d have thought it’d be a two-week project

    You forgot the bridge to Spain. Or is he the “kid?”

    • Mom didn’t want to be a burden, but made decisions regarding her “stuff”, as well as her medical care, that made it more challenging to take care of her needs. So it goes. She wiped my ass when i was a baby, and did her best to raise us as decent humans, so it was the least we could do…

      The estate itself is almost wrapped up – getting an estimate on a coin collection, transferring the car title, filing taxes for her, etc…. that stuff just took time. i’ve got a ton of assets outside her estate that i still need to work through. Stock certificates? Do you know how to sell stock? Yeah, me neither. That’s next on my list, but i’m waiting for the market to recover from the recent hit (Thanks, Greece…).

      Bridge to Barcelona! Yes! That was a bit serendipitous, but it is another for the list! He’s coming back this way to visit family in a month or so, and we’ll have more time together. Hoping he can come stay with me for a few days… “The Kid” was one of my baby engineers from my time as a boss….

  2. You are doing so well. Some minor glitches (of course) but the direction is all forward.
    Love the health directive for your dog. Something I had not considered – and will.
    Thank you.

    • For the past couple of years, my pet sitter and i BOTH were stewing over the “what ifs”. When i finally brought it up to him, he was relieved that i was worried about it too… so we talked through a game plan, and i put it all in writing, signing forms and leaving a credit card number with the vet so there would be a bit less stress should anything go wrong when i’m unreachable… We are both breathing easier, even though i left the vet in tears that day. Sometimes it’s hard to be practical…

  3. I’m not as well-ordered! Staring at 7 size 10 candles on the birthday cake, I guess I should be.
    Ah, well, we’re making a start…My Main Man has (semi) retired. We need to look at the new contract and do some sums and then, maybe…I’ll qualify for an old age pension! Jesus!
    But we’ve chosen the colour and bought some paint and I have a new sofa being made, someone at work is buying the old suite…hey! maybe some Daisyfae order *has* rubbed off!
    BTW, did you have some henna, too?

    • i think you dealt with the loss of parents at a much earlier age – and have probably put the experience into the archives. Going through it now, with my children grown and out on their own, it is closer to my mind. Taking advantage of the timing, it is truly my goal to get it in order this year. If i fail at the other two goals for the rest of the year, but nail that one, i will consider this a successful year of forward progress in important matters…

      It is good to renovate – especially moving toward retirement. i like having a fresh, and exciting, kitchen and party place as i near the professional finish line!

      Of course i got henna’d! Waited until the young ladies had been decorated, and with a bit of time left, a few of us ‘oldsters’ got painted up. i love it! Will likely do a post about wedding preparations when i get some time – and post pictures!

    • On your duck list … that has me thinking. Our wills. Made out years ago when the kids were younger. They are both legally adults now. I should get them changed so it is all clear – they should be executors of our wills too. I know they’d rather not but silly to have my brother down when they are both capable adults now. I also want – actually need – to put in a legacy to an organisation that has meant I’m alive today and they’ll not be able to do that retrospectively even if they respect my wishes.
      On my list of – ducks…

      • It is good to think through these things now… i currently have both children as executors, but with one living overseas, and the other in the Army, it may make life more complicated for them – if there are two executors, they BOTH have to sign a ton of paperwork. i had both of them home for the weekend, and had the conversation regarding doing something more practical, so long as neither of them are in town…

        Not sure of the estate laws in the UK, but it also may be helpful to make accounts ‘payable on death’ rather than leave cash or assets to be included in the estate itself. i’m trying to figure out what to do with my largest single asset – my home. looking for a simple means to transfer the deed to the kids so they can unload the condo as soon as possible… It’s going to take some time to sort it out, but i hope to have most of the big issues resolved by the end of the year…

        • I have no idea about all that. Normally here things can take a while, mostly the issue is having to sell the house so you can then pay the inheritance tax…. but I believe they’ve upped the limits now so they might avoid that in our case hopefully

        • Very different here – my Mom had the property set to go to my niece upon her death (a “Transfer on Death” affidavit, attached to the deed), so the property was never part of the estate. Same was done with most of her cash and stock assets – they were transferred to me upon her death. These assets are considered outside the estate, and therefore, no risk of tax. The limits on inheritance tax have been raised to over a million dollars, so there’s no risk of that for most of us…

    • an art piece. photo was from a gig in Los Angeles, but the giant duck bits have been done in several cities… i’d like to see one as a hot air balloon!

  4. The vessel is always a pain to keep in order innit? i’m still on my workout kick (4 years in) and somehow managed to lose weight while on a vacation that afforded me all the food and booze i could handle, (did well on the eating part but i drank like a skid row bum, i know shocking) of course playing beach footie in the Caribbean sun and swimming with the boyos all day may have helped that cause, had some 20-somethings, who i smoked on the sand football pitch, guess me at ten years younger than i actually am, never thought being called 35 would be such a compliment, haha… and that duck spent a good bit of time sitting at the foot of the Ohio River a while back, i used to drive by and quack. Keep on keepin’ on Mama!!

    • If i would have avoided all the junk, fried food – and those damn midnight pot pies in the shipboard pub – i’d have probably been much better off. Lots of walking and dancing and whatnot would have done wonders if it weren’t for the daily french fries and other crap i was ingesting…

      Delighted that you had a grand holiday! Love those ‘all inclusive’ booze gigs – i tend to take it as a personal challenge, which is probably a bad plan in general. i remember the Big Duck on the Ohio… wish i could have seen it. Charming… Weird, but charming!

  5. an ‘Advanced Directive’ for my senior doggie – I had not heard of that before. Probably a good idea. We currently and probably never will again, have a pet. The endings are too sad and come too quick.
    Good luck with all your plans. I believe in planning but also believe the universe tends to screw up everyone’s plans.

    • When i did an internet search, i found several references and examples. It’s not an original thought on my part….

      i completely agree that there is a balance between planning and being able to tuck and roll as everything changes around you… i’m a fan of having “Plan B”, “Plan C” and sometimes, if it’s really important, a “Plan D”. Knowing that it can all blow up in a heartbeat! Or with one phone call…

    • Thanks, Sandy! i’ve been swimming pretty hard for the past 6 weeks – hence the delayed response. My li’l duckies are pretty beat… Hope to catch up on my reading this coming week – looking forward to your latest adventures!

    • i usually go as far as developing “Plan C”. Anything after that is pure improv! Already on “Plan C” for the weight/health management stuff… Gotta do something different to make this work! A summer of poor food choices continues!

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