The joy of short-timer’s disease

What is that strange feeling I feel coursing through me?  Is it a bit of energy?  Is it a bit of joy, realizing that I will finally be able to live the life I’ve wanted?  I think so!  Very odd what setting a retirement date can do for you.  Suddenly, you begin to plan what you will do when all your time (and all your energy) can be channeled into the things you want to do, instead of into a whole lot of red-tape and regulation with which you are forced to deal on a daily basis.  I have quilts planned.  I have a garden planned.  I have some landscaping of the yard planned.  I have dreams of just driving over to the coast to look at the ocean, and staying the night if I feel like it.  Then I’m in the mountains, sitting by the side of a trail where it’s so quiet that it actually makes your ears hurt.  What joy.  What wonderful freedom.  It really IS what I wanted to be all my life . . . FREE!  Yes, there will be the usual responsibilities of having to pay the bills, and if I continue to quilt for clients, there will be deadlines, but my life will be my own. I can’t begin to tell you how happy that makes me.

Yesterday my friend Ellen and I drove to Salem for a meeting of our long arm quilters group.  We are the Moxies, and we are generally a group of APQS machine quilters, although we do allow owners of different brands to come and join us.  We chatted about the holidays, our lives, internet dating (whoa . . . could I offer some caution there, or what?), fabric, quilts, thread, food, etc.  We ate (we always have a potluck).  We had a nice demo of binding on the long arm.  We laughed so much and so hard that my face still hurts today.  I slept like a rock last night, just exhausted from being in the company of wonderful quilters.  Ellen and I stopped at the Purple Frog in Jefferson on the way home.  If you live in the Willamette Valley area of Oregon, you owe it to yourself to stop in this great little shop.  They have gorgeous fabrics (mostly Moda, my very favorite), cute patterns, supplies, etc. Friendly staff and just a really nice place.  Best of all, you can get there by exiting I-5 at one exit, drive to the shop, and then just continue in the same direction after shopping and end up at an entrance to the freeway a few miles down.  No backtracking!!

So, today, I will do some quilting, start on the huge (and I mean HUGE) project of de-cluttering and reorganizing this little cottage so that I can actually walk through it.  I’ve got dinner going in the crock pot, so I won’t be spending much time in the kitchen.  Part of me thinks I need to go into the office and get a few things done, as I’m already over-whelmed with the start of the term and all my faculty come back from their annual meetings tomorrow (travel reimbursements galore), but you know what? I’m not going to go there today.  I’m beginning to grasp the concept that my free time is just that, and I refuse to go into the office on the weekends.  After all, what are they going to do, Fire me?  😉  Well, I hope not.  Not till I have reached my goal of becoming what I always wanted to be.  What joy.