But I'm not whining ...
This has been a wonderful summer in every way I can measure!
The weather has been darn near perfect!
The rain may never fall till after sundown.
By eight, the morning fog must disappear.
OK, it wasn't Camelot but close to it.
I had friends visit from home and spent some wonderful evenings in their company, reminding me that distance or time away are not barriers to the joy and easy camaraderie of friendship.
I met some quality correspondents online, and exchanged ideas and viewpoints with them that bridged the mileage that will keep us virtual friends.
I reconnoitered with a few folks from the recent past whose connection had frayed acrimoniously, and learned that an olive branch makes a good bridge between past and future, hurt and healing.
I spent some good face time with the ocean on days in August we usually can't expect here until early October. The high cost of gas has kept the seasonal crowds and road gridlock to manageable levels. And
I put some good time into my yard and this year it paid off.
The books and workshops...
I read some very good books that were not "how to's" for the passion du jour. One of the books, Three Cups of Tea, sparked an interest in learning more about Central Asia and the pros and cons of battling terrorism with education in the Taliban's back yard.
I took a workshop for "creative artists" and discovered I was one, when they gave my photo top honors. Who knew???!!!
The body and mind...
I have had a 'come to jesus' moment with myself about getting in better shape. That includes a couple new daily rituals: a 30 min walk, a 30 min bike ride, eating more protein and less junk, eating more often but smaller portions, eating more fish and less pasta, and snacking on fruit and roasted soy nuts instead of Jujyfruits, potato chips and ice cream.
I am still plagued by a few physical irritations: the Achilles has not healed to perfection and makes sustained mobility-driven exercise fatiguing. Long hours at the computer have weakened my lower back muscles (poor posture!) and golfing only seems to exacerbate the problem. But as with most physical issues, pushing through or past them is always worth the effort, either in results or psychic enjoyment.
I have come to accept that my family won't visit nearly as often as I'd like them to, and that has brought a heightened appreciation and gratefulness to me when I do see them.
Given all of the above, I seem to have finally struck a balance in retirement, after working at it for the past 4 summers.
The bottom line...
If Justice is getting what you deserve;
Mercy is not getting what you deserve; and
Grace is getting what you don't deserve...
I live in a perpetual state of Grace.