Monday, May 27, 2013

This and That … or How I Spent My Three-Day Weekend

Well, I was pretty lazy this weekend.  Part of me wants to excuse it because I’ve been working my ass off for the past few weeks and I needed to change some patterns and take a break.  Another part of me wonders why I am sometimes incredibly lazy.  I did make some progress in my ongoing ‘finish unpacking U-Haul boxes’ project but some of those boxes contain important papers, documents and bills and those items remain in the boxes.

My guest room needs to function as a guest room soon and there is now almost enough room in it to achieve that purpose.  That room also serves as a home office and eventually a home studio.  The walls will also provide display space for some of my art prints and photographs.  The walls remain bare in that room.
It is Monday night, the end of the third day of my three-day holiday weekend.  The weather was great but I barely stepped out of my apartment to enjoy it.  I went to the grocery store, one block away, used the fitness room, across the street, took the garbage to the dumpster, at the other end of the building, and I sat on my patio sipping wine last night … for about fifteen minutes.  Little steps, I guess.

I have mentioned several times that two of my best friends are visiting this summer and I am very excited about that.  I don’t really have to say that again, do I?  But I just did.
Sometimes I am a fanatic about accuracy so I cringed several times when I saw Facebook posts saluting Veterans on Memorial Day.  Every day is a good day for such a tribute but let me point out something: Memorial Day is set aside to salute those military men and women who DIED in combat.  Veterans Day is the day to salute the Veterans.  Accuracy. 

I began to move my music from the old computer to this new laptop. Some of the songs didn’t make the move and I don’t understand why.  iTunes sucks sometimes.  Apparently I did something wrong when I purchased downloads and 100 of my 1400 songs are invisible to iTunes on my new computer.  I think that means they are all on the computer but I have to import them again from different files.  A pain in the ass process.  Amazon, CD Baby, iTunes … can’t we all just get along?  Geez.
My new apartment is great.  I can’t believe I’ve been here six months already.  But 1992 apartment construction was pure crap.  Great floor plan, nearly non-existent sound deadening.  I understand that I’ll hear hammering sometimes (like when someone hangs a picture) and I might hear loud domestic noise like a vacuum cleaner.  However, I hate that I can hear nearly every footstep upstairs and a few minutes ago I heard an alarm clock.  I wonder what else I’ll eventually hear.  I wonder what else they will eventually hear from my apartment.

A few months ago I said I would probably never buy real estate again.  I got burned on the last one, the first time out of three houses I bought and sold in my life.  However, I saw an ad today that reminded me how low interest rates are right now and there are some pretty nice condos and townhouses in my new neighborhood.  But they cost at least what I sold my last place for.  The problem, of course, is the damn down payment.  No way will I ever have twenty percent of the price of anything around here.  Maybe I could afford to live in the only other two places I’ve considered (Asheville and Nags Head, both in North Carolina) but as I’ve said many times, I cannot make a good living in either.  Both are very appealing to me but both are missing the primary things I like about living where I live … lots of people, lots of entertainment and cultural activity, incredible and extensive medical care facilities and my nearly three decade history of being part of this general area.  Those are hard things to give up.  I know many people choose a brand new place to ‘retire’ when they get older, but I’m not sure giving up emotional and geographical support systems is the thing to be doing at a point in life when those items matter the most.  I’ve moved cross-country many times and I remember the thrill of exploring new places and developing new friendships but there comes a time when stability is more important and I see that time just over the horizon.
That said, I can’t imaging retiring.  Some people my age who had government jobs with early retirement are doing just that, including two of my high school buddies.  They are young enough to start new careers if they want.  They also have paid-for houses and children who will be old enough to care for them when they are older.  I don’t have any of that.  No regrets, really; I have lived an incredible life and there is plenty ahead of me.  But I did have retirement plans at one point and I am only a couple of years away from the point where I thought I’d be transitioning into a different life.  Not happening.  The good news is that I am at the top of my game in my career, making the best money I’ve ever made and have a relatively good amount of job security.  Relatively.  And my life is about to enter what is likely to be the most exciting part.

OK, so I should stop whining, right?  Right.  I am a lucky man.
So instead of cleaning, I’ve been sharing these thoughts and I appreciate that you’re still reading this.  Word count is almost at 1000, kind of long for a random blog in Boomerville.  I hope these insights help you in some way or lead you to think through some parts of your life.

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