Tuesday, January 19, 2016

2 Anniversaries

I wrote at the end of my last entry, that I would write about a great paddling adventure that Kim and I went on. Well, I lied. That will be in my next post. (hopefully) I write when I am inspired and today, I am inspired to write about the topic of this post.

This will be different than most of my posts. This one will be somewhat philosophical and retrospective. If you find it interesting, that is great. The intended reader of this entry is mainly my future self. I like to establish a marker to create context that helps establish how I am thinking at this point in my life. I find it interesting how my minds changes with time and how what I have and take for granted today, may not be possible in the future.

The title is "2 Anniversaries". Each one is a milestone that causes me to reflect and to appreciate the life that I have.

Kim, doing what she does. Rialto Beach, Olympic National Park, Washington

#1 is the 36th Anniversary of our marriage. It is hard to imagine life without Kim. She and I are a great team. We are so proud of the children we have raised and the adults they have become. The amazing thing is that we both have an understanding that this is the best time of our lives. A family member asked us both, "What was the most peaceful time in your life?". We did not consult with each other or even look at each other, we both simultaneously answered "Right Now!" We love the lack of pressure to do anything and the freedom to choose our daily activities at this point in our lives. We have lived life without that freedom and it is only with that experience that we can appreciate our life now.

2015 was an amazing year. We visited 20 National Parks and traveled all over the western US. We spent some high quality time in New Mexico, Utah, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Montana and South Dakota. I am asked on a regular basis to choose my favorite place. My answer is always the same, "All of it!"

7 Waterfalls at Avalanche Lake, Glacier National Park, Montana

Doing all of that traveling by myself would be an empty experience. What really makes it great is the wonderful life partner I have to share it with. I Love you Kim! and I love our life together.

Enough of that mushy stuff.

#2 is the 2nd Anniversary of my retirement from work. When I retired, I was not sure about my future. I had dreamed of what it would be like for a long time, but only now am I understanding what I want to do in the future. The great news is that I get to start with an almost empty palette to begin the painting of the future. I have very few things that I have to do and almost all of those are things that I want to do.

We are clearly in the third stage of retirement. The third stage is "routine". Periodically, the euphoria stage comes back and puts that stupid grin on my face, but for the most part I just go on with the daily routine.  We have a pretty fantastic routine that really works for both of us.

The future will be filled with time with our family first. We love to spend time with every member of our families and value that time immensely. Some times family time can get emotional, but that is not bad. I love an honest and open discussion of differing beliefs.

Time with family is awesome. Near Olympic National Park, Washington

Our time will also be filled with travel. We love to see new places and fantastic sites, but mostly we just love the rhythm of the road and the daily routine while we are on the road. It really is all about the journey. Many times in our travel the journey is much more enjoyable and fulfilling than the destination.

We just found this place. Holland Lake, Montana

We will also spend some time each spring and fall in Missouri. We love that time of year in the Ozarks. That time allows us to reset and spend some quality time with our children and grand children. I also get to spend some time with motivated young people that are working hard to improve at a sport that is one of the truest tests of endurance and toughness I have ever found. I have come to really appreciate the time we spend at the ranch.

I have no idea what the future holds for me, but I am in a pretty good place right now.

I hope and pray that anyone that reads this finds the same level of love and happiness in their life.

Here's to another year of living free and exploring the beauty of all that surrounds us.

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