With the high of my achievement beginning to wane, I am settling into my stationary life for the next few weeks. Sure, it is in paradise. I mean, I am on the Gulf of Mexico in Southwest Florida. Even when it gets cold it is in the 70’s and I am still able to recreate outside. The sunsets and sunrises are amazing and one just never tires of staring at the water.
I am working on projects my parents have saved up for me. Yesterday I cleaned the fridge, kitchen floor and the dishwasher. These are bigger jobs that are just a little too physically demanding for them and I hate for them to pay someone. I work on their technology, adding new things, taking away unnecessary things, and giving them any requested updates. In exchange I am washing and cleaning my stuff for free. I am using all the internet and electricity I can get. I have time to apply for seasonal jobs. I get free food and alcohol. We do go out and they insist on paying because I am not working. I have my own room, though it is a mess with gear from the Jeep. I have unlimited access to indoor plumbing and the beach.
Though, I am sleeping less. Generally anywhere from 5-7 hours per night and I wake up 2-5 times. I have to keep the window open or I will die. Not literally, but it is so hot and humid in their place I can hardly breathe. I am eating more, go figure, and working really hard to stay somewhat active. I am here to visit and help, so that all must take priority. I am able to get in bike rides and walks and have a kayak trip planned. I got my haircut and will have routine maintenance on the Jeep. Conventional life stuff.
I find that being place bound has changed for me. I must, and I mean down to my cellular level, see and feel and be part of the out of doors. No matter the weather, I must smell the air and see the landscape. I must feel the temperature. It gets so hot and stuffy in their place, while they are warm and content, I can hardy breathe and I rush to the lanai for air. I cannot stand in the kitchen with the shutters closed. I must see something, even if it is the condos across the street. I have to connect in some way with what is outside. I cannot, even for one moment, imagine an environment where I am indoors with no access to the outside. Funny thing is that I worked that way for years. Decades even. I was locked in an office whose windows did not open. I was tethered to my desk, a slave to my computer. It is no wonder I was withering away. Given the choice, that is not something I will ever do again.
I find that I am more creative in how I stay busy. I am signing up for several app based services. I am a dog walker and will soon be a professional grocery shopper. I am not house sitting during this visit, though it is an option moving forward. It is not so much about the money, though that is nice, but about the engagement and staying active. I am taking the time to do things on my own, as my folks cannot keep pace these days. My parents world is very small and, perhaps, mine will be one day too. A letter mailed to the wrong address creates conversation that last for hours. That thought scares me right now and I am working hard to make sure that I take full advantage of the mental and physical capacities I now possess. I contend that I am in the best physical and mental health of my life. At least of recent memory. I feel good and want to maximize this status as long as I possibly can.
I still delight in the little things. I walked a couple dogs and got a tip. The tip was $1.80. I smiled and chuckled. Hey, it was a tip! The dog was cute and we had fun. I am providing a service to someone who needs it and that makes me feel good. I will not be able to support myself this way, but it is an adventure to get that new address and new dog and explore new areas of this new place where I am spending time. It is, once again, part of the experience.
I am not feeling compelled to be on he road yet. That antsy feeling has not crept in and it has been over a week. However, my need to be and feel and see the out of doors is strong. My capacity for inactivity is low so I must plan accordingly. I am cooking Thanksgiving dinner and I will prepare as much as possible from scratch. I miss the kitchen and all the ways to work with food. I did convince my Mom to get an air fryer and now she loves it. Though just a small appliance, this will help with their quality of life and ease of food preparation. My parents can benefit with nearly grilled food without the hassle and time of the actual BBQ.
All in all, I am doing OK. Not my best life, but a good life and making the best of my current situation. Which, as with everything, I chose. I am here by choice and staying however long by choice. I am learning how much I am changing, or rather becoming more in-tune and more in-sync. I am getting to know myself much better than I ever have. I am finding new ways to fill my time and engage my mind, while bringing in a couple bucks. Oh, don’t forget the tips!! I am visiting new places and seeing new faces. I am spending valuable and irreplaceable time and that, too, is part of my purpose. I mean, it is the beach and it is mostly warm and I can still swim in the heated pool. I am getting tan again and do not need to wear pants. But, I do have to wear shorts 😉 I can be outside anytime. There is all of that.
I am finding my way in a new and unique situation. I am listening to my mind and my body and working hard to keep balance. The pilgrim comes in and out, while Michelle the daughter and worker occupies more space.
Cheers to a continued path of growth and development.
Cheers to a tip for a job well done!