Timing Is Everything

I’ve said it before (ask my kids) and I’ll say it again (and again): timing is everything!

My husband is retiring — gradually. He plans to work one less day per week in each quarter of 2022. By the end of this year, he should only be working one day a week. But you know how plans go. Work has been crazy and his stress level is rising.

Our retirement plan is to travel around the country in a converted van, visiting National Parks, breweries, wild life sanctuaries, and (if my husband has his way) a few Diners, Drive-Ins, & Dives. We bit the bullet at the end of last year and bought a Mercedes Sprinter. Titan Vans in Colorado has been hard at work fitting it with a bed and other amenities. It was supposed to be finished at the end of April. But, since nothing is safe from supply chain woes these days, they’ve been waiting for a single part of a suspension upgrade kit to come in.

Meanwhile, my chorus spent the last few months preparing for our annual regional competition. I say “annual”, but the event was unfortunately cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID concerns. It’s back on this year. But many choruses, including the one I belong to, voted to compete virtually. We planned to record and submit a video package. We set the recording date for May 5. Because of the supply chain issue with the van part, I was able to participate in the video. Timing.

On top of this, one of our adult children is experiencing one of those major life-events that makes you feel like the world is tipping sideways and out of control. This is the second such event in their life in the past six months. I’m glad my husband and I aren’t on the road just yet. Timing.

On another front, my mother has been settling — very slowly — into her new assisted living situation since February. I check on her several times a week to make sure the staff is really doing all that we agreed they’d do. Let’s just say it’s been a learning experience for all involved. My father should be returning from his Florida living at the end of May to join her and also to keep an eye on all the assistance she’s supposed to be getting. That’ll make it easier for me to step back a bit as my husband and I set out on our adventures. Timing.

Spring is in the air and that means gardening and yard work. The strawberries, peas, potatoes, beets, spinach, kale, and lettuce are all coming up already. I’m grateful that I had the opportunity to plant them before we head out to pick up our van. Now to get some netting around the blueberry bushes.Timing.

And we just got word from Titan Vans. The part came in. Timing!


I’ve been remiss in my blogging. In considering the reason for this, I’ve come to the conclusion that it is NOT because I’ve had nothing to say. Quite the opposite. There’s TOO MUCH to say. Family stuff, community stuff, and global stuff bombard me and I struggle to keep up. I’m sure I’m not the only one feeling this way.

Life is messy — like the spent sunflower seeds in this photo. Everyone’s “mess” is a bit different. My mother, who is declining into dementia, has been the greatest focus of my time and energy for the last few years. My own involvement in social activities, like church and chorus, has taken a turn during the pandemic and I’m reassessing my priorities and assessing my own needs. Too many details to mention or even fully grasp are whirling inside my brain. Messy.

Some days, all I can do is focus on the simple things — the things that bring a sense of momentary peace and beauty — like the crocuses in this photo. Today, my “crocus” will be venturing outside in the retreating drizzle to start turning over the dirt in my garden beds. That’s all. The mess of life will still be here when I’m done, but that’s okay. Maybe it’ll feel a little less daunting. I encourage you to do the same if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Give yourself permission to focus on the crocuses. And have a blessed day. 🙂

Gratitude Spiral: Day 236

Today, I’m grateful for grief.

None of us wants to grieve. But to feel grief is to prove that love exists. We can’t grieve without first being able to open our hearts to let someone else’s story, someone else’s journey, intersect with ours. Love and grief are two sides of the same coin, and we are richer for allowing ourselves to experience the whole spinning mess of it.

What are you grateful for today?

About the Journey . . .

If you’re like me, you spend a good deal of time trying to get somewhere. Lots of somewheres, probably. Trying to get to work early. Gunning to get home again. Getting to that dentist appointment on time. Rushing to the grocery store for a few things. Errands, club meetings, committees, activities. Always someplace to go. Someplace to be.

But the more time I spend on the road, the more I’m coming to see that these commutes from one place to another are not parentheses in my life. They’re not filler. Not the in-between-the-real-stuff stuff. Rather, they’re just as much a part of life as the destinations.

Think about it. What if it’s not where we’re heading, but where we are, and who we are, at that moment in time when traffic is crawling and the clock is ticking, that are important? What if it matters how we act and react on that journey? What if those impersonal cars and trucks were being driven by other human beings on their own journeys? I’m saying “what if”, but you know what I’m really saying, don’t you? We’ve forgotten about patience and what it can teach us. We’ve forgotten how to be while we wait in traffic or sit in a waiting room or stand in a checkout line. And we (I) need to remind ourselves (myself) to see these moments as the stuff of life, maybe as a test of character, definitely as the real journey. And sometimes life will even use these moments to surprise us.