My husband’s last day of work was Friday, March 3, of last year. Two days later, we were in our packed-up car, driving south to Georgia. Which means we have just passed the one-year anniversary of his retirement and our move to our new home.

In some ways, I can’t believe it’s been a year already. In other ways, I can’t believe it’s only been a year. That’s often the way it is when we view things in hindsight. We go through life day by day, and every so often we stop and notice how quickly – and slowly – the time is passing.

In the time we’ve been here, we’ve met a lot of new people, and have enjoyed many new experiences. Yet we haven’t put a dent in the list of places we want to visit, and things we want to do. We’ve let go of many of our old routines and habits, and have established new ones. It used to be a rare day when we didn’t set our alarm clock. Now it’s a rare day when we do.

Some things here feel the same, but different. Or maybe it’s the other way around. Like Toastmasters. Toastmasters clubs around the world all have the same purpose, roles, and agenda. But the club I belonged to in Minnesota met every Thursday morning, and I rarely missed a meeting. My club here meets just twice a month, on Tuesday evenings. And scheduling conflicts seem to arise regularly that cause me to miss more meetings than I’d like.

Then there’s the weather, which is much milder here than anywhere else I’ve ever lived. Yet there’s still a distinct change of seasons that has me looking forward to whatever is coming next, whether it’s the spring and summer blossoms, or the fall and winter holidays.

Writing has always been a part of my life, and it’s no different here. My weekly blog has replaced my weekly newspaper column, and I am enthusiastically involved in programs that put me together with high school students to help them polish their work for publication in the local paper. The first time I saw the photo and byline of a student I worked with, I was almost as excited as when I saw my own photo and byline for the first time.

One thing that gnaws at me a bit – and I know it always will – is how much I still miss the family, friends, and neighbors I no longer see on a regular basis. Not just those in Minnesota, where we lived last, or Chicago, where I grew up, but other places we’ve lived in between. But with more ways to communicate than ever before, it’s pretty easy to stay in touch, as long as we take the time to do so.

I have no idea how different – or not – life will be another year from now. But I’ll continue to go through it day by day. And I’m sure I’ll pause every so often and reflect on how quickly – and slowly – the time is passing.

March 9, 2018
©Betty Liedtke, 2018

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