Monday, January 8, 2018

Tilly and Me Moving On

Tilly and Me, Edmonds, WA 2010

"Age has given me what I have been looking for my entire life - it has given me me.  It has provided time and experience and failures and triumphs and time-tested friends who have helped me step into the shape that was waiting for me.  I fit into me now.  I have an organic life, finally, not necessarily the one people imagined for me, or tried to get me to have.  I have the life I longed for.  I have become the woman I hardly dared imagine I would be."  
Ann Lamott

Eight years ago I started this blog.  The original idea was that Tilly would travel around the globe and I would chronicle her adventures.  Great idea, in fact I loved the idea because it made me smile and I love to smile.  I love to laugh and comment on the absurd, the silly and the whimsical side of life.  During certain periods of my life I can go deep and tend to focus way to much on what I don't like, what I don't want, what happened 100 years ago.  I have bright ideas, light ideas, ideas full of fun and joy and then I get submerged in life.

The last post to this blog back in 2010 describes Tilly's travel European adventures when she was packed in a suitcase and traveled with Marj and Jo (my husbands ex-inlaws, sometimes referred to as his outlaws) on their trip to Brugge, Belgium.  Cute little thing, clinging to a bottle of beer.  

Tilly sampling Belgium Beer

She also came with me to visit my family in Boise, Idaho in 2010, and I posted about that earlier in this blog.  I love the fact that my family just sat down and started posing for all sorts of shots, like  it was the most normal thing in the world.  

My beloved and very funny brother, snuggling.  

My Dad.  Love and missed.  He had such a great quiet sense of humor.

My sister - Tilly chapeau.  
Tilly, hanging out with my nephew 😎
No idea where Tilly was or what she was doing.....

After I created the original posts for this blog, I found myself deflated and sunken in (you know that feeling with shoulders hunched and a face scrunched up in a frown?) by my chaotic life.  Barely functional during this period, I spent my work days working with the kind of kids who took off their shoes and ran barefoot down the school hallway or hid, growling under a table after having thrown a book across my office.  Loved my work with the kids, miss it in some ways and am so grateful to have had that time.  Perhaps even more challenging, truth be told, were the adults in this environment (who also looked like they might fling off their shoes).  That, I don't mis.  

During this time, my nights and weekends were spent with our rental business either paying utility bills and dealing with propane, oil, electrical heating systems that stopped working (learning about things I could really care less about), or putting on a face mask before I swept up stinky cat poop out from under a refrigerator as we readied to turn over a house, and/or texting tenants for the 75th time about overdue rent.  I did the best I could to balance myself, my family, my life when all I really wanted to do was just go take a very long nap on the couch or maybe take a bath...Calgon wherefore art tho?   Dimmed by the chaos of simply living, this blog along with Tilly's adventures faded to black.  We did travel a bit but but mostly to Florida to float in a pool with a cocktail in hand.  The blog faded to black, much like how I felt during that time in my life or at least it dimmed to a dirty gray.   Nope.  No technicolor life for me back then.    

Oh boy.  This thing is coming with us down south?
However, 18 months into my retirement, and this was like yesterday, I literally got out of bed one memorable morning feeling that something had moved, shifted deep within my soul.  I stood in the kitchen and told my husband, "I feel different."  I knew in my bones that I had morphed, transformed, changed.  No longer would I endlessly think, talk, long to be that creative, inspired and passionate artist/writer.   I just knew that was who I was.  It felt like it was time to do this thing, let's go, here is your permission. I finally let go of my rule-bound and time-constrained, bone-tiring and exhausting former life.  I softened and opened up to my new future. 

I make this sound like it happened over night and of course, it really didn't.  This past year and a half my feelings have been swinging all over the place.  One moment I am feeling loss, floundering in the midst of an identity crisis, bored, headachy and then 15 minutes later I am so absolutely elated at the thought of being freed from my full-time work.  I know I should be just thrilled all the time, like my husband is with retirement, but to my surprise (shock?), I wasn't.   

A combination of things got me through this time.  Going to yoga when I might not have really wanted to leave the warmth of my home, working out lifting weights and spinning when I'd rather look out the window and have another cup of coffee. I actually don't really even like working out (which made a couple of women laugh at the gym when I blurted that out the other day).  I do it because I know it's good for me.  And, I think it has helped me move through this phase of my life.  

I also think during this time I may have rested a little too much.  It's like I'm playing hookey.  I think, I better get gone and then I laugh that I had nothing really to do!  Some talk therapy helped as did reading books (when I wasn't resting), writing (which I have done since I was 16) and just plain old time brought has me to this place.  I am here, now, done, moving on.  Thank you, Lord.   And to Ann Lamott, as she writes in the quote above, age may have given you yourself, but retirement has do that for me!  
And so, there is the long-winded introduction as to why I bring Tilly back to life, introduce her once again.  This time this odd little hanging sock monkey who is all about adventure, who reminds me of that innocent, trusting, carefree and fearless side of myself brings along a friend, Mingo.   A monkey and a bird.  Who knew they'd be such good friends?

Literally chillin' on the window sill while the winter winds of a chilly Maine blow
Ever-patient Olivia
Hey look at us....we're hanging from the wood stove!
Happily we are headed south in about 2 weeks for a winter stay of around 10 weeks.  Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Austin and New Orleans, is the plan.  Warmth and relaxation, adventure and fun - so long my beautiful home in Maine  - we will see you in the spring!

Happy trails and travels.  Hop in the backpack Tilly and Mingo!

Here's to hoping more blogs posts to come....

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sight-Seeing in Brugge!

Matilda in Brugge

A little facebook dialogue on her first European trip! The night before this shot she was at the oldest tavern in Brugge partying with punk rockers :P

    • She looks so happy, must be the local beer. What happened to her pants?
      20 hours ago

    • Re: Pants. Must be the local beer. :D
      20 hours ago ·

    • Cute ~ looks beautiful there!
      20 hours ago ·

    • Happy and Lucky Monkey!
    • 16 hours ago ·

    • soooooo cute looks beautiful
      13 hours ago

    • I was thinking of you today and how you must be loving your trip!
      13 hours ago ·

    • amazing VIEW, lucky you and Matilda. CHOCOLATE?????
      10 hours ago ·

    • Tilly! You look marvelous! Hey, where are your pants? Anyway...amazing view you world traveler!
      9 hours ago ·

      7 hours ago
    • She has her pants on, bad lighting. I'm not getting the pants questions? Am I missing something? She was at the oldest tavern in Brugge last night partying with some old punk rockers. She stole the show.
      3 hours ago ·

    • And the punk rockers stole her pants? hahaha She's really just in full body leggings, easy-care clothing for her travels :P Hope you are having fun! What stories Tilly will tell! P.S. She can't swim but I think she floats :P
      4 minutes ago ·

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tilly Hanging out with Beer in Belgium

Tilly! Here she is in Belgium with Jo and Marj Rogers! What a blast she is having. Details to come later but just a little "taste" of what Tilly is doing and the fun that girl is having!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Tilly is on her way to Belgium!

Tilly is currently hanging out in South Berwick awaiting her exciting and amazing adventure to Belgium! Wish her well and look forward to future posts! Thanks, Marj!!!!!!!! You can keep up on Marj and Joe's anniversary trip by checking out her blog at:

Monday, August 2, 2010

Tilly's Itinerary

Tilly at home, on the deck, in Maine :)

So, we have some plans. My first trip will be to Canada with sweet Angela in September, if we get my passport ready and my specialized gear all set up. My second trip will be to...get ready....Belgium with sista-outlaw, Marj, and her sidekick, the drummer of Wooden Eye, Joe, in October. My third trip is to...OK, this is a long way away......Guam, visiting Dr. Michael Ehlert, famed psychologist. I am hoping to learn French in Canada; eat waffles, chocolate and drink beer in Belgium; and kayak in the blue waters surrounding Guam. Off to see the world!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Edmonds, Washington - Wherefore I Originate

Here I am, on my way outa Edmonds, Washington!

This is the curious woman who adopted me.

And, what do you think of her brother?

Boise, Idaho family

Tilly, now a full-fledged member of the Idaho clan.