Oh, where to start?

Yep, it’s been a while. So long that I am having to orient myself to all the WordPress changes since I last blogged. Good Lord.

The world certainly has changed since the last time I wrote on this blog. Covid-19. Enough said.

I love being at the beach after sunset on what had been a stormy day. No filter added. No special camera. Just an amazing sky with pilings in the foreground.

I have stopped and started a few drafts over the past several months. The longer you go without posting, the easier it gets to NOT post. You can talk yourself into thinking no one cares anymore or follows your blog anymore. Kind of becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I’ve moved back to Naples, Florida. My oldest cat, Callie, passed away in July. In August, I started school through FSW (Florida Southwestern State College), taking some prerequisite classes for a marine science (or eventual marine policy, etc.) type of degree. I was taking bio and chem (bleck, ugh) with labs. I say bleck because it was all about electrons and atoms at that stage. Things that just bore me to tears, quite honestly.

My HoneyBun, who we think is more likely 16 than 13 as had been previously thought. She’s lost a lot of weight recently so i feel like any time i have with her is precious.

So yeah, you may have noticed I used the past tense in that previous paragraph. If you did, thanks for reading so closely. I stopped taking the classes. Faced the reality that I would be graduating with another bachelor’s or master’s degree at the age of 54 or 55 and then competing with 24 year olds for work at entry level salaries. So I stopped. Yes, another start and another stop. My own inner voice echoes back to me something my mom said to me last year when I was back in Boston and decided to come back to Florida and that is “Do you have any idea what you are doing or what you want?” No. I guess not.

I keep living my life thinking about the future, and I realize that that prevents me from living in the present. I’m always trying to figure out why I was put on this earth. How I can leave it in a better place than how it was when I came into it. And while I’m doing that, I am missing out on the present.

Up close and personal shot of a great egret hanging out at a boat launch a few weeks ago.

When I sat down to write this post today, I discovered a comment someone had left on m blog back in June. IN JUNE! When I went to their site today to check them out, I saw this post and it sums up some thoughts I have had so many times and which for some reason are so hard for me to articulate clearly. It is Karma: The Purpose of Life.

Some days, I have felt like my purpose on this earth was to save a bunch of sea urchins and starfish that had washed up on shore. Or to throw back that fish that had washed up (or possibly been dropped by a bird) on the shore, still breathing. I have a neighbor right now who had surgery on his ankle and is pretty much housebound, so I’ve been helping him out with his dog and such. Maybe that’s my purpose for right now.

I don’t need to have all the answers. In fact, I don’t think I ever will. I change my mind so much as to what i think I am supposed to be doing on this earth and have pivoted so many times in the past five years that I no longer get upset when someone kids me that I will probably change my mind next week or even in the next few days. Because it’s true. I might.

I won’t get upset when I tell others I’m thinking about moving when my lease is up in July. (My sis expressed some frustration when I mentioned looking into Pensacola as an option. She asked why i moved back to Naples when i did. Well, when my lease was up, lockdowns were upon us and I couldn’t really drive around and check out other potential places. I’m back in the same apt building I was in before. At least here, I knew what to expect and I’m only 10 mins from the beach, if that. When i explained that, she was like, “I see your point.”) My brother is in Naples now (left NYC as so many have done over the past few months) but there is no guarantee that he and his wife may stay here long term since for her, there isn’t a ton of job prospects.)

So, yes, as with so many people in life, right now, the future is up in the air. Come July, will i move? Probably. Will i move into an RV and travel around and see my family and friends I’ve made over the years, for extended periods of time? Possibly. Will I move into a tiny apartment somewhere and continue walking or running the beach often? (I have a half-started post about that in the works — the beach part, anyway.) And why have i been missing my friends and the beauty of the southwest so often lately?? Should I take a trip back out there? Perhaps. (Already had Covid and I’m not averse to wearing a mask on a plane if need be. )

It has occurred to me I should set a schedule of when posts go up on this blog, and maybe incorporate this space more into my why, my purpose in life. Take it more seriously. So, I will try. For the two of you out there maybe even still reading this blog or intermittently checking it for updates, I at least owe you that.


22 thoughts on “Oh, where to start?

  • Wow it has been a crazy year, awesome to have an update from you. Yikes sorry to hear you got COVID and glad you are okay. I personally will not be getting on a plane anytime soon. I think it is good that you are willing to change and chase that wandering feeling. That is not easy to do and you have really mastered it along with packing up your little car. Nothing wrong with that at all, the type of work you do allows you to move around and have time to help animals in whatever form that might be. I look forward to your future posts whenever that might be. Big hug to you lady! :*

    • The thing that has kept me (oh who am i kidding, it’s just one of a few reasons) from doing the rv thing until now is the cats that I have. If it was just me and the dogs, then I would be ok with even a travel trailer or teardrop. But with cats, I can’t do that. I’ll have to do a motorhome, either a small (emphasis on small) Class C or a Class B. I feel like part of my purpose here on this planet is to make life as good as possible for my babies. And I’ve always been afraid that they wouldn’t be happy with that way of life. but we shall see! And thank you so much, Tina. You’ve always been so supportive of me.

  • I’m still here and enjoy reading your updates!! Like you, I’m still trying yo find my purpose in life while trying to live in the present.

    • Thank you, Jean!! That makes three people still reading this blog, lol. If you figure out what your purpose is, let me know and let me know how you figured it out!

  • I think most people don’t know their purpose. I also think purpose can be fluid. Most people don’t feel free to move about like you have. A certain number of us wish we could.

    • I am beginning to think that also, that purpose is fluid. And the difference between me and a lot of others is that I am single. Which has its good and bad sides too. Sometimes loneliness kicks in. By the way, your photos are always amazing on your blog, and Katie’s posts always make me smile. 🙂

  • I heard a comment recently about “purpose” or “passion” – it puts pressure on people to find something when there isn’t anything to “find”; it’s rhetoric. We are distracted by chasing BIG dreams, ambitions, destinations, acquisitions. The “purpose” of life is to love (people, animals, the earth), to live fully, and to be creative, as is The Creator. We should be following our curiosity, listening to our longings, which is the voice of our soul. Good luck.

  • Thank you for putting into words something that I was struggling to say. I feel like I kind of was circling around this idea in my post. I am working on listening to my longings and taking note on what makes me laugh and smile and feel good inside. By the way, I checked out your blog. I really like your writing style!

  • Thank you for writing this. I’m sorry to hear that you’re having/had a hard time. Covid, losing Callie, what you’re going through with HoneyBun.. . .and trying to find your place in the world. I’m so very very sorry! (says someone who can totally relate). I can relate so much it’s scary. Recently it seems like I keep hearing about such great things that are happening to people I know and while I am genuinely happy for them, I can’t help but shed (a lot) of tears for myself because I still seem to be “floundering”. At 47 years old. It’s depressing. I am really sorry for all you are going through. I can totally relate. But I I thank you for having the courage to write about it so others don’t feel so alone. Just remember – You DO make a difference! In the lives of your fur babies, and in your readers too 🙂

  • Vickie, so good to hear from you!!! Yes, with HoneyBun, she has lost a lot of weight. (Callie did too at the end.) Vet thinks she may be in liver failure, so she is going for an ultrasound on Tuesday. From there we will know if it’s a mass on her liver, or if she has cancer of some sort. Regardless, I will spoil this little girl rotten until the very end. With Callie, she definitely had the kidney thing going on, and at the end, she wasn’t herself. I had her with me in my life for 14 yrs, so she was 15 when she died. So The Herd is getting smaller, but I love them all just the same.

    Oh Vickie, I know the feeling — you think all these other folks have it “together” and you don’t. I know. I so totally know.

    I’m beginning to think I’m put on this earth maybe to spoil my babies. But i also have a love for wildlife and i want to do something to help them. I’ve thought of going on the road and volunteering at various sanctuaries, and writing about them, both to educate others as well as give some publicity to those establishments. It’s been in the back of my mind, lurking, for quite a while. Maybe?

    But don’t despair — I will figure this out eventually. 🙂 And so will you. Hugs!!

  • It is indeed gracious of you Terri to add my link on ‘Karma: The purpose of life’ to this post. You have a lovely blog.
    Thanks and regards.
    Dilip

  • It’s always great to read of your news. I’m so sorry to hear of the losses of the two dear kitties, and that you have been hit personally by covid. As always, I’m struck by the courage you’ve shown to take risks that most others are not willing to take. Please don’t understate what you have already done, pursuing your passions, seeking and doing work that matters to you, making contributions in your slice of the world.

    I gave up my career job to return to my home town to look after my mother five years ago. Mom is gone now, and I’m making ends meet with 3 part-time jobs. None of them is terrible; one provides real intellectual stimulation; and I’m grateful to be able to do them from home during these corona-days. But I’m a wage-earner now. I put in the hours and get paid. So I can pay the bills. It isn’t about anything huge, but there is no shame in getting by and meeting responsibilities, especially in these challenging times. Still, you’re a lot closer to discovering that sense of purpose than I am, than most people are.

    There is something to be said for choosing to live in a place you want to be; and once there, doing things you want to do. There is a title to a popular Buddhist book that comes to mind: Wherever You Go, There You Are. The longer I live, the more I realize the wisdom of the teaching that there is much to be discovered by looking within. Wherever you go geographically, there will be much to explore there.

    • You did a great thing, David, by going home to take care of your mom. You’re right. I don’t need to feel shame for doing what I need to do to support myself and my fur family. Some days, I remind myself, they are my reason for being where I am today. And while my work doesn’t pay as well as what you and I used to do, it is a role that allows me to stay at home with them all day. Thank you for leaving this comment — whenever you do, I literally hear your voice saying these words to me, and as usual, you put them into words much better than I can.

  • I am so sorry for the loss of your Callie. It is so hard to lose a pet.

    Having watched many people live for a future that never came, I admire your realization that you need to live in the present more. There is always a balance of now and the future. One of the people I admire most was my Great Aunt Hazel. She had a lot of sadness and problems in her long life, yet she said she had no regrets. She did the things she wanted to do. She achieved what she wanted to achieve.

    • Thank you, Julia. Yes, it does not get any easier, that is for sure. I’m in the middle of writing a post about her and my HoneyBun, who I just lost this past Saturday night. Two cats in three months who have been with me for a very long time. Aunt Hazel sounds like a cool lady. I’m going to remember that. Achieve what you want to achieve and do what you want to do. And then have no regrets.

  • Hey Terri,

    It’s good to hear from you again! I’ve really missed your posts.

    Yeah, I was already over 2020 in March. Three people I know, I mean knew, passed away in the past 4 months. Two were from COVID. I worry about my elderly parents who are divorced and living alone. Stressful.

    I’ve also had to deal with my family questioning my life choices in my 40s, which I’ve written about. I’m also currently living with my plans up in the air. As you know I’ve moved. I haven’t made any firm plans for what happens after my lease is up next year, assuming I still have a job, etc. I don’t know how much longer I can even keep this job / career. I want to do something else and be somewhere else, but I don’t know what/where exactly. My thoughts go in circles with options and it can be exhausting.

    I don’t know how I lived from one year to the next with no long term plans when I was younger. I was never worried about anything, somehow. Ehh, youth is wasted on the young.

    Sorry, again, to hear about Callie and HoneyBun.

    Hang in there, Terri. Enjoy having your brother nearby and giving your furballs extra snuggles.

    • I was SO GLAD to hear you had moved. The only thing that will make me happier about your situation now is to know that you have moved on from the miserable nightmare you have for a job — the workplace just seems absolutely toxic. Oh, I’m so with you on the wanting to be something else and always wanting to be somewhere else, but yes, for now, I am loving having my brother close by. When it comes to having family not understand, it is rough. I sometimes avoid telling them things until I am pretty far along in my plans, or I already have answers prepared for their inevitable questions. My mother has learned to not push me too much since she did after my divorce and we ended up not talking for eight months (my decision.) And oh God, I am so sorry to hear you lost three people this year. Oh, my heart goes out to you….

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