Handwriting on the wall

Are you happy with your handwriting?

My mom had pretty ugly handwriting (sorry Mom) but my dear friend Joan has beautiful writing. Her written words are like pieces of art.

Writing is something we learn early on or we don’t. My sons print. Cursive was not something they were taught. It was one of the teaching initiatives that came and went back in the day. Another fad the schools went through were ‘open classrooms’ as in classrooms with no walls. Just one big open family. That one was also left in the dust. And another initiative was ‘inventive spelling.’ Sometimes these pedagogical fads are introduced and fade away without making any kind of difference… except what was not taught, for example – cursive.

So, now I wonder how many of you actually use cursive when you write? So many people I know leave notes by printing (or texting  ☹) but rarely correspond using cursive.

Do you like your handwriting?

Write to me - displays my handwriting - retired in Fort Collins, CO
My handwriting – what does it say about my personality?

My handwriting seems to go back and forth between printing and writing. It’s as if I speak a foreign language but keep adding English words as well. When I am focused on writing and take my time, my handwriting is ok. Unlike Joan and Loretta and Barbara and Johnny. Their writing is beautiful. When I am writing a card, I want to get it pretty the first time so I have to slow down and pay attention. Using ‘white-out’ to remove my mistakes on a sympathy card is sort of tacky.

What really amazes me is that my handwriting from high school is the same I have now. Almost everything about me has changed over time and yet, my handwriting is almost the same.

Graphology is the study of handwriting. This science is a way to learn about the personality, character and abilities of the writer. So, that journal writing I did in high school (which is pretty much the same as today) can offer insights into my personality. The way I add spacing to words, whether I add loops to letters, and even how I cross my ‘’T’s’ speaks volumes about me according to graphology.

So, what about the population of people who never learned to write? Can studies be done on them as well? (Please let me know if you have this answer…)

I have a guest book filled with messages from people from across the globe who wrote notes after staying in my Airbnb. They are all unique, expressive and special. What makes me want to go back and explore their notes is the idea that within their words are clues to their hidden selves.

What impresses me is that I can detect whose handwriting is in front of me. I can pick out documents written by my sons, siblings, friends and relatives and get them right almost every time. Looking at a letter written my mom or dad makes me nostalgic for them. The written word it truly a link to our past – for better or worse.Just me... blogging away (example of my handwriting) Retired in Fort Collins, CO

I know this is silly, but during the holidays when cards arrive in the mail for me, I turn them over without looking at the writing or return address. I want to be surprised when I open it. Sort of like opening an unexpected gift for my birthday… I want to be surprised. Yes, I know – goofy, right?

So, now put your fingers to work and WRITE ON below in the comment section and leave some words behind!

What Does Your Handwriting Say About You?

Related to this article:

 

Happy 2020 to one and all!

Musings from a fraud…

Ok, lets get right to the heart of the matter.

I’m a fraud. For years I’ve been convinced that I had a book or a series of books in me to write if I only had enough quiet time. Or the right space. Or time alone. Or the focus. Or whatever. And in fact, I have a really good book in me. But you may never get to read it, I’m sorry to say.

And I wanted to learn the play the mandolin if I only had enough quiet time. Or the right space. Or time alone. Or the focus. Or whatever.

I wanted to learn how to draw. That would be something I could do if I only had enough quiet time. Or the right space. Or time alone. Or the focus. Or whatever.

As you may have guessed for the past 8 weeks I had them all. I had the time, space, time alone, focus and whatever.

I did not write my masterpiece. I did not learn to play the mandolin. I did not learn how to draw.

What did I do?

I went outside and walked everyday.

I sat in quiet and drank my cup of hot tea without having to get up and reheat it.

Shadow of tree on fence in spring during isolation time of coronavirusI watched time pass by watching where the shadows from the movement of the sun landed on my fence.

I pulled weeds.

I watched Ted Talks and kept digging deep to learn, understand and grow. Loved this one by Bill Gates.

I planted flowers, tomatoes and peppers, then I covered them up on cold nights.

I read. And I shared my books with other friends who love reading as well.

I listened to new indie music on youtube.com and found new artists. Thank you to Alexrainbird Music)

I listened to books. I loved listening to Tom Hanks read The Dutch House written by Ann Patchett.

I baked bread.

I wrote letters to dear friends (send me your address if you want me to send you a letter too.)

I blogged.

I zoomed. A lot. I stayed connected with my Rotary Club and visited several other meetings and listened to their speakers.

I stayed in close contact with my family through Facebook Messenger video and Facetime.

I met on video with long time friends who I used to waitress with back in the day when I was a young mom. Those connections are still going strong. Amen for that!

SOOOOOOOO

– I’m going to cut myself some slack and honor what I’ve achieved.

No written book for the world to read (not yet anyhow) but lots of blogging.

No mandolin but listened to tons of music (lots of Indie music as well as ‘blow out the speaker’ loud tunes.)

No drawing except for doodles, but I painted my porch swing and added color to the front of my house with accents.

I think my time away from others has helped me put perspective on what matters.

Books, for sure.

Music, always.

Color, of course.Mornings with Margie

Walking, and movement.

Family. Friends. Contact.

And writing words in whatever form they need to be.

If I had to grade myself during my time of isolation I’d give myself a pat on the back. Actually, if I could possibly make it happen, I’d find a way to hug myself. One of those long hugs that you wish you could give to someone near and dear to you. One of those, ‘don’t let me go’ hugs. The kind where the other hand is rubbing up and down the shoulders and back. You know … touch.

That’s been missing during this time. Physical contact. People.

I hope during your time of isolation you were able to find what matters most and focus all your attention there. And let the other stuff slide away. What matters most to me ais the knowledge that I am enough just like I am. And you are too. I’m not sure but that sounds like something Mr. Rogers would say. I miss Mr. Rogers too.

xo

Related:

Ted Talk – The Next Outbreak? We’re not ready yet.

The Delight of Being Retired 

AlexRainBird Music 

Instagram #happilyafterretirement

Twitter @margie_merc

 

 

 

Sit? Walk? Visit?

It’s time my friends! Well, ok… it’s not really time …but internally and seasonally it’s time for me to slowly reemerge.

cup of tea and a cinnamon roll

The global pandemic that we have avoided is still alive (very much so in the US since we have no testing and it will continue to move around like a pinball) and present in our world.

I have been good. Staying home. Minding my garden. Baking. Alone (sad face) but safe.

However, I am venturing out more. In my mind, I am traveling ALL over the place. In reality, I am wearing a mask everywhere I go (as mandated.) I am going to the grocery store very early and infrequently. I am washing my hands.

AND, I am doing other things too. I donated blood yesterday. Tomorrow I will work at a food collection site. Next week I have a dentist appointment.

I am cautiously emerging. Baby steps with lots of baby wipes.

I had brunch at my house with two friends last week. Sharing food. Laughing. Communing…

Yes, this coronavirus is still alive and well in my world and I am careful in every way possible. But I also am ready to go to a library, coffee shop, concert and party again. To gather in groups and share common experiences. To laugh and cry together.

I am so ready, aren’t you?

White chair on porch in Fort Collins, CO at HappilyafterRetirement.com
Come sit with me
Happily after retirement , sitting in an Adirondack chair facing water early morning in Grand Lake, CO.

Kicking & Screaming into retirement

My friend Sara and I took a walk last week to get caught up in person. No texts, no phone calls just a walk and talk. Like we used to do. She is almost ready to retire. In fact, she can retire right now but she hesitates because if she does, she will be stuck at home with her husband.

Happily after retirement , sitting in an Adirondack chair facing water early morning in Grand Lake, CO.
There is beauty in every moment – we only need to take the time and breathe it in.

The man she chose to marry is not very nice. When she does something forgetful, he pounces on that and just rants and raves about what a loser she is. During our walk, she told me that in the past month she mindlessly clicked something on her computer and it was compromised. She took it to a computer tech and had to get it wiped and cleaned. She felt so stupid. Her husband won’t let her forget that she screwed up again. He demeans her and takes away any confidence she has in herself.

Sara is one of the first friends I made when I moved to Colorado. She and I have been though births, deaths, divorces and remarriages. When she told me that Eddie proposed and she planned to marry him, I asked her why?

I realized during our walk that she didn’t intend to take any action, she just needed to talk through what was going on, to list offences, to explain retirement possibilities and to unload.  Once I understood my role, I was able to shake my head when needed, offer condolences and some levity here and there.

Happily after retirement, enjoying life in the early morning in Grand Lake, CO.
To find joy where you are, in this very moment, is a thing of beauty.

I know of others like her who would retire tomorrow if they could change their home life. One amazing friend of mine worked to the age of 68 so that she could avoid being home with her unemployed husband. When she finally did retire, it was because she was diagnosed with a life-threatening disease.

Ok, this is the part where I let my naiveté show. Why not stand up and say no? No more abuse? No more put downs? No more hostility? These women and many others are actually the breadwinners and yet, they allow themselves to be pushed around at home – whereas in the workplace they are given the respect due the position.

Do I have to walk in Sara’s shoes and take the verbal abuse in order to speak honestly to her? And if I were in her shoes, would I have the strength, determination and financial means to walk away? And could I walk away … from yet another marriage?

My marriage had none of the negativity and toxic environment that she is exposed to on a daily basis.  In the past, I would speak freely about what she could do, and suggest steps and actions she could to help her move away, or forward depending on what she needed. I send her links to podcasts, youtube video suggestions and books that would help with self esteem, financial information and know-how.

So, this time when she shared her world with me, I understood that she only needed to vent. She wasn’t ready to act and maybe she would never be ready.  I decided to be a good listener and give her the safe place to speak freely.

Is that all she needs?

My heart is heavy because I am so happy in retirement. I am hiking, taking drives to see the beautiful autumn colors, taking daily walks, visiting libraries, reading, making friends, traveling and enjoying my space.

What are your thoughts about this? Know people like Sara? Any words of wisdom for her or me?

Many thanks.

************

Keep Reading:
 – How to practice mindful aging
–  Picking up the pieces
6 brave personal stories about domestic abuse

sunset over rocky mountains
To be at peace with yourself is a true and wonderful gift.