Horoscope for Today

9.4.18: Let your mind wander, and make sure to write down the peaks and valleys of your journey. You are exploring new mental territories, and they demand being recorded and shared. Take heart if you experience writer’s block. Slow down and pace yourself through your cerebral landscape. The words may not come quickly, but they will be worth their weight in gold when they finally arrive. You are crafting a powerful message that the entire world needs to hear.

It’s right about one thing, the peaks and valleys!  Every day has been a “what now?” since the kids graduated from high school about four years ago.  You really never think they’ll grow up when you’re in the middle of it, or that you’ll grow up.  Never picture getting out of that sleepless baby time, grade school, the sports, the milestones, the awards that are all now a blur in time.  It’s like someone played 52 pick up with your life and the cards are all supposed to stack back up when it’s over (and you end up being 52 somewhere along the way).

That’s where I’ve been, finding some footing.  In the meantime, I’m still a “mom,” as well as a wife and daughter.  The first thing I did when I was close to 50 was to quit my job at the golf course to reinvent myself, I did not want to age in front of everyone.  I worked in the pro shop, it was the perfect job for my schedule, my hobby, my co-workers were great.  We did get a new GM that made my work life hell.  He was the wrong kind of good ol’ boy, never stepping in to help only to criticize.  That made my decision a lot easier.

When my youngest graduated from high school I thought I could find my dream job which was going to be flying for a regional airline.  Mandatory retirement is 62 for pilots, I still had ten years in me.  My husband wanted me to start the drone company for his business with my pilot’s license instead, so that’s the direction I headed with it.  Now we have 2, 25 year olds replacing me.  The drones were fun, it’s just that the physical part of the job sites were getting hard for me (think bathrooms).  I also lost a drone in Costa Rica following my friend surfing while my spotter wasn’t spotting.  It was kind of a humiliating experience all the way around, they all treated me like I didn’t know what I was doing after that.  I left with broken ribs and no Hal 3, my purpose for being there was nil.

Now it’s time for new goals I guess.  Scratch the regional pilot, now I’m too old.  The one goal I did achieve was to get all my sailing certifications and buy a boat, so it’s not like I’ve been doing nothing in the meantime.  Really, it’s time to re-group for sunset goals (gulp).

  1. Where do I eventually want to live?
  2. Logistically, where do I need to be for my mom?
  3. Do I even have anymore “hopes & dreams” in me?

Those are the top 3 right now…not to say I’ve been sitting around either, last week I had my 1st piano lesson in about 15 years hoping for my musical breakthrough.  There still might be time for me to be a rock star?  Haha.   I skipped a Half Moon Bay sailing trip for a relaxing day on Angel Island hiking instead and was glad I did, it looked foggy and hectic.  One of the things that’s for sure not on my bucket list is living on a boat to sail around the world and 5 knots.  Love the boat, love sailing, love my bathtub when I’m done.

 

Piano Lessons

Next stop, Bingo.  Really though, I’m totally unmotivated and stuck with piano let alone not getting any better.  It could be the pieces I’m playing are just way too hard for me?  Lately I’ve been hacking away at Phantom of the Opera.  When I was at my mom’s house I thought I’d bring my book and practice on her small piano with broken keys.  That wasn’t working at all, I went to go get a keyboard for her house and she wanted to come along.

What a disaster!  She thought I was better than I am 😦  While I was checking the weight of the keyboards with my Phantom music, I could tell how dissapointed she was in my playing ability after playing for so frigg’in long.  Taking my family to a store with me has always been taking the spending police along, saves me a bunch of money but it’s totally annoying when I’m on a mission to actually get something.

In this case, my ability made my mom question why I pick such hard pieces?  OK, so I suck, but the whole purpose is to keep my brain working and be able to focus for an hour.  I’m in a piano group that meets every few months, just the fact I can get through a piece without my fingers shaking is a miracle.

I took piano lessons as a kid for several years, my parents rented a piano for me.  The highlight of my career was accompanying the choir at my 8th grade graduation.  What people don’t understand is that when you’re practicing, it doesn’t sound like anything yet.  You’re just trying to get the fingers working, I’m always screwing up what key I’m actually in the first couple go arounds.

My piano went back to the shop after my dad heard me practicing one day and told me I sucked after years of playing.  As an adult, I realize the $15 a month was taking from the beer money.  Adulthood also brings with it the fact that you can enjoy things without having to be a concert pianist, not all roads lead to fame and fortune.

My great aunt Maggie (Grandma’s sister) gave my brother and I her coin collection about 20 years ago.  She had gone to UC Santa Barbara music school, most likely one of the first to graduate in the 1940’s?  She played the violin, then became a teacher.  One of the coins was worth the price of my piano, almost to the sales tax…I went for it.  It’s below a mirror in my living room that had been in my grandparents house my whole life.  Although I didn’t inherit any music ability, it’s kind of my time with my aunt and grandma when I sit down at the piano.

If I were to live by the rule of not doing something because I’m not good at it, I’d never do anything.

I’ll have to see how this goes with the lessons, it’s been about 15 years since I’ve had one. Life happens, getting in the way of practice time.  The years I missed my piano group was from not having any time to practice and not wanting to torture the group without it.  I’m one who has to practice, it’s not natural at all for me.

The little ditty above is from Midnight Cowboy, a piece I played for a recital as a kid.  Leave it to me to play that as a kid, not knowing that movie was about a gigalo who caters to women my age now…haha.

Heading “Home”

I haven’t been to Manhattan Beach all summer, not that that’s a big loss or I haven’t been busy with other things.  If I don’t get out on the water sailing once a week, it’s twice.  MB seems like it’s not “my town” anymore.  I see all the FB pictures of people still looking awesome in bikini’s in their 50’s. The one thing I wish I hadn’t missed is the English Beat, that would have been fun!  I might have been creepy Heller showing up by myself.

I head down today w/ my new electric folding bike, a Pedego.  There are a few hills I avoid or walk my bike up when I’m down there, be nice for that jump start up the hills.  When you fold it up, it kinda looks like a wheelchair?  The cover of the brochure looks like a senior citizen demographic (which is me?).  I’m still fully capable of riding a bike!!  I rode it without the battery about half way home from the store and then tried it out when I got to some hills to get used to it.

There are two places I could use the bump start, those beach hills and getting up to the Golden Gate Bridge.  When I was a teen I had a moped to park at the beach to avoid parking.  Uber has been convenient getting around, the extra traffic is very noticeable now.   I have a love/hate with Uber, it’s starting to remind me of the traffic and cab drivers in Ciaro – they drive like crap.

The other great thing about it is it’s a folding bike, it can go in the boat or plane for transportation when I get someplace.  The hard part is, I can’t lift  it.  I did it at the store and felt it for 2 days afterward.  That part of getting older is really hard for me, I used to be so strong.  When I dock, pull the plane out, now with the bike I always need help.  Because I’m older too, it’s not like I’m the hot girl asking for help.  Last week I was waiting for someone to walk by to help me getting the boat out and a guy said, “Sorry, I’m in a hurry and can’t help.”  Late to sail?  There’s really no such thing.  I told him I didn’t need help and waited for anyone else helpful to walk by.  I got Cap’t Ron with a cig hanging out of his mouth, still better than banging the boat into the side of the dock.

Excited to just dive in the water again, can’t do that here it’s too cold.  It’s weird, lately when I do things it really reminds me of being a kid.  That fog yesterday while we were sailing with sort of choppy waters always reminds me of going out on boats when I was in grade school.  Going in the water in MB reminds me of heading down for a dip after school that was a few blocks from the beach.  Nice to relive some good memories, now I can finally ride my bike up that beach hill!!

 

Tapering

It’s embarrassing how much Garmin stuff I have, tracking my every move.  The newest is a marine watch that supposedly links to my auto pilot on the boat that also has a heart rate monitor.  Wow does Garmin have all my info!  When Apple came out with the watch, I was convinced the HRM on that would notify Facebook when you died and post a little montage of your life.  That still could be true, there’s no doubt they’re collecting data for the future while we’re paying for them to have it.

It’s totally worth it though, I love this stuff!  My back has been a lot better, I can still feel it and am trying to be careful.  I started swimming and riding my bike again.  I’m not a cyclist, I have a gorgeous touring bike I haven’t been able to ride because of my back.

This Garmin is giving me all my swimming stats, for being down for almost a year I’m still in pretty decent shape.  My Vo2 (whatever that is) is for a 30 year old.  Without training too much, the speed’s not too bad either.  Not like I EVER want to compete again, just nice to know.

Every time I think of joining masters swim again I think of my experience in my 40’s when I swam.  There were two women in the pool who were faster than me, one who’s daughter now swims for USC.  This one woman gave me a birthday card for my 40th saying, “You’re faster than you think you are.”  It’s hard for me to tell, Walnut Creek is to swimming as Manhattan Beach is to volleyball (as Marin is to rowing, I rowed there for a few years).  A friend of mine has a daughter that played VB in college close by.  He was in the olympics for VB when I started rowing and found out Marin was a top rowing club.  I said, “I grow up in MB that’s #1 in VB, move to WC and join a masters program where it’s #1 for swimming, then join Marin rowing.  Where can I live where I’m #1?”  I’m sure he couldn’t relate, it was still fun to complain to a former olympian while watching his daughter’s match.

The incident that ended my swimming hopes and made me feel 12 years old was due to a parent race at one of my kids swim meets when they were little.  We had morning masters before the kids practices, I was asked to be on the A team for the parents race.  This was a “for fun” race, not going in any record books.  It was a 4 person relay, as soon as one person touches the wall the next one goes off the blocks for 25meters.  I can make it across a pool taking maybe one breath, top of my game.

Minutes before the race, a few women decided that they wanted to race too, a B team was put together last minute…and I mean last minute.  Suddenly, there were 8 of us walking up to the blocks when our heat was called.  To my horror, one of my “teammates” switched me up AS WE WERE WALKING TO THE BLOCKS.  I guess one of the last minute swimmers was a known triathlete, so I got bumped back.  This happened to me once before, in 7th grade when I called a VB game and when it came to our match my partner said she wanted to win and booted me for someone else.  I’ve hated both of them ever since.

The A team got 1st (of course), my B team got 2nd.  You all remember the City meet of 2003?  Yeah, thought so.  I do have a few gold medals for rowing, even that was mental torture of who gets what seat and what position was the “best.”  I was told my seat was for the lamest rower, I was 4th seat, apparently along for the ride?

At 55, just glad my back is feeling good enough to hop in and out of the pool.  Lifting a boat to put in the water hurts just thinking about it, same with golf.  I have many o’ competing in golf story as well.  My competing days are over, it’s all about getting to my golden years on my own 2 feet.  I’m closer to that than being 12, or even 40 now.

Great.

Water Weekend!!

Getting a lot of sailing in this week, took a crew to Sam’s yesterday for lunch in Tiberon.  Somehow I joined the cruising crew every other Friday and just found out yesterday it’s a retired crew, most along for the ride.  My morning shift at the golf course was all retired too (because really, that’s who has time to play golf).  I loved those guys, they were great to me.

The hardest part of that is docking with limited help.  I can dock on my slip without a problem, it’s the currents and winds everywhere else that makes it hard (impossible) for me to do it myself.  I anticipated it to be a problem beforehand, one of the other Friday cruise out captains drove there and was at the dock at the same time to help.

Luckily, I’m pretty used to having a crew of non-sailors.  I still put people to work, just make it easy by jamming over with no tacks or gybes…and jam we did!!  It was 25 knot winds, I had to reef right away.  On the way back I just pull the jib and go downwind with no gybes to the marina.

It’s a big responsibility taking people out, I’m coming pretty close to getting a captains license and wonder if I want to do that and assume that responsibility with paid passengers?  For now, I’ve been enjoying these cruises.  It’s challenging, I also know one day I’m going to be a passenger unable to help and I hope someone lets me ride along sailing.  I’ve already had that happen with my back before I bought my boat, I signed up for a crew list and said I was a passenger only.

Today I’m taking my boat out as the committee/party boat for a windsurfing regatta in Berkeley, that’ll be fun!  I can just kick back after we anchor, I love that.  Spend the night on the boat and head out for a father’s day sail tomorrow.

It’s weird, I’m kind of a “tween” again.  Not a kid, not an adult.  I’m starting that passage into old age, what’s it going to look like?  Trying my best to stay in shape, I know one day I might have to give up the things I love.  I know what it’s like to have my legs give out from under me, or not be able to physically help out.

Until then, I’ll just keep plugging along.  I’ve been listening to country music lately, these lyrics I’m listening to sum things up nicely:

Get Along
Get along, on down the road
We’ve got a long long way to go
Scared to live, scared to die
We ain’t perfect but we try
Get along while we can
Always give love the upper hand
Paint a wall, learn to dance
Call your mom, buy a boat
Drink a beer, sing a song
Make a friend, can’t we all get along

Letting go of my business

The last 2 nights, my head hits that pillow and I’m out for 10 hours.  I woke up from a dream where the guy we hired to replace me gave me my old business card and had sharpied out the name of my business and re-named it.  I was wading through the office (like I was moving in water) to rip everyone a new one, then I woke up.

When I coached volleyball at the local high school, the freshman coach was always trying to pull a fast one on me.  One time he called my cell to tell me to go to a different gym, where we would have missed our fist match.  He then showed up as “assistant coach” for the tournament.  It was an interesting move.  He’d say the girls and parents hated me, wished he was their coach, it was nuts.  The time I put into coaching vs the money I made ended up being about $1 an hour, then I had to deal with this prick.  Once I figured out he wanted to switch for me to coach freshman the next year, I was all in…let him deal with 12, 15 year old girls.

That’s kind of how I feel about handing over this drone business, lucky there’s a business to hand over since many have folded already.  After 3 years, my heart just isn’t into it anymore.  I read somewhere that there’s “innovator burnout” where usually the person who starts something isn’t the one who carries it to success.  I’d wake up at intervals in the night to render the photos and have to stare into my laptop everywhere for work.  It’s nice to get an email asking for pilots to fly a plane up to get an oil change and say, “I can do that.”

It’s nice to have some freedom, to just take off for 3 weeks?  I’ve never been able to do that my whole life.  Still haven’t quite adjusted to getting back from my trip or into any kind of routine besides writing every morning.  My back is good enough to work out again, trying to get my swim routine on track.  Swimming is my oil, coffee is my drive.