Seeking Joy, Less Drudgery in My New Year!

Starting My New Year (#54) I Promise to Listen to My Inner Child A Lot More!

Playing on a giant adirondack chair waiting for my chocolate-vanilla-twist
with chocolate sprinkles!

February 25, 2019: I turn 54 today. I’m cool with it. It’s better than the alternative, they say. I’ve had a lot of major changes in the past nine or so months that have made me appreciate how time keeps on tickin’, tickin’ into the future. Changes, huge changes are making me take stock of where I am and what I am doing. What do I want to do? What do I really need to do?
I keep coming back to “Choose Joy over Drudgery” whenever possible. If it’s fun or going to bring good health and happiness– and I have a choice–why not listen to my ten-year-old self and choose what she would choose? Something fun. I’m tired of being “too serious” and “on.” Now, after major life changes, I want to chill out a little and be as carefree as a fifth-grader!

One of the biggest changes in my life recently was my husband’s retirement from 31 years on the Middletown Police Department this past summer. It’s really been a couple’s career or lifestyle. Both of us experiencing over three decades of the ups and downs of a noble, exciting, gratifying, yet- sometimes-thankless, public-service career. We’ve dealt with changing schedules, unforeseen emergencies—in short, just a little bit of stress. It has often ramped up anxiety in me, forcing me to my knees. Not a bad thing to pray to keep the fear at bay. Still, over the years, I’ve watched in horror, the change in some of the public sentiment regarding police. When Sean first started in the mid-80s, police were highly respected and revered. In recent times, they’ve been hated and even hunted down, killed in the line of duty! I am beyond grateful and relieved he/we made it to retirement.

Sean retired from 31 years of service on the Middletown Police Department in August 2018.

No more second phone going off at all hours. No more dangerous SWAT calls (although I know he misses those kinds of adenine scenes the most!) He took a new, basically stress-less job right away as a resource officer at an elementary school. Now instead of managing 83 cops in the patrol division, he high-fives the pre-K to 4th graders as they come in and out of the building. He makes sure visitors are signed-in and accounted for when they leave. He is currently unarmed (which nowadays I wish he was), but he says he finds it less stressful than carrying. I will keep praying for his safety (and that of staff and students there). It is great to see him come home from work smiling, sharing highlights of his day—something funny or cute a kid said or did. Now he gets 13 weeks off including all holidays, weekends and summers. Not a bad gig!


Another huge life-altering thing is that in the past nine months, I’ve gone to seven funerals. Some were relatives of friends, others distant relations, but some were oh, so very close to home and heart. My mother’s husband Paul died in early August, followed by my sweet Aunt Wanda, who died after a short illness just two weeks later. And then, flooring me to the core, my Dad died very unexpectedly two days before Thanksgiving. I found him in his easy-chair. His passing was and still is so surreal to me. We’ve had such a long, bitter/sweet journey, but he died with so much dignity. I’m doing better with my grief. I just didn’t expect it to hit so hard. I’ve been coming up from it by journaling, taking care to just “be” in moment. There’s lots more to unspool.

Me and my Dad, June 2018

On the upside, my siblings and I have been banded together like never before since my Dad’s passing. That is no small thing, and I am so incredibly in awe and eternally grateful.

So, as I start my New Year (as my Dad would explain that’s what one’s birthday was, a personal New Year), I am in a fresh, contemplative, if not an odd place. I’m not really sure which way I am going, or what’s next. So, maybe it is a good time to just listen to my inner child and follow her lead for a while.

What are some of the ways you play? Have fun?

8 Responses to “Starting My New Year (#54) I Promise to Listen to My Inner Child A Lot More!”

  1. Marilynn S Turner

    Our lives evolve as we age and we’re somehow born into a new version of our selves. The transition s can be hard, but the change and new beginnings can be refreshing.

    Reply
  2. james Brennan

    Hi ! How are you  and your husband, I’m sure I met you both in a bar in Dublin (Ireland)  called, O’Donoghues ! A few years back now.I see your husband is retired now, and hopefully enjoying same.I hope you enjoyed your trip to Ireland that time and I’m sure allways Welcome to our Fair City. Take Care J.M.Brennan.

    Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

    Reply
  3. Peggy McBride

      Dear Tana, I enjoyed reading your take accounting of your life review.  Remember Socrates saying  “A Life not examined is not a life worth living”.  We, who like to write are not guilty of that.  I loved the picture of the two of you.  He makes quite a formidable  figure.   I particularly sympathized with the amount of funerals you attended recently and of course losing your father.  It was the two year period when I was 43 and 44 that I lost both my parents and about five uncles and aunts and it seemed the whole generation was gone.  I remember how that felt. I hope your children are doing well.   Happy birthday belatedly.  I now am at an age where I count my half birthdays and had one in February.   Tana, I would like to get  back my fiction writing that you have.  What would be convenient for you?  I would be willing to drive up to your area.  We could meet in the Higganum library where we used to gather.  Think I remember how to get there.  We could get together for coffee or lunch somewhere also.  You haven’t been attending the meetings lately so don’t know when I would have the opportunity to see you otherwise.   I would like to get it back on the closet shelf.  I am now writing an end of life journal called “The Hazardous Road Downhill”.  Doesn’t that sound like fun? Affectionately, Peggy  

     

    Reply
    • tanjabuzzimoriarty

      Hi Peggy. Thanks for the thoughtful reply, sage and wisdom. I have been reading you manuscript and will get it to you by the end of the month. I promise.

      Reply

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