Posted in health, pandemic, Projects, retirement, Self Care

Fall Focus

The blog sits quite quiet while the words, thoughts and emotions are swirling around my head at breakneck speed. Nothing wants to solidify into a sentence of consequence. The focus flairs and then falls short as I bounce off to chase another squirrel thought.

As summer fades into fall this is, apparently, a usual occurence for me. Or so says my other half who’s spent 40 falls with me. I flounder along for a while and eventually find my way through. A part of it is actually just a lack of “to do’s” as the gardens, yard and construction projects demand less time as the season winds down. There is still lots of Jack Frost activity underway but there are now spaces in between that time.

Then like I said squirrel. I wanted to sew my granddaughter a top but the printer won’t work. So then I spent a couple of mornings working on a scrap book photo album but I can’t find the power point with the bike info. So both those items sit unfinished which drives me a bit crazy. Then I pulled some material out to make two little wall hangings but that’s as far as that got. No picture of that space because, for me, it’s messy.

Now it’s nice out again and I don’t want to be inside but I don’t want to go pull pea and bean plants (boring). Plus I checked my long term “learning” list and decided it was time to work on more carpentry skills. So I’ve started rebuilding a $20 old cupboard on a shoe string budget; turning a sow’s ear into a silk purse. Or at least a storage cabinet for the attic space. My plan was to repaint it but now the wood looks good and …. Who knows.

About that list (see squirrel)I also reviewed and pondered. I feel like I am too glued to my phone and Instagram and it’s time to find a new focus. I should read a book but that’s counter productive as I am a binge reader and get so glued to the book the house could catch on fire and I might not notice…

Back to the discord.. (bad squirrel) I think it stems from an article I read in the paper about a month ago. It was a western Canadian column writer who’s names I didn’t note but what she wrote stuck with me.

It was about financial freedom for retirement and how the financial guys are wrong. If you didn’t travel before you retired you won’t after (Covid aside there — ie in a normal time), if you had a pile of books to read before you retired you will still have a pile of unread books a year later (ah yeah). If you are planning on getting fit when you retire, a year later not much will have changed in your fitness level. It went on and on but you get the drift – we are creatures of habit and we don’t change easily. I found her attitude snippy like it’s a failing. Then I realized it’s just because this fits me to a T and it makes me feel defensive.

Where am I going and what am I doing? Am I living my best life today? Am I just feeling unsettled because it is fall or because I am “empty”?

I’ve been pondering this for a few weeks now. Time to check into how my values and my daily living matches up and sort through the issues. Time for a report card review. All with a backdrop of Covid19 and daily numbers climbing.

Stay tuned for the answer to these “fun” fall questions. I’ve rambled on quite long enough for one post. Loads of squirrel moments here and in real life!

And then…. 30 mins later trying to find spell check on the new word press editor and I am non the wiser!



I have had a love of the written word for my entire life. It's no surprise that eventually I found a platform where I could write. It's random; sometimes funny, occasionally sad, maybe even at times from anger and I lean towards creative photography and hands on crafts. I have a few blogs that high light these interests.

12 thoughts on “Fall Focus

  1. Hi, Bernie – I absolutely love that you have a ‘long time learning list’. I also greatly appreciate the hard questions that you ask yourself (and thus, in turn, ask us). I agree that for everything there is a season. And, like you, we often need a break in between seasons simply to catch our breaths!


    1. When I semi retired Donna I sat down one afternoon and made a few lists so that I would keep a focus and not just “squirrel” my days away. Some were easier than others (master French bread) and some sit unstarted to date (although I am only semi retired so there is that and genealogy is complex). I think it also stems from my professional career where each year we had to set goals for educating ourselves and then turn that into actual learning. But yes I wonder if it is also like a “deep breath” moment between the seasons. I must admit I am really looking forward to going back up to the attic to sew. Each season does have bonuses. Thanks for stopping by and commenting Donna.


  2. Hmmm…. we are insync….

    And btw — is your squirrel related to mine? Sure sounds like it! 🙂

    maybe we need to form a Squirrel Club — sort of here I’ll be your squirrel catcher, chaser, coraller if you be mine! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My squirrel is usually kept fairly in check Louise with lots of lists, projects and work. But every once in a while it escapes and then my mind is ascunder. I really do think it’s the changing of the season and just a time to re balance. And… as per usual I am my own worst enemy and have fallen off a couple of figurative wagons lately (heavy sigh). You seem like you are focused on creating but that, I know, is only the surface and what you post. Reading a blog someone wrote is not the same as actually knowing what they are going through. Thanks for stopping in and good luck with that squirre.


  3. The end of summer has always been the time for me to cast about for new projects too, Bernie. It’s the start of another school year and I should be preparing to be learning something, gosh darn it! 😁


    Liked by 1 person

    1. So Deb what are you going to challenge yourself to learn this year? Did this new “butter book” give you any ideas about directions to spin off into it? Where you a teacher — is that why you equate fall with school and learning? I just recognize it as a new season and once I have caught my breath and re balanced all will be good. Thanks again for dropping in and interacting with me here!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No, I wasn’t a teacher. I just always loved school AND challenging myself. In fact I have signed up for 3 fall courses at Vancouver Island University’s ElderCollege, and I am currently doing a Coursera course on Indigenous Canada.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yup, a “college” for retirees! The classes are going to be conducted through Zoom (thanks, Covid-19) so no longer limited to those only in the vicinity of the university. (Maybe it was always this way, but I don’t think so.) I could have signed up even if I was still in Ontario. Check it out online if interested, Bernie.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Even in listless times, the time still passes. I am with you, Bernie. My focus keeps fading in and out. I do little snippets of things instead of tackling those big projects. Focus yesterday was on the beautiful summer day and watching my blue jays fight with the squirrels over the acorns in my burr oak. As to retirement changing what you did in your working life, I am now far more fit than I was, reading more books than I did (still not enough) and if it was not for Covid, would be travelling more than I used to. Fall is a funny time, as I think we all feel the season slipping away. Enjoy your weekend. Allan

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am impressed with all you manage to put into one day Allan! There must not be much down time in your days and very little TV. I am still working (anywhere from 8 to 32 hours/week) so still do have to balance that in as well. I definitely need to increase my fitness and reading levels. Now that fall is here I will definitely be more creative as well. I am not sure, that for me, Covid actually bears any factors in here or not. Perhaps, as you said, it is just the slipping away of the season. Thanks for the thoughtful comment Allan.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Funny, I don’t feel I fit enough into each day and am easily dissuaded from doing a home project, like yesterday when it rained. I do have down time and watch likely way too much TV. Must be my Project Manager training that makes it look like I squeeze a lot into every day. Sometimes I look back and wonder how I fit in working 60-70 hour weeks, doing all the stuff we did with out kids and also completing my home projects. Stay well. A


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