Category Archives: Life in my Sixties

When is a turkey more than just a big bird?

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canadian turkey

photo CC-BY jon_a_ross

The answer is when one has superstitious thoughts linking turkeys to good luck and happiness, and I do!

As far as I know, there were no turkeys in the woods where I grew up in Georgia.  I first met turkeys in the wild when I moved to New Hampshire the second time.  The first time, I lived within the four or five blocks of downtown Portsmouth, and the only ‘turkeys’ there were some of my annoying human neighbors.  I moved away to Virginia, but then returned to NH to live out in the woods where my first turkey-bird sighting filled me with such a feeling of joy that I immediately decided they had to be harbingers of good luck.  These turkeys did not look like the turkeys in the above picture, because these are common US turkeys, and the ones in NH were Canadian transplants (so I was told), introduced to create a new population of the birds after their predecessors were hunted to extinction!  Canadian turkeys are a beautiful taupe and brown color with some iridescent blue on their throats (or at least that’s how I remember them).

When I decided to move to Denver, CO, to be closer to my daughter living in SD, the NH turkeys began visiting my house in the woods for the very first time, strolling out of the woods to snack on grass and fallen birdseeds outside my picture window.  I was thrilled, but it was bittersweet because in my superstitious brain, it seemed as if they were bidding me farewell and good journey.

Imagine my excitement when I discovered that South Dakota, my newest home state, has many, many flocks of turkeys, albeit the black birds that we are used to seeing in our heads when we think: ‘turkey’.  I now live a few blocks from my daughter, and I, once again, have turkeys strolling around in my front yard!  Familiarity does not cause me to take them for granted, and I am surprised and delighted every single time I see the small flock of seven birds in front of my house (only 6 birds made it into this photo).

my turkeys one

I still think of them as my good-luck charms, and (strangely) they make me feel welcome and happy, as if I am somehow living in my best possible world.  I’m sure if the turkeys could think, they would consider me a nut–harmless but still nutty, but I think of them as a wonderful talisman to the good fortune of this chapter of my life.

(If you read my Blogging Challenges post, you know that it is a miracle that I managed to post this photo.  My daughter helped me post the picture from flickr, and I think I will be able to do that again–I made notes.  Next blogging challenge is going to be linking this blog to Really Random Thursday at Live a Colorful Life.)

Blogging Challenges

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wonder woman

Photo CC-BY bbaltimore

I would love to be Wonder Woman with my blog, but I’m not, and the longer I wait before writing and posting my next post, the less I remember about the process and the harder it becomes to begin again.

I’ve read that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert at anything.  How many hours does it take for one to become proficient, or maybe just OK?  The subtitle for my happiness blog includes reading, traveling, quilting, learning.  Of these four, I’ve easily spent many times 10,000 hours reading and learning, but it has been a very long time since I engaged with a learning curve that starts at zero!  Blogging is a zero beginning for me.

inchworm

Photo CC-BY wackybadger

Inch by inch, life’s a cinch…I need to repeat this to myself over and over as I begin again on my blogging adventure.   By some time tomorrow, I want to rediscover how to see the pictures on my camera’s memory card so that I can post a picture of the turkeys in my front yard and write about how much joy these beautiful wild birds give me.

**Photo CC-BY bbaltimore

Quote

The poet Mary Oliver asks:

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(In case this is hard for you to read: Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?  Image from Google search.)

This is a question worth asking no matter how old one is, but now that I am 64, I am pondering this in earnest.  One of my life goals is to live without regrets, and I can’t help but think I need to get BUSY so that I do not wish for this time back.  I do not want to regret that I squandered any part of my own ‘wild and precious life’, and up until now, if I’m not busy ‘doing’, I need to get off my lazy (Southern) fanny and PRODUCE something.  Two friends, who have been married for over 3 decades and are now retired, assured me lately that the way I am currently living is exactly what being retired is all about–enjoying lots of uninterrupted reading, lots of walking, sleeping later if I feel the urge, seeing and talking with friends, spending time with family.  My cousin and her husband who have been retired for a number of years (and married for almost 50 years!!) champion all of this, plus regular traveling, as satisfying life style choices.

I am newly retired (June 2013), and I’m in that stage of figuring out what retirement can feel like and what I want to do with so much freedom.  For several months, I was so euphoric because I no longer had a daily work obligation, that I loved every minute of my days.  Euphoria is finished, and probably rightly: it’s hard to sustain that level of giddiness, but what is next?  I named my blog Circles of Happiness because I want to write about the ‘circles’ that make me happy and that I believe I can sustain.  I want to discover the answers to the questions I have about this chapter of life.

I invite you to accompany me on this journey and to share your experiences with creating and building the circles of happiness in your own life.

Living my Good Life