There are those who may hate me for saying this…

I just said to him the other day that for the first time in 30 years – I’m not dreading winter.  Don’t assume that means I’m looking forward to it.  I loved snowfall while living in the country.  One of my favorites things is to be outside – bundled up – when those giant snow flakes are falling..especially in the country with the snow pack and nearly total silence – you could almost hear the snow.   But this is the first year that the forecast of snow shouldn’t send me into an anxiety attack and depression because this year I don’t have to know what is happening out there on the roads, call helicopters, worry that an emergency worker is going to be hit by a car, answer the question – How are the roads – from people who have lived in Iowa a lifetime and know how the roads are when it is snowing.  But here’s the problem.

When hearing about the snowfall forecast for Iowa and seeing the footage on the news of the snowfall in Minnesota, I have a sense of missing something.  After acupuncture a couple weeks ago, the chiropractor told me that I need to learn to channel the anxiety – instead of letting it overwhelm me, I need to find a constructive/non anxiety producing thing to do like play with Legos to give my hands and mind something to work on when I start feeling anxious.  It is such a strange feeling to have the memory and 30 years of habit and now nothing!  This lack of action actually causes me anxiety…I should be doing something…there is almost a sense of loss.  I had no idea I would feel this way.  Toward the end of my career, I was so overwhelmed with stress that I hated my daily life.  Would I want to feel that way again.  A resounding NO…but I do miss the adrenaline rushes.  I know that if I were back at the console for 5 minutes, I would easily fall into the angst and overwhelming stress immediately…but, I apparently need to find something to do to get back on track…to feel relieved, relaxed and hopeful…

Kim Balmer – this is no way reflects on the rewards of retirement.  Our conversation today about a day in October of 1997 just helped me figure out what I was feeling.

Until next time….

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