Home > My summer month

My summer month

July 23rd, 2022 at 10:19 pm

Sometimes things at work calm down for both July and August, but this year, August is getting pretty booked, so it looks as though July is basically my summer "down" time, and I'm really only realizing this as it is drawing to a close.  

I do have several more PTO days I can take this year; just need to figure out a reasonable way to schedule them.  Generally taking a 3-day weekend (or expanding a 3-day weekend into 4 days) works best for R&R.  *Nothing* really seems to work for decluttering, other than my friend coming to visit once a year.  Tomorrow and next weekend will thus be busy preparing to make my home less cluttered before her visit the first weekend of August.  I DO intend to make decluttering a major focus for next year.  I don't seem to be able to take on more than one major non-work goal at a time at the moment given limitations both of my work schedule and my energy levels, which are impacted by Hashimoto's even though my TSH levels are normal (even improved, all while the thyroid antibodies have worsened).  

So "summer" means actually making more of an effort to see and do things with friends, seeing people maybe once a week rather than maybe once every six weeks.  Now and the holidays are the only times most of my friends hear from me.  I did call one of my friends today whom I haven't spoken to in a year or so; she told me that she turns 75 this fall and her husband turns 80, which is sort of startling since when we met, she was in her 40s and he was in his early 50s.  Makes you realize how time flies.

As a single person and  one of the few people in my local friend group who is not already retired, it means that I have to make an effort to reach out and arrange things--and these days, I generally don't have the energy that I did in my 40s and early 50s.  Since most of my friends are retired, they usually get together for lunch or to see a matinee when I'm working.  I'll have to make efforts to expand my friend group, but one thing at a time.  Last year, CFP exam; this year, focus on health, next year, decluttering so I have a place I feel good about inviting people over to, and THEN a focus on the social.

I've had a few dinners with friends, including last night and tomorrow night.  One of my friends owns my favorite local restaurant, so tomorrow night, I am going over to her restaurant (which is closed on Sundays) for a private dinner with her and her husband, and then we are going to see Where the Crawdads Sing at a nearby movie theatre--my first visit to a movie theatre since COVID began.

I also uses the summer time to catch up on doctor's visits.  I still need to get glasses following my eye doctor visit back in May.  And I had my annual primary care visit last week, generally all good news except mildly elevated LDL cholestorol, and then those TPO antibody numbers (which were based on a test that *I* ordered; he just ordered TSH and free T4).  A couple of friends had suggested that I might try going on Levothyroxine at a low level to see if it would reduce the fatigue and brain fog, but my primary care doctor didn't want to do that since my TSH numbers are normal and even improved.  I DID decide to change endocrinologists and will be seeing the Head of Endocrinology at the local hospital, who a friend recommended, but I'll have to wait until Oct. 25 to see him.

In the meantime, I realized that my increase in thyroid antibodies directly tracks with an increase in dairy consumption.  I've decreased my carbs and increased protein to lose weight, and a lot of the increased protein has been one or two servings of Greek yogurt each day.  So I decided to eliminate dairy and retest my antibodies in another 6 weeks.

Another summer experiment is that I just purchased a "Slack Block," a device for balance training.  This is a purchase I have been toying with for a couple of years, and, after hearing my friend today talk about the balance problems that both she and her husband have, and having had 3 of my colleagues who still have living parents had a parent hospitalized this year after a fall, I've decided that it is better to start being proactive about this before I develop any problems.  (I don't have any balance problems, but neither do I currently have the strength to stand up from the floor without using any hands best, I can stand without putting a hand on the floor but I do need to brace a hand on my knee to stand up--and I can only do this on one side.)

5 Responses to “My summer month”

  1. rob62521 Says:

    I'm retired, but I still have most of my primary doctor/dentist visits in the summer, since that is what I did when I was teaching.

    One thing I discovered even before I retired, many people are not good about reaching out and inviting others and if you run into them they will say, let's get together...but don't want to do the actually asking or planning. It's even worse since we've had the Pandemic.

  2. Carol Says:

    It is not frugal per se, but given Amber's happiness at her decluttering , I thought I would mention this. When I moved from a 9 room home to a much smaller condo, I was paralyzed at emptying out. Through a college friend, I learned about people who will come to your house and help you. The woman who helped me was a god send. She was not cheap but she was wonderful. I also learned from her how to part with lifetime accumulations and who will come to take things away.
    It was worth it to me...and I have maintained an uncluttered existence for 10 years now! And it helped to sell my home and I emptied 2 rented storage places. So money saving in those ways.
    Maybe, if you want time to be with friends, you need to buy help with the decluttering.
    Google: senior move managers.

  3. Dido Says:

    Rob, yes, I totally agree. I've found that, if I want to socialize, I generally need to be the one who reaches out. Most people are happily staying in their bubbles these days, and people with families always have go-to people to visit. As a single person, I don't. Many of my friends will happily arrange to meet with me if I reach out, but it is incredibly rare that anyone else reaches out to me first. That's why my main goal for retirement is to move into a retirement community.

    Carol, It's heartening to read of your success in decluttering. You echo my own thoughts--I'm really going to need to get some help with this, especially if I want to tackle it while I'm still working. That's why I'm planning on making an effort at it *next* year. This year's discretionary dollars have been spent purchasing the services of health coaches and trainers to help me along my fitness journey. Thanks for the suggestion!

  4. Wink Says:

    Socializing as a single person can definitely be tricky, especially as we get older. Add in that I am somewhat of an introvert, and it gets even harder! The best thing I did for myself was to stop putting so much pressure on myself to have this big social life. It just wasn't for me. I have 2 very close girlfriends, my brother and my cousin who make up my circle, and that is enough for me. I might get together with former co-workers from time to time but I am always the one to reach out to them, which is fine. I think your idea of eventually moving into a retirement community is a good one. You have built in social opportunities and can really get to know your neighbors and make friends.

  5. Dido Says:

    Wink, thanks, yes, that's the idea. Unfortunately, my relationship with my sister is a challenging one since she has some "issues"; and my local group of friends, which is mostly from my congregation, consists disproportionately of people who are older than me. While everyone was working, I didn't think anything of it, but now that I am the only one still working and my best friend is 78, I'm worrying about the future and the need to expand my social circle since I can't depend on people being active and engaged the way that I want to be. By the time I retire at 69 or 70, my closest friends will be between 80 and 86 years old. That thought is a little scary.

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