Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Retirement: On Being Normal

I often wonder if there is any such thing as "normal". Is there actually someone in this world that gets up, does what is average, sleep the average number of hours and spend the average time driving, eating, with their children. Who are those people and where do they live?

I for one watch movies like About Schmidt see myself in so many of the situation pictured I find the characters not only average but boring. Am I like that? Maybe. I could even see myself doing what he did when his car quit working...abandon it and just drive that awful RV everywhere. In fact, it looked so average that I didn't even notice what he was doing until a long way into the movie.

Three weeks ago in Munich...
We traveled during the month of April in Europe and returned to Arizona where we battled jet lag as we packed to return home to Oregon. Average had become a life living out of a suitcase, showering in other people's showers and walking endless miles on a wounded knee. I was out of my shampoo and didn't have any dental floss. The hotel lotions was not good and finding gluten free food was a challenge...my "new" normal was not what it had been. But I was happy and loved every bit of it. At the time it didn't seem out of the ordinary.

Now we are back in Oregon. We are sleeping in a king sized bed, using real drawers and hangers and I have my own shampoo, shower, dental floss and so much more. I would say that it is normal but then there is our family that is remodeling their kitchen and sharing ours, their teen daughter with her new boyfriend in tow and a Marine Corp grandson that is engaged cooking his fiance a birthday carrot cake in our kitchen early Sunday morning. Our neighbor is asleep on his back lounge in his underwear (he is 84 and not well) and another neighbor has a son-in-law staying with her that smokes while sitting on the tailgate of his pickup pretty much all day. Oh and did I mention that my son-in-law barbeques sitting down?

I have so forgotten what normal is...do you have any ideas?
back to my old normal!


  1. Normal? I am only a boy of 65 but I know solidly and permanently what normal is: Normal is always some new kind of normal we've never been before. I believe the lovely singing humorist, Alan Sherman said it best:"Normal...might be designed by a committee. You know, each person puts in a pretty color and it comes out gray." Obviously the individual, freedom-loving, useful normal comes from within. You're on the right track, Barbara.

    1. George, I always love it when you stop by. Your comments are thoughtful and, best of all, smart. I loved the "gray" design for normal created by a committee...wonderful.


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