~ Intertwining Lives ~

Memoirs, Life's Journey, Fitness/Health, Hiking/Trailing!

A Redefined Life

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It’s been awhile since I last posted.  I had written about retirement and the need to redefine my life.  At the tender age of 69, I believe that I have finally redefined my life and feel comfortable in my new skin.

I had worked nearly 30 years in state government, but started out with a BS in Art Education and having teaching certificates, elementary education and Art K-12.  During this training, I learned pottery, silversmithing, drawing and painting. I still have some items I made in college. I never really taught other than substitute teaching, scabbing, and running my own private, state licensed, preschool and kindergarten. When my kids were older and I was divorcing their father, I landed a state job that gave me a long career that started out in mental health and ended in behavioral health.  I was fortunate to go back to school for my MPA, master’s public administration, which led to mostly management type positions.  About midway in my career, I became a nationally trained administrative law investigator while continuing work within state government. I loved this work, plain and simple. It was very difficult when I retired in 2013, because I felt at a loss leaving my work behind.  You could say that retirement was forced on me, as I was faded out due to age and having a boss that was allowed to force out other long-term employees shortly before their normal retirement age.  I was one of the lucky few that at least had enough state-work years in to achieve full retirement benefits.

However, this blog is really about redefining myself and getting back to some root talents and love.  I fell in love with art my junior year of high school. By my senior year, I had decided to go to school to be able to teach art.  Due to “life” circumstances, I never really taught other than what was mentioned above.

In the late 70s, early 80s, my mom started taking some art classes with Priscilla Hauser. My mom became a wonderful painter and on occasion when I went home to see her, my mom showed me some of the painting she had learned from her classes.  I purchased some of the art books from Priscilla Hauser, Sherry C Nelson, and others.  I started painting again. But with work, going back to school, and raising four children as a single parent, painting was put away.

In the early years of my retirement, I became immersed in hiking.  When I could, I took road trips with my paw and we camped and hiked. In 2018, my standard poodle, Jake, and I traveled 6600 miles, camped for about 18-20 nights, visited 13 National Parks and visited family for 2-3 nights each. In 2019, my new standard poodle, Ghost, and I camped and hiked for another 2-3 weeks, but stayed in places for a longer duration.  On our last night camping before heading home, I fell and tore my hamstring.  I don’t think I’ve ever felt such pain before this injury.  One of my daughters drove me from CA, where the injury occurred, to AZ where I lived so I could obtain treatment.

During my retirement in 2013 until now, 2020, I sold my home and moved into an active adult community into a condo I purchased.  Moving to this active adult community was a lifesaver for me. I had hundreds of clubs at my disposal, four recreational centers, and neighbors my own age. There was also golfing, but, alas, I’m, not a golfer. Instead, I joined a silversmithing club, a pottery club, a photography club and took some painting classes. The clubs got to be not as enjoyable as I would have liked and they each required us to work at the clubs, which helped keep the membership dues very low.  However, I felt too strung out between all the clubs, so due to my hamstring injury recovery period and simply wanting to lesson my involvement, I dropped all the clubs.

The good thing about dropping the clubs is that it gave me more time to paint.  I love painting and now have the time to paint everyday, if I so choose.  I belong to a painting online website, “Let’s Paint with Plaid”, and watch many youtube videos from great painters.

I feel like I am improving every day and creating enough inventory that I hope to start selling in the foreseeable future. I can honestly say that I’m now comfortable with retirement and miss my working years less and less.  With the pandemic, I’m not sure I will travel this year, and at the moment, my walks and hikes are confined to my local environment.  But, that is okay.  I feel healthy and love to paint. I’m including some pictures of paintings, which include paintings I’ve done in the 1980s and 2020s.

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Author: pattyraz51

05/18/2020: Hi to my fellow bloggers and/or readers!! I am 69 years of age. I have raised four lovely children as a single mother and those children have provided me with 8 lovely grandchildren, to date. I retired from nearly 30 years working in state government in March 2013. I worked mostly in management positions and as an investigator. As a child, I was affectionately called an “Air Force brat”. Our family lived in several countries and states before settling in central Illinois. In 1998, I moved to Arizona and call this my home. Since my retirement, I have worked in the solar industry and have developed a passion for trail hiking. I have returned back to some of my artsy roots and have made pottery, jewelry and painted. I am also writing and committing myself to developing my blog. I hope to bring comfort, motivation and inspiration to fellow bloggers and/or readers. I have a passion for life’s journey and hope this carries me for the next 30 years. Warm Regards.

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