Big, Bad, Mean Old Life

I’m cranky.

There. I’ve said it. Don’t ask me why, because I can’t really explain it, but since we got back from our wonderfully relaxing vacation in Colorado last week I’m in a mood. First day back I felt GREAT! Isn’t life fantastic? Lots of energy, sleeves rolled up, told husband I felt like I had my mojo back.

And then it all went south.

My first thought was that perhaps my foul demeanor was due to the change in elevation. Many of the trails we hiked in the Rocky Mountains brought us higher, ever higher, our lungs expanding in the thin air and our hearts pounding like jackhammers in our chests. One day last week we stood at a high point along the Trail Ridge Road where we towered over everything else around us at more than 12,000 feet, wind howling and bellowing, it seemed, from every direction. But now, here we are, back in the lowlands of the Midwest (Des Moines, elevation 958) and my poor body has no idea what to do with all this extra, heavier, moisture-laden air. While in Estes Park we pretty much ate what we wanted but came back at our pre-vacation fighting weights, thanks to all the hiking we did. Stuck in ‘pig-out’ mode, we’ve maintained the same eating habits so maybe that’s a contributor as well to said crankiness.

But when I ponder this further I think I know the answer. In Colorado, for one glorious week, we knew FREEDOM. We did pretty much whatever we damned well pleased and never (well, hardly ever) gave work more than a glancing thought or two. Monday morning when the alarm clock went off at five-twenty, it was truly a rude awakening and an evil reminder that our time, now, was no longer ours to call our own.

Sing it Soul II Soul: Back to life, back to reality!

Bill and I have taken very few trips longer than a three or four day weekend. This time we were away from work for ten whole days. That’s a long time to get used to being on your own schedule, being master of your minutes and hours and days. I loved it! But oh how cruel having to return to the workaday world after such a carefree existence as that which enveloped us in Colorado. Perhaps it’s because retirement isn’t really that far off but this little ‘vacay’ of ours has just made it seem even more tantalizing than ever before. I want it and I do, yes, want it now. The harsh, financial vagaries of life, however, intrude.

The state-run lottery here has a slogan that urges folks to buy tickets by (not so?) gently reminding them that you can’t win big bucks if you don’t play the game. So please excuse me while I, ahem, make a quick run to the nearest convenience store.

8 Comments

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  1. Maybe it’s kind of like jet lag..but oh that’s a mighty early wake up call.In August it will be four years that I’ve been living the life of Riley, but it’s had it’s bumps in the road too. Take care!

    • Four years! That’s terrific. No rose-colored glasses for me — I don’t expect all sugar lumps and rainbows — and while I don’t hate or dislike my job (most days!) its just that the alternative sounds so much more appealing. But money — yeah, that’s nice too I suppose. 🙂

      As always, Roberta, thank you for your comment!

  2. First of all, you are allowed cranky if you spew it out so eloquently as we can all relate. As to the physical readjustment, yea, it’s a strange time of the moon to be making such drastic changes to your environment. (what ever the hell that means) and as to the idea of retirement? I think I have officially retired from the rat race, though the financial challenges mean I will never go fly-fishing 7 days a week.

    Again, I think ‘cranky’ is a legitimate excuse.

  3. Oh! Do you fly-fish, Martha? We saw several folks casting their lines on those beautiful Colorado lakes and streams. It looks like it just might be fun — and I’m the only girl in a family of six girls where everyone else LOVES to fish, who doesn’t!

    Anyway, thanks for the interesting perspective. I think you spell it out quite well — to retire from the ‘rat race’ — yes, I think that’s what we all aspire to. This gal does anyway!

    Have a good one. 🙂

  4. Oh what a brilliant post. And I don’t mean because you are or should I rephrase and say ‘cranky’. Your week away sounded like bliss and coming home is always a rude awakening. In saying that, I’m so lucky as I live in the country and work from home. Love your writing style Julie … and laughed at the finish. Did you get that ticket? 😉

    • Thanks for the kind words. I sometimes wish that when we’d moved here nine years ago that we would have had more time to look for a place to live and gotten ourselves an acreage. Oh, to have a spread of land to call our own! Don’t get me wrong. I do love where we live (we’re on a golf course, hubby would golf every day if he could) but when we drive past lovely spreads in the country I just melt!

      No. No ticket — yet!

  5. Fantastic post. Though I am new at WordPress it’s posts like these that inspire me to write more. I hope you can take some time and go through my blog. It’s new but your critique can help me hone my art too. 🙂

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