Now What?

Okay, so. THE CRUISE is done, and it was amazing, and while I’m not a total cruise convert like “OMG ALL OF MY VACATIONS ARE GOING TO BE CRUISES FROM NOW ON!!!” I could be talked into doing another in 2024. Disney is launching yet another big ship next year, and also a second private island destination, and I am IN! Okay, so I guess I’ve already talked myself into it.

Lighthouse Point had me at Joe Rohde. He is a rock star among Disnerds as the Imagineer behind a lot of the coolest stuff. I remember being at Animal Kingdom a few years ago when the whispering began: “Joe Rohde’s here!” He was mobbed by Disnerds in moments, as normal people walked by wondering who the dude with all the earrings was and why people were quivering like happy puppies, basking in his presence. As a Disnerd I’m very excited by the idea that he’s been lured back to Disney to do his magic on another destination island.

But there’s a lot of real life between now and then, and I have a lot of things I want to achieve between now and when I Turn 65 at the end of June. Yes, yes, Medicare supplement companies, I know! I’m getting hounded and emailed about all the insurance I’ll need because Medicare isn’t enough, etc.

In the meantime I have some boring real life goals. I am on a No Unnecessary Shopping plan for the foreseeable future, because yeah, that cruise was a splurge and my emergency account needs replenishment. I want to improve my fitness, my sleep, my finances, my social life, and maybe even get my creative groove back.

Spreadsheets and research have killed my creative groove, and I resent that.

In far more positive news, I got my first performance review in my new position. I don’t like my new position, because it doesn’t feel like a good fit for my skill set and I’m often frustrated, but the money’s far better than I’ve had in a long time, so I’m working on adjusting my attitude.

My review was really positive. My boss is a sweetheart, and she’s someone who has actually done the work, not a financial wonk parachuted in to “get experience” at the expense of the team. She was positive about my strengths and also honest about areas where I need to improve (she didn’t tell me anything I don’t already know).

We do the dreaded “360 review” process where you get anonymous feedback from people you work with, and my feedback was all about how professional I am, what a team player I am, how easy I am to talk to, how I go above and beyond, etc. etc. I got a raise and a bonus, and it was all a really good day. So that went quite a bit to the improving my finances goal (I’m hoping there will be other changes this summer) so now I have to focus on sleep, fitness, social life (what’s that?) and getting my creative groove back.

Anyway, that’s my mission for this trip around the sun: to find my creativity again. I used to bake and knit and crochet and write and make random shit and experiment. That’s something I’d like to get back to take into retirement, one of these days.

6 thoughts on “Now What?”

  1. Your enthusiasm for the cruise is heartening. You’ve been slogging through for so long, you deserve some fun, and you damn well deserve better pay and a bonus! I took up watercolor when I retired in 2019, thank heavens I did, because learning kept me from going crazy the past few years. I’m still not good, but I thoroughly enjoy it, and I’ve tried several other mediums like water soluble crayons and oil pastels. I find just putting color down lifts my spirits a lot, even if it’s just abstract shapes. I also carry a little 3×5 sketchbook and tiny palette on my walks, and try to paint something outdoors every day. Sometimes they are good, sometimes they are crap, but I like to write down the temperature and weather, what’s going on around me, etc. I find that I can clearly remember those days, instead of all my days blending into one another. The motor neurons get all fired up when you’re using your hands and observing things.

    1. I’ve used fibers as my color/texture fix for a long time, but haven’t done it in ages. I have a really nice camera and somehow don’t just take it with me and take pictures. This is a thing I need to work on changing this year.

  2. Yes, I did two and both were wonderful. The second was better mainly because my mother was NOT along but that is a long story. My father worked on the Al-Can Highway in the mid-40s (pre-marriage) and loved Alaska so we went. Do remember that any cruise will be in the summer season and it will be light most of the time, especially the closer to Alaska. Here are few things that I found on the web but if you decide to do this obviously you will investigate further. “Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, and Royal Caribbean all offer roundtrip Alaska cruises that sail from Seattle. A 7-night Alaska Cruise can cost anywhere from $500 per person to $5000+ per person, depending on the type of cruise ship and your choice of stateroom. Alaska land tours with 3-star hotels, train travel, and popular day tours generally cost around $300 per person per day, based on double occupancy. Even though Alaska is part of the United States, most cruise itineraries will require you to travel with a U.S. passport. If you’re on a cruise to Alaska that begins or ends in Canada, you are required to carry a passport book or passport card. On an Alaska cruise, a balcony cabin provides your own private viewing space to take in spectacular scenery, glaciers, wildlife, and more. While this category of staterooms comes with a higher price tag, the benefits offered on an Alaska cruise will make a huge difference and is well worth the investment. Days on board your Alaska cruise are all about comfort and ease. There’s no need to be formal – jeans, slacks, casual tops, sweaters, sneakers and boots are all perfect.” Definitely not a “cheap” vacation but your granddaughter would love it and don’t worry about no beach, she’ll have plenty to keep her occupied!

    1. All good advice! Disney leaves from Vancouver (of course we checked) and that has the advantage of adding a day or so in Canada on either end. I’ve always wanted to visit Vancouver. And after we did the Bahamas like the frigging Clampetts with ziplock bags of birth certificates and shit, we vowed we are getting passports before the next trip anywhere. (Daughter’s boyfriend travels internationally for work so of course he has a passport. I had one that expired last year.) I am all about the balcony cabin on a trip like that where it’s all about the scenery. If we do the Treasure next year I’m going for a veranda, just so I can sit there with my coffee and watch the sun rise. Our weekend trip was also not at all formal, it was shorts and t-shirts and such even at dinner. For Alaska jeans and sweaters and boots are all I’d pack. I don’t think I could do a cruise that required a formal wardrobe. I only show up for formal things if I’m getting paid or really, really like the people who invited me.

  3. Sounds like you have certain goals in mind! Sounds great. Hope you can do the “artsy” things you have envisioned? Maybe photography? Glad that your performance review went well, always an ego booster, plus I’m sure you are good at whatever you set your mind too. Don’t know much about the Disney cruises but I certainly loved the two I took to Alaska – tiny ships in comparison to the one you showed but the scenery was spectacular!

    1. You’ve done TWO Alaska cruises?? That’s on my bucket list. Our weekend in the Bahamas actually started with me saying I wanted to do an Alaska cruise, then talking myself down because 1) I’d never been on any cruise, and 2) because 1) was true, it probably wasn’t a great idea to start with a big commitment to a week on a ship on the other side of the continent. Disney actually has an Alaskan cruise option, but I’m not sure that The Kid would be excited about a week on a smaller ship without any beach time, so I’ll have to find another roomie for Alaska if I ever get around to it. And photography is definitely one of my neglected “things” – I have a very nice camera and often leave it behind because it’s just another thing to carry. Daughter’s boyfriend (he needs a blog alias) brought his very nice camera on the cruise and only broke it out a couple of times, because we were busy with other stuff. Photography is now a separate thing and a commitment, when everybody can just snap pics with their phones.

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