Sounds like a lovely day all around! I like your descriptions: you sound very alive.
Indeed, I cherish days like that, feeling alive and aware. Whenever I can "see" and sense the world in a broader color palette I feel like there is meaning and broader connection in this life. I fondly recall a phase when I felt like that regularly. Nowadays I seem to rarely access that capability; typically things are locked down in survival mode with an almost intitutional rigidity to my thoughts and emotions.
Today however is another good day. I don't have a car and there are zero commitments on my calendar and my to-do list has been intentionally lost amidst other papers on the coffee table. It has become a sort of vacation day, one in which I am letting things arise organically. KDog and I took a gentle little trot around the neighborhood and my body was feeling pretty good with the activity. I weighed myself, saying a little prayer that I hadn't topped 180, and I was actually just under 176, which is a relief. I did some gentle stretching and made a nutritious breakfast. I picked up a book for the first time in ages (starting The Cancer Code, which I borrowed from the library months ago). I connected w a few people by phone or text, S, EF, SB, Dad, and L's cousin who I have not spoken with in about a year. If I can find the phone number I am thinking of calling my old work buddy Kyle, I anticipate he will suggest meeting up in person to catch up.
I have realized that much of this winter has been consumed by concerns about my Dad. Concerns about his health and mobility, and concerns about Peaches' attitude and influence. Extra planning and safety worries around boating trips, Planning/taking 2 trips to FL with a 3rd ahead. Calling each other daily. I wouldn't trade it and I am grateful that he still has a level of health and mobility and things are not uglier. I am grateful for the support and care and companionship which Peaches provides. Yet I must acknowledge that all this activity is incremental to the past. I must recognize that this elder care beginning to occur and that it is a significant responsibilty I have to factor in when I think about "where has the time gone" and feeling retirement time is "slipping away from me" and I am just stuck and spinning my wheels.
I tend to be so hard on myself. There are some legit aspects to this. But focusing on the positive, there have been some steps forward since retiring. I researched and bought a kayak and equipment and took a class. I hired a new financial advisor. I hired a new therapist and meds doctor. I researched and made steps towards better computer security. I started exploring pottery. I took loving care of my dog. I supported my partner through a major life change. I survived months of incapacitating anxiety and appear to be solidly on the other side of that crisis now.
And lets not forget the pandemic, which disrupted every aspect of daily life and normalcy; which also coincided with my separation from work structure, safety, computer, software, resources, and coworker environment in which to share experiences and ideas. Which threatened scarcity - which required new thinking, planning and action. I dearly hope to not live in those dark times again, when fearful humans (including myself) raided grocery stores empty of meat, toilet paper, clorox wipes, hand sanitizer, dog food, and batteries. But that was a phase, just like my dad is a phase, and it is just life.
One must have flexible aspirations. It's sort of a shame that it takes all this time to sort of figure out how life works. Like, you don't really get the loss and grief of death until you lose someone you are close to. Only then can you really understand what it is like for someone else. Or getting married, or divorced, having a child, or losing a pet. Relocating to a new country. Fleeing violence. Having a crazy ex. Building or remodeling a home. Jumping out of an airplane. Running a marathon. Going to law school. Losing a parent, child, sibling. Retiring, living through a pandemic, elder care. Wouldn't it be better if we got a "practice life" in which we learn to experience many of these these things and then got take that wisdom into our real life? Wouldn't that make us all more compassionate human beings? Wouldn't that make life easier, if there was some kind of roadmap of what it is like to, well...live?
It doesn't work that way, although I truly believe that some folks are intuitively much better at navigating life than I am. To handle life with more grace, humor, presence, and gratitude and far fewer expectations and measuring sticks is really the way to go. There are also many folks who progress through life without ever having much need for this kind of awareness. So I guess I am somewhere in the middle, and days like today when I have awareness, reflection, and calm feel much richer and satisfying.
Time to knock off now and get back to my book.