April – Looking Back, Moving Forward

South Florida is fully immersed in the most beautiful season of the year with sunny days and temperatures ranging from the forties to the eighties. Snowbirds are beginning to head back North and our little town is becoming quiet once again.

I should feel wonderful about that, but truthfully, my sunny outlook has been tested and this month has been about counteracting stress and avoiding a meltdown. Setbacks regarding our move date and a few personal issues have left me feeling weary.

Reflecting on the highlights of this past month and adopting an attitude of gratitude is helpful, as was reading this post from Sue at Women Living Well After Fifty. Thanks for the reminder that “life can’t always be rainbows and unicorns”.

What Makes Me Smile

My MIL’s Amaryllis bloomed just in time for Easter

Out and About

Tennis took center stage this month, literally, as Malcolm and I traveled to Miami to attend the Miami Open. A friend gifted us her seats for three days of the two-week tournament. We saw a lot of good matches, but, the highlight was watching an exciting eighteen-year-old gentleman from Spain win the tournament. The tennis world is predicting good things for Carlos Alcaraz and we couldn’t agree more.

Malcolm and I are all smiles exploring the grounds, watching great tennis from our luxury seats, and enjoying Hard Rock hospitality. Returning this favor will take some thought.

Exercise

During week one of April, I had to switch up my daily exercise plan and move it inside. Pollen wreaked havoc on my sinuses and I developed a painful and annoying case of sinusitis. So…no Pickleball, restricted tennis dates, and no bike rides. Hoda and Jenna (Today Show) kept me company in the gym and made me laugh out loud each day until I could get things under control with meds, then it was back outside for me. Staying active has helped to offset my otherwise gloomy mood.

Moving Day

Our April 12th move date came and went as the apartment complex we will be moving into did not yet receive the CO for the building our apartment is located in. It was a disappointing setback, as we had planned to celebrate Easter in our new space. Oh well, regrouping and pivoting seem to come with the territory right now.

The new move date is set for the first week of May second week of May. Any more setbacks and we will be into June, which won’t bode well for my fragile psyche. Once again, logistics are an issue as we will be moving things from two locations with the hope of reducing our two large storage units to just one small one. Wish us luck!

Celebrating Easter – Family Time

This will likely be our last holiday in my MIL’s house, so we made it special. Nana pitched in with a couple of traditional Armenian dishes, and we boiled eggs in red onion skins for the customary ‘egg fight.’ As always, there was a pretty table and a signature cocktail to celebrate the day.

What’s In My Glass – Bunny-tini (Gin, cranberry juice, and a splash of tonic). The poor bunnies kept falling off the rims, so we acquiesced and let them swim! Thank you family for indulging my whimsy!

Photography

Photography is a hobby that keeps on giving. It is immensely gratifying to have others appreciate my work, so when I got another call this month to shoot a family session I was over the moon. The session was on an overcast day which I typically love because the clouds block harsh sunlight and eliminate shadows. But, too much cloud coverage can also produce a lot of white light. When this happens, use the Exposure Compensation button on your camera to avoid having a ‘washed out look’ in your subjects. If you don’t know where the button is, you can find it in the manual that came with your camera or read about it online. It is a great tool to use for both bright light and low light situations.

Standout Blog Reads

  • Cresting The Hill – Leanne writes about Forgiveness
  • And Always – Jo shares her extensive Travel Book Collection
  • Retirement Transitions – Pat delves into the science behind Abandonment issues in “Triggers and Glimmers”. This post is one in a series on the subject of Abandonment and how it may manifest in our adult lives. Insightful and thought-provoking.
  • The Widow Badass – Deb and Donna taste their way through Scandanavian candies. These two ladies are always good for a laugh when they get together.
  • Roaming About – Liesbet tells us about a unique RV destination and the harrowing experience of getting there
  • Women Living Well After 50 – Sue shares tips for coping when life is a struggle (referenced above)

My WOTY Update

When I chose the word More as my word of the year this past January, I was longing for more purposeful moments and less busyness. We were just coming off the heels of a big move in July followed by a series of busy holidays from October through January. As much as I love a full schedule, I also need downtime and quiet opportunities to reflect and focus on maintaining balance. Keeping the word more front and center encourages me to be mindful of my choices.

What I have needed more of this past month is more patience, more understanding, and more confidence in myself to cope when things don’t go as planned. Just writing this post has helped me to appreciate how beautiful life is – even when it doesn’t feel that way.

We are looking forward to settling into our new residence and making it our home for the next leg of this unusual journey. No doubt, there will be more to report as the months unfold.

Sharing with Monthly WOTY Wrapup and Natalie’s Weekend Coffee Share

50 thoughts on “April – Looking Back, Moving Forward

  1. Happy people, beautiful flowers, lovely celebrations, but the moving date extended is not so wonderful. I have no doubt you will come out on top of whittling down to a small storage unit. The positive side is that the moving issue only requires more patience which you’ve been practicing. I’m not good with patience, but life has its way of challenging us to develop more. That’s probably why I like gardening and quilting because I can see a beginning, middle and end. Looking forward to hearing all about the move which I hope is a happy and fun new chapter in your retirement book.

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    1. Judy, you make a good point about ‘a beginning, middle, and end.’ I don’t do well with ‘open-ended’ situations, and this one is entirely out of our control. Poor Malcolm is the one most affected because he is dealing with the Movers, Insurance Agent, and Property Manager each time there is a delay. I am just trying to keep my emotions in check and stop projecting too far forward. That just creates more disappointment. We will get there – eventually!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Suzanne – life is definitely a series of ups and downs and we really just have to ride the wave (or we go under). Your move will be even more special and appreciated when it (finally) happens and I hope you’ll share some pics of your place. Thanks for the lovely shout out for my blog post on forgiveness and every time I see your #WOTY – More – I think about when I chose it a few years ago. It’s almost a reversal on how society thinks “more” should be, because it’s about less of that stuff, and more of what’s precious and important – and focusing our energy into those things so we don’t spread ourselves too thin. Lovely catching up on your news – now onward into May! 🙂

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    1. Leanne, I definitely see More like a ‘reversal’ of how society has interpreted the word. I am glad you understand that. To me, it is symbolic of what’s on the inside. This month has tested my patience in various ways and I have felt the wave close to crashing on my head more than once so I am glad May has arrived. This is a celebratory month for us – birthday, anniversary, Mother’s Day, and now, Move Day!

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  3. Suzanne, so sorry your move date has been postponed. Wishing you success in having more patience. I know how hard that is. So glad you were able to get out for a photography family shoot. Here’s hoping you have a happier May!

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  4. Beautiful flowers and I found your Armenian Easter traditions very interesting. But how frustrating to have your moving date postponed! I guess you feel a bit in a sort of limbo, not being where you thought you would be at this point. I hope it all goes through OK this time around!

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    1. Sarah, ‘limbo’ is the perfect description. Making plans and packing boxes have been suspended until we have a ‘for sure’ date. We are just hoping at this point that it doesn’t delay into June. We just canceled my birthday/Mother’s Day weekend and will have to cancel the cruise we have planned at the end of the month if it delays any longer. Oh well, such is life.

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  5. I’ve been to the Miami Open a couple of times but it’s been years and I believe the location has changed? I know there was a big deal with that. Three days in luxury seats? Sounds like heaven. It’s been too long since I’ve experienced live tennis. The pandemic canceled plans we had for the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati. Good luck with your move – whenever it finally happens!!

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    1. Hi Linda, you probably attended the Open when it was on Key Biscayne. I loved that location and am very sorry they moved it to the Dolphins stadium. That was a mistake! I did, however, love, love, love the seats my friend gave us. It was heaven indeed! Fingers crossed that the last date we were given will be ‘the date.’

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  6. I adore how you put aside the woes and focused on the positives here! I can only hope your move date happens sooner rather than later. We have friends who are “lifting” their house and it’s been delated now 3 times and the last one was a “not sure when we’ll start” start date. The building construction in this part of Florida is dealing with more delays than usual!

    Thanks so much for the shout out! And it’s lovely to see the company I keep there – I follow almost all of those bloggers too! Right now, I am trying to put the “learning” from all that introspective blogging into “action”. Like you, I’m looking (trying to look) at the positive side of things, be grateful for what I have, and take the downturns with grace.

    Have a glorious May!

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    1. Pat, I love how blogging about something actually puts it into better focus and creates action on our part. I think writing in general has always done that for me. I am glad that your introspective writing is paying dividends and that you are focused on the positive. It’s good to acknowledge negative aspects of our lives and learn from them, isn’t it? Thanks for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Suzanne, I’m sorry to hear your moving date was delayed. I hope all goes well in May for you. I’m glad you had joyful moments in April as shown in your beautiful photos. Thank you for sharing your updates with us at #weekendcoffeeshare.

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  8. Suzanne, I am so sorry your moving date has been postponed again. Moving house is just so stressful. I have vowed never to do it again.
    I admire your positive attitude. Life sometimes will throw some curveballs and it helps to stay positive. I am sure you will soon be enjoying your new home. Very exciting 😀

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  9. Suzanne,
    Been wondering if we had lost you in the blogosphere…glad to see you back online. Ditto, everything written above about your delays. As a former home builder, I know well the stress created when things don’t work out. Once, I gave a lady a dozen eggs to throw (not at me) just to work off some stress. Nevertheless, If I had to cancel a cruise, a meltdown would be in order. Hang in there–this too will pass. Please share the pics of the new place. Joe

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  10. Hi Joe, I’m still here, just haven’t been in the right frame of mind to write anything. I took two long walks yesterday – almost as good as throwing eggs. Canceling my birthday weekend was bad enough, but I’ll go ballistic if we have to cancel the cruise. Yes, this too shall pass. Thanks for checking in. Best wishes to you and Helen.

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  11. Change is hard, but when changes happen that are well beyond your control, it’s even harder. My fingers are crossed that your 3rd move-in date actually takes place. Despite the setbacks, it looks like you have much to be grateful for during April. Deep breaths (which I’m sure you are taking a lot of 🙂 .

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    1. Janis, thanks for the reminder to ‘breathe.’ Sometimes that is exactly what is needed. I’m just ready to be settled again, so all these starts and stops and canceled plans are frustrating. Yes, overall April was a good month and hopefully, that wasn’t overshadowed by my complaints in this post. Have a wonderful week. I hope you have some fun plans for the summer.

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  12. Sigh. I think am guilty of always wanting life to be rainbows and unicorns (LOL), which is one reason that I love traveling so much. But I am also well aware that my daily life is wonderful, and there are blessings in putting down roots (while still having the opportunity to travel!). Naming aloud what I am grateful for helps immensely when I am feeling stuck and cranky. So does going for a long walk and chatting with a friend.

    I’m sorry you’ve had a challenging time recently, but it sounds like you’ve done many things to keep you balanced (as balanced as one can be when in the throes of uncertainty!). I hope that you’ll be able to move into your new place as planned, so that you can take that cruise!

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    1. Hi Laurel, a good friend checked in on me the other day and the first thing she said was, ‘you could use a diversion.’ I love it when friends know exactly what to say or do when things aren’t going so well. Long walks have helped a lot, just being out of the house and not dwelling on the boxes sitting there, ready to be loaded by the movers helps. Writing this post helped me look at all the positive things in my life and be grateful for abundance and joy. Planning new travel experiences has helped as well. These few little bumps in the road are just unsettling and frustrating. I am ready to move on and start the next chapter. Thanks for stopping by and have a great summer. I have enjoyed reading your retrospective post about travels past but can’t wait to see where you go next. Take care.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi Suzanne – enjoyed my first visit to your blog and sharing your fun Easter traditions! I can relate to your moving woes. Last June we had a house fire and lost about 1/3 of our home. They originally told us we’d be back in within a month. Four months later we were actually able to move back in and then we lived with the noise of construction in that part of the house for another 3!! Sometimes things just don’t go as planned but trust me when I tell you that in hindsight you’ll realize it wasn’t THAT terrible LOL. You know what they say…what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger! Just think of how strong you’ll be 😊

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    1. Hi Tina, welcome to Picture Retirement. I hope you will visit often. I promise, I don’t always gripe and complain. Mostly we share stories of our travels and our constantly evolving retirement life. We love to cook, share recipes and of course, there will always be lots of photographs as that is my favorite hobby.

      I can’t imagine what you must have gone through with a house fire. How awful. Now, that is a setback. Hopefully, we will be settled soon and my frustration will be a distant memory. Take care and have a great week.

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  14. Hi, Suzanne – It’s wonderful to see you online. I’ve missed you. I’m so sorry to hear about your difficult month and your delayed move. They do say that #3 is the charm! Hopefully, that is true. Wishing you a wonderful May of celebrations – birthday, anniversary, Mother’s Day, and Move Day! Please keep us posted.

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    1. Hi Donna, yes, I have been a little absent in this space. Just not in the mood to write. I’ve been trying to catch up with everyone and am happy to read that you have planned your next Camino. That’s very exciting. I’m sure May will look a little brighter! Take care.

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  15. So good to catch up with you. Your April, despite the disappointment about moving, sounds and looks like it was great fun. MORE patience, always a blessing, as are martinis by any name. I like the photos of the family photo session– and you + your family, of course.

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  16. Eek, I know how you feel, Suzanne! Who moved my cheese?? I wish you the best in getting moved once and for all. Remember to not stress over things out of your control (said no one ever)…take care! And lovely pictures–at least you are getting some decent leisure time.

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  17. Hi Suzanne!

    As I’m late to the party, I hope you are feeling better and brighter by the time you read my comment. My first thought was: it’s okay to feel down once in a while – we don’t always have to be and think positive. Setbacks, small as they might seem to others, could be big to us. Adapting to these changes and being flexible is a great gift… which I don’t seem to have.

    I can totally relate to being upset about the move date, because you planned so much around it, anticipated it, looked forward to it. I sure hope the middle of May is when you can move into the apartment!

    We have a similar situation going on right now – we found a different camper and were on the way to picking it up (in British Columbia of all places), when the owner backed down on the deal and the sale.

    We had everything figured out – where to drop off our current camper, where to stay, where to return to with the new camper, and where to sell our current one and our electric bikes. A logistical feat.

    This would also be the place where we could make Mark’s granola in an oven (due soon), order packages after four months of not having access to an address (very overdue), and doing laundry. Small things to many, but we had the next month of our life figured out – and looked forward to it – which doesn’t happen often. Now it’s back to square zero and – most important – uncertainty.

    Sorry for the rant! Let’s focus on the positive. Those seats at the Miami Open seemed pretty sweet! 🙂

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    1. Liesbet, you’re rants are always welcome here. I get it. Uncertainty is a bitch. I am sorry that your new camper deal fell through and that your plans are up in smoke. You will regroup, as we continue to do. But, in the meanwhile, ranting takes the pressure off. Yes, those seats were sweet indeed! Three days of pure heaven!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I hope you get to move into the new place soon! I can see where that would be hard on the psyche. I didn’t know cranberry juice and gin had a name ! Now I do! 😀

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  19. Hi Suzanne, I’m so pleased you found my post helpful (although I was hoping it wasn’t too much of a ‘downer’ for readers). I know what you are going through re your apartment and moving. We are trying to sell our apartment but no takers at the moment which is disappointing. On the plus side, your photography as always brings me joy and how wonderful to get to the Miami Open. Sending hugs and hope you are feeling brighter soon. xx

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    1. Sue, your post wasn’t a ‘downer’ at all. It was real and heartfelt and encouraging. Wishing you the best with selling the condo. Hopefully, you will be packing up and moving on in no time at all. Things are looking better for me as we now have just a few days before our scheduled move date and we are taking a break this weekend to celebrate my birthday with a much-needed spa visit!

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    1. Hi Julie, peel the skins off two or three red onions and add them (just the skins) to a pot of cold water. Next, add the uncooked eggs to the pot. In the time it takes to hard boil the eggs the skins will dye them that rich brown color. You could also just boil the skins first until you get the color you want, then discard the skins and boil the eggs in the colored water. Sometimes, if you are lucky, they will have a hint of the reddish color. Have fun and thanks for asking about the process. I am not always clear on these things as I am not great in the kitchen!

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  20. My daughter is in Florida right now with friends…she’s loving it. I had family there and whenever we visited we went in the off seasons. Those amaryliss are gorgeous. I love those bloggers you mentioned…I think only one I hadn’t heard of….I always learn so much from Leanne and Sue

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    1. Hi Kirsten, I hope you will check out the blog you haven’t read before. All of the posts were interesting to me for different reasons, but yes, you can always count on Sue and Leanne for some good advice

      What part of Florida is your daughter visiting. It’s pretty comfortable all over the state right now. One month until hurricane season and our snowbirds are headed back north.

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