Who Am I? I am (not) Jean Valjean 25601

Now bring me prisoner 24601
Your time is up
And your parole’s begun
You know what that means.

 Yes, it means I’m free.  (Les Miserables)

After almost 50 years in shackles, I gained my freedom when I retired 14 months ago.  I’m not saying that I didn’t enjoy my career but the bottom line is that I spent those years doing what I needed to do, not what I wanted to do.  Unlike those fortunate enough to turn their avocations into well-paid careers, I evolved into a business administrator spending my days solving technical and personnel issues, budgeting, writing, interacting with the public, etc. while my heart and mind were yearning to travel, daydream, read and create.

In anticipation of my freedom I purchased a 17-foot Casita travel trailer and a Kia Sorrento to tow it.  Over the next several months I learned how to hook it up, drive it and set it up at camp sites by myself.  I have driven cross country (north to south)and camped solo – not bad for a scaredy cat 60-something woman who always thought camping meant staying at a cheap motel, who’s afraid of the dark and worms.

I want every day for the rest of my life to contain at least one adventure to share on my blog …  planning a trip, trying a new recipe or a new product, solving a problem, or sharing a new book.  I want to encourage other women to break through their comfort levels, step out of their boxes, overcome their fears, declare their independence and, most importantly, fulfill their dreams.

It’s not easy to do whatever you want after a lifetime of fulfilling the needs of everyone else as a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, an employee, a grandmother, a friend; to release some of those responsibilities and begin living a few of your own dreams.  Feels kind of selfish at first but I recovered quickly.

Now that I’m unrestrained, unchained, unrestricted it’s hard to prioritize all the things I want to do.  I’ve taken a yoga class, Zumba, traveled to New Orleans, visited Ruby Falls and the Chickamauga battle field.  I’ve investigated an old cemetery with my brother, camped in Key West by myself, sewn quilts and crocheted afghans, taken a 1200 mile road trip with my sister, and probably read over 90 books in the past 14 months.  I’ve painted part of my lanai, removed the old fans and light fixtures and will begin working on the cracks in the pool deck so I can renovate with bright Mexican colors.  I’ve started an eBay business, continued my long-arm quilting business and, of course, started blogging.

Indulgent and selfish?  You bet!  And I want to share it all on this blog.  I’m looking forward to participating in Word Press’ “Blogging 101”.


Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 10 Comments

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10 thoughts on “Who Am I? I am (not) Jean Valjean 25601

  1. Wow, you have a very exciting experience with your trailer. Can’t wait to read other posts about your journey. Warm regards from Indonesia 🙂


    • Do not give a thought to your English. You are doing beautifully! How many of us in America can communicate in a second language? I want to follow your family’s daily life in Indonesia.


  2. Your introduction reveals how strong you are. Thank you we need more strong brave women


  3. OK, so after reading your introduction, I think you just may be my hero! Can’t wait to read more about your adventures.


  4. Hey old friend, you have inspired me! I adore reading about your retirement adventures. I’m on the cusp of retirement myself. I’ve been telling people that I’m not planning a retirement, I’m taking a “full-time” vacation. They just don’t get it. I thought I would work forever, but as time has seemed to pick up speed since I hit 60, I’ve decided there are too many things I want to do to waste one more day in a tiny office. Just have to figure out how to tell my boss. 🙂 Joyce


    • Hey, Joyce – DO IT!!!! Life is too short and there’s too much fun stuff we’ve put off for too long. We need to get together for a good long gabfest. I’ve got my Seattle family in town this week but will get in touch so we can meet up somewhere. I spend time in Orland so maybe we can schedule something when I’m in the general vicinity. Hope all is well with your family. See you soon.


  5. Karyn

    Love this post and others from you. (I also love the crumpled paper theme and your photo shot!)


  6. LG

    I am looking forward to following your adventures! Thank you for sharing 🙂


  7. I like your post. You adventures sound great! Retirement is wonderful, isn’t it?


    • Freedom! I love it. I’m planning to take my princess (older) sister on her first camping trip next month. Should be a hoot – hope you’ll join us.


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