So I retired last year at this time. My birthday party last year was with colleagues from work and home and church. I’m proud to be able to say I worked for Nuclear Security and made my contribution to make the world a safer place. All my boys were there to sing for me.
This year was just the immediate family. I put together a slide show of some of my activities the past year since I retired. As I prepare for my knee replacement surgery I feel pushed to appreciate all I have been able to experience. I know of many who are not nearly as fortunate and I do not take anything for granted.
First I went on a health course to St Josef bei Hallein near Salzburg. My immediate decision had to be whether or not to go under the knife. I was feeling so incapacitated in my mobility yet also compelled to try everything else first which might just be the answer to my dilemma. The answer I got was to go on the home trainer just ten minutes a day for three months. Then increase by two minutes every three months. So slow! Yes. Thank you Minca. I have done that. At first even the first few steps were painful but now I am up to 16 minutes and am proud to say I have made it a part of my morning routine.
While there I tried my hand at pottery. Josef came to join me for the last week. It was a slow and patient process of letting go of all my professional commitments and easing into the life of a retiree. I still enjoyed coming into the VIC for regular Toastmasters meetings. But even my colleagues noticed how I limped and was in excruciating pain.
However, there were ups and downs and I was grateful to still participate in many exciting adventures. We had an Austrian national Unification meeting in Seebenstein. We went to swim in the Danube with our landlady.
Then I went to Former Yugoslavia on the Peace Road. My dream of a family holiday to Krk almost became a reality before Christoph took off again, this time for Canada. Only Godwin was missing.
Then Josef and I went to Albania for the South East Europe Peace Summit. We had a visit from my nephew from Australia who travelled through Europe with his girlfriend. We met up with various friends. We travelled to Germany with another couple for a weekend.
Now that we live in Vienna, we saw our sons a little more than we did in Kirchberg. We often play cards or werewolf together.
Somehow I feel like I should count and record all the meetings I’ve attended. I have to think of Rev Moon’s advice to give and forget you gave and give again. This is what God does. So I write my reflection and think maybe later I’ll get around to REALLY take stock of all I’ve done. Who’s got time to pore over the past when you’re still looking forward to the future?
I sorted a few of my photos and realised there was still so much I had not even processed. So again, just a brief impression.
We saw the kids at our place for various birthday celebrations. We visited Josef’s sisters in Waldviertel. One even organized a family reunion. Christoph returned to Austria after the Covid19 Pandemic prevented him from carrying out his further travel plans in North America after completing his ski instructor training in Canada. Nathan is singing with Chorus Viennensis. Josef and I met the Australian Ambassador at Billabong on Australia Day.
Back to the UN for the Interfaith Harmony week in February. Happy to see the Faith Based Organizations initiative taking hold at the UN in Vienna.
My four leaf clover from a year ago is thriving and I’m so proud of it. The jade and aloe vera are also doing well. Two of my aloe vera plants began flowering and were in full bloom for Mother’s Day. I am a little obsessed with photographing my garden which is now my pot plants. Received some beautiful peonies which are called Pentecost roses (Pfingstrosen) in German, from my dear friend Diana and l loved watching them bloom. We used to have them in the garden in Zwettl.
The first draft of the book Life and Eternity by Johannes Stampf was printed and we are working on the finishing touch.
I received the Area Director of the Year Award for my officer role in District 109 in Toastmasters 2018-2019 during a zoom meeting in May 2020. Feels like I’m still learning to tell my story.
And finally, all the family really physically came together to celebrate my birthday. So I rush again to publish as the next anniversary is already upon us: 1 July today our 38th blessing anniversary.