Thursday, January 22, 2015

Wintering in Colorado-And Sleeping Until Ten In Retirement

When I moved from Texas to Colorado almost two years ago, it was not as if I had never lived in cold weather before.  Although I had lived for six years in Texas, I had also spent my college years in Connecticut,  and spent a total of 9 years in Germany.  I also spent well over twenty years in Washington DC-where the summers are hotter than hot, the spring and fall are mild and the winter is mild or a mess, depending on the year.

Still, I enjoyed living in Texas. And while northern Texas is not the tropics, even their worst days are at least ten degrees warmer-and my daughter has sent me two 68 degree screen shots this week alone. In other words, I knew there would be some adjustments.  Overall, I have done better than I thought.  For one thing, winter in Colorado is not winter in the northeast-or the northern Midwest. Rarely are there blizzard conditions as such. White outs, or twenty care pileups because of the ice? Nope.  When it snows in Denver, it comes, it snows (usually between one and three inches), and then three days later it tends to be gone.  I'm sure others could give all kinds of scientific explanations, but I am sure that a large part of that end result is because the sun comes out-every day, for at least a while.  That added to the altitude means that things warm up quickly, and feel much warmer than they often are. It is not unusual to see Capri's and shorts year around-along with socks, boots and heavy sweaters.
Don't worry, I'm gonna let you know EVERY time ANYONE dares to pass our house!

All that is to say that when it does snow, as it did yesterday, I am happy to stay inside-because by today, or at minimum tomorrow, the roads will be clear, the snow will be gone and all will be right in the world. Meanwhile I get to curl up with my books, sew and paint to my hearts content, watch a bit of The Fall, and in enjoy my surroundings.  I do plan to do some snow-birding next year, but meanwhile the Colorado weather is just fine.

This Morning
What I expect to see tomorrow

Note: In the area of making do, before I moved to Colorado two years ago, I had just purchased many sleeveless knit nightgowns, the kind that almost look like a dress.  Although I am not above keeping my house at 74 in the day, we do turn it down at night. not wanting to go out and spend twice as much money, I simply started throwing all those lightweight sweaters from Texas over the tank dresses-end ended up with winter wear without spending a dine.

On this particular winter day, I slept until ten am.  Somewhere one or two of you may be wondering what sleeping until ten has to do with challenging myself and stepping out of the box in retirement.  Those folks who get up at five, six or seven are wondering how I can let half of the day go away.  The short answer is, easily.  The long answer is, I am a night owl and have learned that lots of sleep affects arthritis in a good way. For years, I have stayed up-until midnight most nights-and yet tried get up early so I could do morning things, thinking that I needed to do that to be efficient and to get things done. I also often wake up once or twice during the night, and have learned the best solution is not to force myself back to sleep until I am ready again.

So, no more sunrises (but plenty of sunsets). I now allow myself to sleep in. Until I get up. Most days that seems to be around nine, but some days it is ten am.  And I am okay with that. I make up for it on the other end.  When most folks are winding down after dinner, having a glass of wine and looking at the sunset, reading, or watching TV before heading for bed, I am doing other things.
My plans for valentine collages

Last night, after eating dinner and watching an hour of television, I moved to my studio and began he quilting process (design) on this quilt. I don't love the quilt now that the top is finished. Since everyone else who has seen it seems to like it, I'll finish the quilt and donate it to a worthy cause, or put it into my "quilt pantry" as a possible gift. Later I moved to my bed, although I did not go to sleep (I do try to be quiet for the people who DO get up at six am, just as they are quiet for me). During this hour or so before I go to sleep I read, do my online searches of blogs, pinterest and so on, draw and practice my French.
I think I may just not be a gray person!

I've learned that we all have different body clocks and rhythms and I have also learned that one size does not fit all. In my case, I have unusual sleep patterns and schedules.  I've also learned that research shows that the quality and amount of sleep directly affects arthritis pain the day after. Sleep is also important to brain health, learning and memory.  Since I want to keep stepping out of the box in all parts of my life, I've decided that lots of sleep is a plus rather than a minus-for me.


  1. I love sleeping til I wake up too. It's one of retirement's great luxuries I thin.

  2. My problem is that I do sleep until I wake up, it is just that my eyes pop open at around 6 am usually. Today it was 5 am. I do see a nap in my future.

    1. Some people have that happen, especially as you are not that far from working. I generally wake up at that hour but then go back to sleep

  3. You've just hit upon some of my favorite aspects of retirement---the freedom to sleep and wake as you like, and to come and go as you please. After many years of being forced to navigate the snowy/icy roads of the midwest, what a pleasure it is to stay home when bad weather prevails. I lived in Colorado, briefly, when I was 20, and was amazed at how quickly the weather changed. Very refreshing.

    1. Yes, I definitely have been known to hibernate

  4. Sleep is sooo important to health.Many studies siggest that fibromyalgia is a SLEEP disorder.If you can get those folks to get some quality sleep on a regular basis the pain is much less.I love to sleep till I wake up but I am a "lark" vs. an owl.. my eyelids are drooping by 10 PM but I love to get up early with birdsong (well, in spring..)Here in the woods, it is DARK and COLD, I tend to sleep a bit later, and yes, that is one of the joys of being retired! I also LOVE LOVE LOVE a 2 PM half hour nap when I can... Thanks for sharing-- love your blog!

  5. I agree, if you want to step out of the box during the day, you need to step up into bed and get plenty of sleep at night. I've heard it said that the older you get, the less sleep you need. I'm not not sure, though, By that definition, I'm barely out of my teens!

    1. haha. I've heard that at well, but never understood it.


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