PHRAGMENTS WITH PHYLLIS: Still figuring out the 'new normal' of my life

Everyone keeps asking me how I'm enjoying retirement. And my answer is still the same - I'm not really sure.

I don't know if I've fallen into a routine yet. The first six weeks I spent mostly with our new grandbaby, Pearce, in Greenville. I would come home on most weekends, but much of the week was there. It was glorious to have time to spend with this new life and to watch my own "baby" grow into her role as mom to this precious child.

February began my new "normal," with my other grandchildren, Cade and Payton; however, that, too, has proved to be not normal at all. We have spent a month getting adjusted to our new relationship, with the two of them in my house during the day almost every weekday. But at the same time, Tom spent 10 days in Honduras - definitely not the norm. Then Lent began, so I've been trying to go to the local Lenten Luncheons each week, so that's altered everyone's schedule one day a week, as well.

And my new normal still includes obligations that I have continued, particularly with North August 2000. First, it was the annual meeting of the North Augusta Chamber of Commerce, which actually took place on Cat and Liz's 30th birthday. Some of you may remember my whining in years past about the "Birthday Week from H---." This year was a little easier since Tom was in Honduras on his birthday. We celebrated everyone's birthday just before he left. My friend Susan, whose birthday is Feb. 4, is in the Dominican Republic, so that's gotten "easier" - at least with delayed pressure, since you really can't mail anything to the DR (mail system is too corrupt), so I either have to send her a gift card through the Internet, or I have to wait until I see her.

North Augusta 2000 has also begun an effort to make one-on-one contact with the investors, past, present and future, and the first of those get-togethers was held in February - again something that keeps me in touch with what's happening in North Augusta.

I'm back in the groove with my NA2000 responsibilities, including the monthly board meetings, along with Leadership North Augusta, which continues to have its monthly sessions and board meetings. The Leadership NA program was something I was very excited about, and I truly enjoy watching the class members each year grow into their personal leadership roles.

I thought March would be more "normal" for me, but already it began with Mac's 33rd birthday on Monday, which required some thought on what to get my son, who asks little but deserves much.

And I'm headed to the Dominican Republic at the end of the month - so that won't be normal either. (Tom will stay home and take on "nanny" responsibilities while I'm gone.)

So maybe by the time April rolls around, I can begin to see how I feel about retirement. Then again, we're having a baptism (and likely a party to go along with it) for Pearce on April 14, so that's not going to be "normal" either.I would like to get involved in activities that I never had time for when I was at The Star - more church groups or a civic organization or charity, something. But right now there doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day.

I am beginning to understand people who retire and then say, "I don't know how I had time to work."But I can say I'm enjoying figuring it all out.

Contact Phyllis Britt at ppbritt29803@yahoo.com.