Stepping Stone 8: Retirement can be a state of mind.

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I’m sure this realization is nothing new, but since I’m fairly new to the retirement game, it’s new to me.

With this light bulb moment in mind, I’ve decided that each weekend can be a mini-retirement.

I’ll still be answerable to loved ones and will aim to be productive, but if I’m hit with a wave of ‘ehhhh, that can wait’, I’ll concede quite willingly.

And, if faced with an opportunity for a new adventure, I’ll follow my ‘Awww, you’re only retired once.’ mantra over the annoying ‘But you’re working again!’ voices.**


**lots of voices, I know. A little disturbing, isn’t it?

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Note: I retired for twelve months and learned plenty. I’ll be posting my impressions and lessons–I’ll call them ‘stepping stones‘–as a friend, not an advisor, and certainly not as an expert. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Stepping Stone 7: TV time wasn’t an issue.

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As much free time as I had, I never camped out in front of the tube. [Though the strewn popcorn is oddly reminiscent of other recliner-sessions…]

In fact, I ended up deleting more unseen sports and cooking shows than those I actually watched.

This isn’t a pat on the back. It was just a pleasant surprise.


Just a reminder: These stepping stones summarize my experience. There may or may not be lessons here for you, but I am thinking some of my experiences may approximate some of what you experience during your retirement years.

Stepping Stone 6: It was difficult to work for myself.

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Oh, sure, there were times I was a very reasonable employer. 

A trip to California? Why not?

Start a new writing project? Sure. It’ll pay off in the future. [It hasn’t yet.]

I got motivated to start new projects and waltz into learning [or trying to learn] new skills and strategies.

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But things stalled when the idea of marketing and any whiff of a profit motive entered into the equation.

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At some point, I put myself on suspension. [Or, in Animal House-speak, ‘double-secret probation’.] [go to the 1:10 mark in the video]

I’ve climbed out of my ‘double-secret’ exile, but still, I’m still in production rather than profit mode. So be it.



Note: I retired for twelve months and learned plenty. I’ll be posting my impressions and lessons–I’ll call them ‘stepping stones‘–as a friend, not an advisor, and certainly not as an expert. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Structuring novelty into the weekend…update…and a realization.

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As you can see, I’ve been also using a new web tool: cooltext.com Once a kid, always a kid, I guess.

  1. Listen to new music. [More new music: I turned on a new Comcast/Music Choice Channel called Stage and Screen–music made famous in notable film scores, television, and the Broadway stage.]
  2. Start a new book.
  3. Walk/Hike at a new location. [We hit a trail in town that we hadn’t visited for at least two years. That qualifies as ‘new’ to me. Will still aim for a new one tomorrow, perhaps the Beazell Memorial Forest.]
  4. Cook a new dish.
  5. Make a new item at tomorrow’s Maker Faire at the university. [Yep, made a block print of two rabbits. Will be putting it up on Etsy for $1000, though there’s that little obstacle of actually creating an Etsy account…and setting up a store…, well you get the idea.]
  6. Buy a dish from one of the food trucks downtown.
  7. Use a new app/computer program.
  8. Create web content with a new app.
  9. Use a new setting on one of my cameras. [I used three different settings. Photos and setting labels to be added.]
  10. Add one or two new exercises to my resistance workout.
  11. Plant the new tomato starts I bought this week. [I bought sweet pepper starts and shelling pea starts today for $1.12 apiece. Couldn’t go wrong. Planting will happen tomorrow.]
  12. Add a new chapter to my middle grade book.
  13. Create two more new blog posts this weekend. [I’m adding one with this update.]

As for the realization…

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While I enjoyed my year of retirement and feel lucky that I rejoined the working world on my terms, I decided I should keep my retired vibe every weekend.

This activity list led to my enlightenment…that I could have the best of both worlds.

***

Keep up the search for the new, interesting, even challenging.

You will thank yourself later on.

Please add comments about your own search for daily enrichment, no matter how small. If it resonates with you, then it counts as important and interesting.

Structuring novelty into the weekend…

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It was simple.

This morning, I was writing in my Eclectic’s Journal. [Click for sample pages from the journal if you’re interested.]

For my daily Idea Sandbox list, I decided on “Ten New Things to Do This Weekend” as my topic.

Here is the list:

  1. Listen to new music.
  2. Start a new book.
  3. Walk/Hike at a new location.
  4. Cook a new dish.
  5. Buy a new item at tomorrow’s Maker Faire at the university.
  6. Buy a dish from one of the food trucks downtown.
  7. Use a new app/computer program.
  8. Create web content with a new app.
  9. Use a new setting on one of my cameras.
  10. Add one or two new exercises to my resistance workout.
  11. Plant the new tomato starts I bought this week.
  12. Add a new chapter to my middle grade book.
  13. Create two more new blog posts this weekend.

As you can see, I didn’t exactly stop at 10.

I have a head start.

♦ I am now reading Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson. No, I’m not smart enough to understand most of it, but I figured some of his information would blow me away. [Hint: The first paragraph of Chapter 1 did just that.]

♦ And after work, I came home, summoned YouTube, and have now incorporated two new resistance band exercises.

♦ I called up Spotify for new music. Started with its New Music Friday [Latin] selections and moved on to Music for Perfect Concentration, which suited me perfectly as I worked through some pages of the Astrophysics book.

More later. [I’d better print out my list to keep me focused.]

The next post: A progress update on the list AND a realization spurred by this post.

 

A daily habit? Daily Clicks.

 

Over the last year, I would say I’ve followed through on this daily habit about 330 out of 365 opportunities.**

CLICK TO GIVE

Even if it’s the only thing I accomplish within that 24 hours, these ten clicks [I follow the ‘Greater Good’ menu at the top of the page.] have helped someone and given me a gentle wake-up call to the needs of others, including animals.

**For me, 90% constitutes a habit.