Retirement Stepping Stone 12: Savoring memories is not living in the past.

 

 

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With my extra time, I found myself reflecting on ‘good times’.

I occasionally wondered if that was counterproductive to staying in the here and now.

With time, though, I decided that if savoring the past evokes a smile or a sense of gratitude, then have at it.

Think about it…I could relive laying a post-Thanksgiving siege with beloved cousins to San Francisco’s Playland.

Or I could take a quick glance at today’s cable news.

And so, retirees, join me in a few of my recent replays

–breakfast visits with one of my ‘hall of fame’ students, long after his year in my classroom.

–sitting back as fourth-graders G and W reorganize my class library.

–relishing those years of teaching when I looked forward to the excitement of Monday morning. [No Sunday blues in sight.] And the ensuing gratitude for the principal who saw teaching as an art that you perform with your heart. [Thank you, Bernice.]

–A glistening 75-degree Friday evening in May, 1965…Valley Center Merchants vs. Toro Park at the latter’s rural Little League field. Lightly attended [i.e. no mouthy fans]. Not a care in the world as the first pitch is thrown.

–Strolling the paved pathways along Lake Louise with my wife, after Sunday brunch at the Chateau.

So, retirees, give it a shot. Call up your own magic moments and enjoy.


Note: I retired for twelve months and learned plenty. I’ll be posting at least one stepping stone per week. Each of these lessons or impressions from that year off will constitute a mini-chapter of my book-in-progress.


Along with my book-in-progress, I’m also looking at setting up an online community.
If you’re interested… [Honest! I’m scaling back my ‘shiny objects’ list!]


Yes, keep me updated!

 

A promise: Your email address will be used to inform you of the status of the book and community and will not be shared.

 

Retirement Stepping Stone 11: I found a productive new workspace.

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I loved my ‘mobile office’ sessions–those times when I packed up my  notebooks, laptop, etc.,  drove to a favorite  location, and worked on projects.

If you’re a creator/writer/maker/designer/idea person, try this out.

Here are a few advantages over the typical coffee shop setting: 1. You’re creating your own ‘bubble of focus’. 2. You save money by bringing your own coffee and food. [There’s a good chance your own coffee and food is better than what you buy anyway.].  3. You can choose silence or provide your own music. 4. Distractions? The solution is a five-minute drive to your next preferred location. 5. You can spread out your stuff without concern for trespassing onto other customers’ tables.


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.


Along with my book-in-progress, I’m also looking at setting up an online community.
If you’re interested… [Honest! I’m scaling back my ‘shiny objects’ list!]


Yes, keep me updated!

A promise: Your email address will be used to inform you of the status of the book and community and will not be shared.

 

Self-Interview: How did retirement surprise you?

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My previous post listed ten questions I would like to ask retirees.

Question 2: Tell me something surprising about retirement.

I was surprised that it wasn’t easy working for myself. I was too lenient. I allowed myself to drift from one ‘great idea’ to the next without sinking my teeth into any one of them.

I guess I figured that with all the extra time, anything was possible.

I’ve written before about the shiny object syndrome .

I initially entered retirement with a ‘prove myself’ attitude and that too was frittered away by distraction and resistance. A year passed and I hadn’t completed nearly as many projects as I’d hoped to.

Other surprises? I didn’t read nearly as much as I expected to. But I also didn’t watch much TV. Even as I write this, I’m wondering…’what did I do with all that time?’.

More surprises in later posts. Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

Retirement Pondering Point: Six thoughts on reading obituaries

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  1. I read them only to the point where you’re inspired to do something special or different with my day.
  2. I try to find at least one thing the obituary’s subject did that might reassure you? [ex: feel good that you accomplished something similar]
  3. If they do weigh me down on a given day, I just move on. There’s no reason to force it.
  4. “Obits have next to nothing to do with death and, in fact, absolutely everything to do with the life.” New York Times obituary writer Margalit Fox.
  5. “…a good obit illuminates not just one particular individual’s story but also the broader idea of all that is possible in life.”  STEPHANIE ZACHAREK May 4, 2017. http://time.com/4766634/the-art-of-obit-a-life-in-800-words/
  6. Quote from Austin Kleon about reading obituaries: “Reading them is a way for me to think about death while also keeping it at arm’s length.”  Austin Kleon Show Your Work

 

My Retirement Book: Exercise caution…

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Today’s post is an excerpt from a draft of my mind-bending book on retirement.
[Okay, slight exaggeration.]
I’m also looking at setting up an online community.
If you’re interested…


Yes, keep me updated!

A promise: Your email address will be used to inform you of the status of the book and community and will not be shared.

Self-Interview: An ideal day of retirement…

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My previous post listed ten questions I would like to ask retirees.

I decided answering those same questions myself would give me a better context for chats with other retirees. So here goes:

Question 1: Tell me about a good day of retirement. Be as specific as you like.

A good day of retirement would include:

  1. doing something new, no matter how inconsequential it might be to others. It might be trying out a new food item at the store or a new restaurant.
  2. baking three-cheese-chive scones or devil’s food-chocolate chip muffins. [I usually lean toward baking something decadent, at least mildly decadent.]
  3. a visit to weekday Mass, where I would get the requisite [for me] fist bump from a buddy as I return from Communion.
  4. writing at least 500 words. I would like to see those words entail a blog post to my inventwithwords.com blog or this retirerenew.com blog. I would like at least 200 of those words directed toward one of my fiction projects.
  5. at least 30 minutes of exerbiking while reading/first drafting.
  6. an evening walk with my wife at either a nature area in town or in the neighborhood.
  7. time with our soon-to-be-adopted dog. [Not even sure who that is.]
  8. a relaxing morning coffee and breakfast with my wife and an ebook, with Keb Mo music in the background.
  9. a glance at the morning newspaper, one that homes in on good news and my favorite comic strips.
  10. sunshine and plenty of time in the backyard to enjoy it.
  11. at least 30 minutes of reading, both fiction and non-fiction.
  12. a check-in on the phone with either a sibling, my friend in Chico, CA, or my friend in San Diego.
  13. doing errands around town and visiting the library with my wife and dog.
  14. watching an episode of Modern Family in the afternoon, as I sip on a strong cup of Italian Roast and nibble on the muffins or scones I baked just 30 minutes before.

I have to say, this was fun. And I know I left out tons of other fun details I could have included.

10 questions for retirees…inquiring minds want to know.

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Questions I would ask fellow retirees…

  1. Tell me about a good day of retirement. Be as specific as you like.
  2. Tell me something surprising about retirement.
  3. What did you envision about retirement that hasn’t materialized?
  4. What is your most memorable day of retirement so far?
  5. What would you add to your typical retirement day? Be as imaginative as you would like.
  6. “One year from now, I hope that…”
  7. Do all the days blend together? In other words, are weekends any different from weekdays?
  8. Have you volunteered? No guilt here. Just wondering. What would be your first choice of a destination for volunteering?
  9. One piece of advice you would share with retirees–especially in their first year–would be…
  10. How is your retirement different from your parents’?