Happy Friday, everyone! I hope you take a moment to recognize that you get to choose how to react to all the chaos that surrounds us. Don’t let yourselves become needlessly outraged. Take a deep breath. Recognize all the good, and have a wonderful weekend!
Happy Friday, fellow Voyagers! A couple of years ago we decided not to build a big fancy-schmancy new home, and instead, opted to sell our property so that we might pursue a wider range of experiences on the Voyage. Best. Decision. Ever!!! So this Friday finds me exploring and taking in all the funky sites, soaking up the flavor of this fine city. Life truly is about collecting experiences…Not Stuff! And so, as I sit here under the Public Market sign, drinking a Pumpkin Spiced Chai (cliche, I know…but so delicious!) I’m wishing you all a weekend full of rich exploration!
And retirement is just the beginning of a new and exciting voyage! Are you becoming the person you have always wanted to be? Are you chasing your dreams? Do you continue to have Big Goals? I hope so! Have a wonderful weekend, fellow voyagers!
I’ve spent the last several days reading back blog posts in a reader list that I have lovingly titled “My blogging buds.” There are lots of you that I have followed since I started this little endeavor, and as I said last week, blogging relationships are very real. And just like when you haven’t spoken with someone in a while, I’ve learned that there have been some changes in the lives of my blogosphere friends – some good, some heartbreaking. So I thought I’d take a minute to bring you up to speed on what’s been going on with us in the year I’ve been away from my blog.
We’ve created quite a little encore business. Hubs travels out-of-town for two short trips a month and returns to write related reports. He’s only away from home for one night in all this. The beauty of the gig is two-fold: He earns airline points like a crazy man, and those projects allow us to take on smaller, more rewarding architectural contracts – the kind that make his heart sing. I’m the administrative support of the operation, and have cultivated some administrative side hustles on my own.
Now we are learning to balance just the right amount of projects to keep our minds active and engaged, while maintaining the spirit of retirement. It almost got away from us. But we’re figuring it out.
In the last year, we’ve been fortunate to take some very cool trips, from St. Louis to Seattle to Hawaii. We’ve also discovered that we love packing a picnic lunch, getting the dog in the back seat of the truck, and taking off to explore the beauty of Idaho. Hubs loves to wander US Forest Service roads, and our new motto is, “I wonder where that goes!” I’ll share the voyages in more detail in upcoming posts. And you know those, “How Many States Have You Visited?” maps that show up on Facebook? Well, we’ve decided to start over, only counting those states we’ve visited together! We’ve only been to 16 together ~ we’ve got lots more to experience!
Remember when we decided to sell our property, and instead we completed the Retirement Remodel, making our current home function the way we love? Well, we’re preparing to embark on “Phase 2,” during which we will add an art studio and shop for hubs. It’s funny, because this morning, as I was reading Pat’s post over at Retirement Transitions, she pointed out that her idea of de-cluttering was quite different from her husband’s. And while I realize that a shop will only encourage MY hubs to acquire even more “tools,” it is his love of classic cars that wins out. We’re all about designing a place for him to pursue his passions (both art and cars) from this place where we will spend our retirement years.
Our wanderlust continues to be strong. I’m always planning one or two trips in the future. Remember those mileage points? Now I’m trying to figure out where we would like to escape, should “Snowmageddon” hit our city again this year as it did last year. Don’t want to go anywhere too “floody, earthquakey, firey, or hurricaney!” I’m open to suggestions!
We are both pretty voracious readers, and I have nearly completed my Good Reads Challenge of 40 books this year. I particularly enjoyed:
Hey, I’ve got a good idea – why don’t you find me over on Good Reads (Lynn Jeffers) and then I can see what you’re reading! (Don’t be alarmed by the shorter, straightened hair…it was a moment!)
I have undertaken a rather huge quilting project. A teacher friend had the parts and pieces of a Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt, which had been started by her grandmother as a wedding gift. Unfortunately, her grandmother passed away before it was completed. My friend asked for my help. So I am currently hand piecing and hand quilting fabrics from this 1930’s quilt. Her grandma pieced and quilted everything by hand. To do less would fail to honor the quilt…
As fall is upon us, I find that I’m in a bit of a “cocooning” spirit. I’ve been canning peaches and pears, and will work on applesauce over the weekend – I love the smell of cinnamon and cloves in the house. The Roxy girl continues to delight us, even if she is occasionally naughty.
We are thankful everyday that we have the opportunity to share this voyage. So that’s about it…we’re sort of caught up. And now my mind is reeling with future posts and additional goodies to share. Stay tuned!
When we first found ourselves both unemployed seven years ago, my younger sister posed a very simple yet important question:
How much do you really need?
At first, it calmed our fears. We had saved up plenty to survive while we decided our next steps. But more importantly, it started us on a journey to sort of pseudo-minimalism. We lightened our load, examined our stuff, started conversations about our values, and took a hard look at what is really important to us. We started designing our lives on this Encore Voyage with much more intention.
In the early days, hubs would spend sleepless nights trying to answer the question, “Am I doing the right things?” “Am I taking the right jobs?” Am I taking all the steps I need for us to be successful.” At first, those were questions born of fear and uncertainty.
The same questions are true for anyone entering retirement. Have we saved enough? Are we prepared both financially and emotionally? Do we need to do more? Are we ready to take the leap?
Well, it’s taken us a few years, but we have finally learned to stop and take some very deep breaths. And we’ve learned some things about “Enough.”
- We do not need to fill every hour of every day. Down time is now cherished! We are mindful about doing “enough.”
- We do not need to exist on the 8 to 5 schedule of the working world. It’s OK for us to skip out in the middle of the afternoon or to work on a weekend. We get to decide what to make of the day, and no longer feel guilty for not doing “enough.”
- We don’t need to buy much more “stuff.” We want the items we own to be useful, meaningful or beautiful. Generally speaking, we own “enough.”
- Taking time in the middle of the afternoon to read a book or pursue a hobby is quite OK. You can never have “enough” curiosity or interests.
- We travel lightly. I’ve studied up on many travel blogs, and it really is quite possible to go anywhere in a 22 inch carry-on and a backpack. Just “enough” is waaayyyy better when traveling than too much!
- Keeping up with the Joneses is stupid. They are broke! Our “enough” is not for anyone else to judge.
- You can never have “enough” meaningful relationships. They are far more important than the things you own!
- There will NEVER be “enough” time for us to love each other and be together. We need to take advantage of every moment we’re given in this life.
So how about it…What’s “enough” for you? Any important things I’ve left off the list? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Photo credit: Patrick Fore ~ Unsplash
In a comment this week, Janis at Retirementally Challenged asked me if we have a plan for the day when we will say, “No more.” It started quite a conversation between hubs and me. We realized that we may never stop altogether. We love the things we’re doing, and we’re designing our lives on the Encore Voyage to fulfill one of our core values of personal growth. So how about it…What are you passionate about? What’s your calling?
Have a great weekend!
A couple of weeks ago, I was driving to an early morning appointment, when I happened upon a group of elementary aged students waiting for the school bus on one of those last days of school. What struck me in that moment was that there were three moms waiting there with a group of 6-8 children.
Fast forward to the events of this month where that precious child was attacked by the alligator in Orlando, or even to the toddler who fell into the gorilla enclosure at the zoo. What disturbs me most is the rant on social media against the parents of these children – a sort of social media piling on, blaming the parents for not paying close enough attention to their kids.
Now I am anticipating the typical backlash from those who will point out that I’m nobody’s mommy, but my head just wants to scream out…
It was an accident, people!
Horrible, terrible, accidents that these poor parents have had to endure – the worst imaginable moments of their lives…and instead of finding support from other parents, they are attacked from all sides.
And now here’s where it gets dicey –
I really hope that this doesn’t cause parents to keep an even closer grip on their children. There has always been danger of one type or another. Remember when Baby Jessica fell in the well and a nation held its breath during her rescue? When I was in elementary school, we would practice drop and cover drills, all climbing under our desks as if that was going to save us from the pending nuclear attack. And there have always been perverts out there. I can remember my friends and I running home from the park to tell my mom that there was a creepy guy in the bushes. Talk to any senior in Europe, and they will tell you how horrible it was to live during World War II. If that’s not enough to make you grab your child and hold on tight, I don’t know what is.
Dangers have always, unfortunately, existed. What has changed significantly is our immediate and unrelenting access to media coverage of every.single.horrible.event. And it’s got parents scared. So scared that they are afraid to let little Johnny or Susie out of their sight for even a minute, for fear that the terrible things might happen to them.
And that, I believe, is doing a tremendous disservice to this nation’s children. It saddens me that kids no longer play “kick the can” in the middle of the street. While I’m fairly certain that they are smart enough to yell, “CAR!” (remember, how everyone scattered?) – they won’t ever get the chance to test those independence skills. Or to just take off on their bikes with a bunch of friends and hang out in the neighborhood because mom said, “Go play outside!” Or to be able to start a pick-up game of baseball without adult assistance, coaches, refs and umpires. You know, just kids with a ball and a bat in a vacant lot. Or how about walking along that split rail fence – Yes, I know, they could fall and break their arm. But shouldn’t they be allowed to try???
Not really a retirement post, I know. And I’m pretty sure I’ll get blasted from well-meaning younger parents in defense of keeping their children safe. But I’m curious about your opinion…