First Year Goal Check

Here I am, first year of retirement is in the books!  And, as my goal-oriented personality is reminding me, it is time to check in to see how I’ve done with the annual goals I set forth for myself.  The purpose of checking in is to see if these goals are still relevant and of interest.  Remember, in retirement each of us  is in control of our own destiny.  I will ask myself if I need to change any of them for the upcoming year, make any of them more challenging or less ambitious.  Have I put them into action?  If so, I will ask, “how is it going” and if not, I will ask myself “why not?”  Basically this is a review of where I am now in my thoughts, feelings, and well-being.  Another way to put it is, it is an effort to be the best me I can be.  There is no sense in posting goals if you don’t take the time to reflect, another reason why I am giving this some attention.  I will re-post my goals from a year ago and below each section, in pink, write a synopsis of success, failure, and thoughts.

Here is the blog post of goals and the how research I did to get them.  And, I DID say that knitting was only PART of the plan.  I broke my life into 4 categories:

PHYSICAL

  • running – minimum of running 10 miles per week
  • minimum of 3 (5k) running races this upcoming season, looking to challenge my own times
  • biking – enjoyment
  • snowshoeing – a new endeavor with hubby, to begin, enjoyment
  • ponder rowing for enjoyment, season is May – October
  • ponder skiing for enjoyment, weather and time permitting

There has been lots of good, healthy running this year.  I have either reached or surpassed the goal of running 10 miles per week.  Weather conditions are not stopping me/us.  We, hubby and I vary it up by going to the local track, park, and river.  

I am noticing an ever-growing love of running by the river with hubby biking alongside and around as I know he enjoys it.  Oh, dear . . . I did not participate in any races… yet however  I AM registered for the Turkey Trot in November and have my sights on the half marathon in May, 2017!  Registration is not yet, up for the half marathon.  I just looked.

I perceive biking as a sport in support of running.  We purchased a gorgeous new bike for me last summer and we’ve had many a splendorous outings together.  

Snow shoes were purchased for both of us last Fall and as much as we loved our times out, snowfall was record low, so our times out were minimal.  We will keep our fingers crossed for more snow this winter.  

Rowing is out.  There is not enough time to do it justice and the time frame for commitment does not work.  Skiing is out until we see where our snow-shoeing takes us.   

October 2016 I will begin classes at Orangetheory Fitness!  I have signed up for 1 class/week.  Orangetheory Fitness is a studio for classes of all types utilizing heart rate and data to grow one’s fitness. 

SPIRITUAL

  • knitting – choose projects from stash only
  • no purchase of new yarn through this year
  • plan, make, finish, and wear ~ VK’s mantra
  • attend churches for the purpose of familiarizing and ultimately joining to become part of its community

Ah, yes.  I do put knitting into the category of ‘spiritual’.  If you’ve ever knitted, you would see why.  I have completed 7 projects since January, 2016 utilizing much of my remnant stash and some from ‘project’ stash.  I did weaken, however and purchased some new yarn. Minimal bundles . . .  three.  But, for a full year and lots of temptation, I will pat myself on the back.

2016 collection  Honeycomb is in ‘photo shoot queue’.

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Church did not happen, that is attending one or becoming part of a membership of one.  There has been lots of talking with hubby about faith, which location, the idea of membership at one specific church.  Sundays (assuming we would attend on Sundays) rolled in and out, 52 of them to be exact and somehow, we are only in the discussion phase.  I will need to study why I am not putting this goal into action.

MENTAL

  • write posts on Holly knits ~ for enjoyment
  • find and choose at least 2 other venues for writing, i.e. My View in the local newspaper
  • read blogs, articles, books
  • ponder accepting invite into book club

I have been quite regular posting on this blog.  And, I have found another venue for writing!  Wow, I really met this goal!  The other venue is another blog attached to the website called The Knitting Guild of Greater Buffalo.  

Not only will I write regularly there (1x/wk), I took the old website and re-configured it, organized it, updated it, and brought it to WordPress!  

My reading continues to consist of non-fiction, I do read lots of articles, and I did finish reading Knitting Pearls by Ann Hood.  I am not ready for a book club at this time due to time commitment it requires.

SOCIAL/EMOTIONAL

  • care take family members, as needed
  • join the local knitting organization 9/10/15
  • volunteer at least one task/job in that local knitting organization

Oh, it is fun to read goals written a year, ago!  Not only did I join the local knitting organization, I now hold the position of Vice President of that organization!  Yikes!  I believe by October I was Social Media Chairperson and my enthusiasm just grew and seemingly noticed by others.  What can I say?  

Regarding the care of family members is, of course, a more tender subject.  As we age, our needs change and sometimes our desires are effected.  The idea of housing, safety, and therapy are very much in the forefront of parent-care.  This is not easy, there are tears, and unwanted change is looming.  Retirement, by definition means the ceasing of.  Ceasing to work, ceasing to compete, ceasing to ______________ .  

Here are some images of family care of a loving kind.  circa 2016

I feel like I have met most of my goals.  In the next week, I will write goals for the next year or group of years, a decision I need to make.  I do not find this a chore, rather an opportunity to think deeply about who I am, who I want to be, and where I am going.

Yarn Fest or Yarn Fast . . . or both!

The Knitting Guild of Greater Buffalo is hosting its annual Yarn Fest.  Vendors far and wide have been invited to share their wares and tease us with their latest color ways, fibers, and other such goodies.  Knitting lessons and/or help as well as other goodies will be there and, of course, to us knitters, crocheters, spinners, and other such yarnies, we will be thrilled with the display and it will be like Christmas all over again.  Of course, I want to support this event being an active member of the organization.

It also happens that I’ve spent many an hour these last few weeks taking down my own yarn stash.

stash scrap

When I say taking down, I mean taking off the shelf every yarn ball I’ve ever purchased and making sure it is used to its and my best advantage.  I’ve set a goal of not purchasing any new yarn this year, an actual yarn fast!  I’ve been talking about this is recent posts, specifically here.   Aside from the bundles of yarn I’ve created and re-created for current and wearable garments, I’ve also gone into the remnant stash, organized it by characteristics of weight and color to see what I may discover.  Four projects have surfaced from this effort having successfully completed a bulky topper designed by Mari Lynn Patrick as seen in Vogue Knitting Fall 2011 using remnants from three projects and await cooperative weather for a photo shoot.

This is Debbie Bliss Donegal Luxury Tweed Bulky, one of the three yarns used.

Here is the second project that I am currently knitting utilizing worsted weight yarn, remnants from nine recently completed projects.  This will be a fair isle coat designed by Yoko Hatta as seen in Vogue Knitting, Fall 2013 and pictured, below.

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I’ve got all the yarn organized in this fabric box for easy retrieval and color organizing.

It seems like a yarn fest and a yarn fast are unfortunately at opposing ends of one’s actions.  So, I’ve been trying to figure out how to support both and I think I’ve come up with an idea!

Truly, the bundles of yarn in my collection for specific projects are a done deal in my mind, meaning I am not going to touch them.  However, I’ve also decided that the remnant yarn, no matter how planned at this moment, be given permission for freedom of change, to allow myself creative flexibility.  This means that when I am at the yarn fest, no matter how efficient or well planned I feel my future plans are in utilizing my yarn,  in particular the remnant stash, I will be open to looking at and purchasing small amounts of new yarn that could supplement, maybe add texture, or color to the ideas I have or put me in a new direction that might be even better!  This will make the event fun for me while remaining within the grasp of my goal.

Here is an example of yarn that was slated for one thing but has perfectly fit the bill for another.  This is not an easy thing for me to do and I am beginning to enjoy this process of change.  This is Berroco Lustra that is being made into a two-tone cable sweater, design by Heather Lodinsky.  More about this when completed.

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So, with one month or so to go and acceptance within myself for some play,  excitement is building for Yarn Fest 2016!  Hope to see you, there!

The Rhythm of Retirement

Some beliefs:  I believe setting goals for first year retirement is very important as doing so is evidence of self-direction and provides purpose, process, and production.  I believe there are a number of stages within the retirement phase of life.  I believe the very first stage of retirement is long before retirement actually begins.  I might call it the ‘Preparation Stage’.  These beliefs are firming up in my mind.

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Fiber Festival Inspiration

There really IS a world beyond the classroom, I am discovering, and this weekend, this new world took me to my first fiber festival, the 11th annual Fiber Arts Festival of NY.   Part of the adventure was representing the Knitting Guild of Greater Buffalo by volunteering to table-sit and meet folks who were inquiring about the guild and, of course the other part was to explore the many tents of fiber artists and have fun.

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Orangetheory Fitness

If retirement is about revisiting possibilities for one’s body and mind, then let me tell you, EVERYTHING I just experienced fits into this category.

To alleviate some sadness with the new school year starting without me, I purposely planned a visit mid-September to see my daughter.  Of course, it is always great to see her but I must say this trip did indeed fulfill the task of perfect distraction for me.

When I visit my daughter, I never know what I might be getting into.  You see, she works hard thinking about her core values and belief system.  This notion had its beginnings during the college years and seems to be continuing through these employment years. From teaching high school art, teaching yoga, working in art studios and for independent artists, working retail, and currently holding a managerial position at a fitness studio, she continues to seek what she believes in and what makes her happy.  This creates surprises and unknowns when I visit.

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Director of my Destiny

In preparing to write goals for my first year of retirement, I’ve been reading and researching the topic of a healthy lifestyle.  Not that I’ve just started being interested in living a most fulfilling life, but now with my own time on my hands, I am fortunate enough to be able to do so!  I am aware that I am now the director of my own destiny so I’m taking careful time trying to figure it all out.   Having good health on my side and an optimistic outlook on life, I see no reason why not to remain as productive this year as when I retired from employment just two short months, ago.  So, to this end, here are some lists that I’ve found or that people have shared with me that I really liked that will help guide and direct toward this end:

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Piaget Monday

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Jean Piaget, founder of constructivism

“Constructivism is a theory of knowledge that argues that humans generate knowledge and meaning from an interaction between their experiences and their ideas. It has influenced a number of disciplines, including psychology, sociology, education and the history of science.” (from Wikipedia)

Niagara University, my alma mater (one of them), believes in this Constructivism philosophy and builds its programming around it (if similar to when I was there). I can still remember that my learning of experiences occurred during the process of writing those reflective write-ups AFTER the experience, not during the ‘doing’ of them.  And, I remember during the doing of them, you’re too busy doing!  I still remember enjoying writing those reflections and taking the time to craft them just so, finding it really important to capture my feelings in relation to the activity. So, because I realized the value of reflection, it is no surprise that I continue to operate in this way.

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To blog or not to blog, that be the question

IMG_0393To blog or not to blog?
Is blogging work or leisure?
I love thought-provoking questions such as these, recently seen on WordPress, and I’ve been contemplating how I might respond.

I think the answer to both questions is surrounded by one’s purpose.  And, what I mean is there are as many reasons to write a blog as there are bloggers. And, likely many reasons not to write a blog. Each blogger probably began with an idea or a unique purpose for their writing.  I mean you gotta have an idea!  In some cases, to share or chat or find commonalities to others or make connections. Maybe, even to find answers! Example of that is retirementtransition.  The author is carefully and strategically reinventing herself with a new sense of identity with her new phase in life.  In some cases, blogs are written to teach or inform like Live to Write – Write to Live.  I love that blog and am learning a thing or two.  (who vs. that, a common mistake of mine)  I think my favorite are the learning blogs.  Then, there are those who utilize social networking aka WordPress that is then linked to their Linkedin and/or Twitter accounts for their business as in Kate Davies Designs.  How lucky to have this resource in which to do so.  Her blog in particular, is so beautiful with its photography and equally compelling writing, whether you like knitting or not, it’s a treat.  Actually those blogs are the person’s business where patterns are sold, the author advertises the books they’ve written and the like. Oh, and I can’t forget the poetry blogs like O at the Edges I love to read them, too but admittedly cannot always interpret what the author is intending.  (And, no, I do not beat myself up about that.)

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Happenings

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A few updates …
  • “Imbalance 2” has turned into “Delight” regarding blog theme.  And, who knows what else I might find between this post and the next?  If you’re looking for familiarity when stopping by to visit this blog, I guess the only solace I have for you is that the content and message will be a constant.

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Running Goal

from my running past

I mentioned that when I was ready, I would post my running goal here.

It happens that the well-known Komen Race for the Cure®, part of the largest series of 5K runs/fitness walks in the world, is just around the corner and, of course, is beckoning for participants!  Teams are forming, t-shirts are being ordered, and the whole thing is dangling in front of my face offering opportunity.  And, it has been a ten year hiatus since my last run. Seems the perfect venue to serve as entry point for getting back into the running regime.  I have missed the routine of training, especially the rhythmic breathing of fresh air.  And knitters, let me tell you, one can do a lot of planning of their projects while on these fun runs!

So, with the decision made, in honor of loved ones, I will be taking this on.  With no other time frame in mind but to finish, wish me luck!   I do hope to get a picture at the end.

6/2015

Cardigan or Pullover

Cardigan, pullover, cardigan, pullover, which shall I choose?
It’s like music to our internal souls,
Rhythm we knitters dance and understand.
A repetition that motivates and gives us direction.
Patterns on the shelves,  designers desiring our attention.
Each calling to be chosen for the next exciting project.

Cardigan, pullover, cardigan, pullover, you know how I want to choose you
Do I need a work horse, a hearty cardigan for my Spring look,  I ask?
Knowing its versatility in zipper, button, or hook.
“I keep the breeze off your shoulders on cool summer evenings,” it sings
“In bulky weight I can be your jacket, coat, outer layer that can serve you as you need.”
Or, do I need a more casual look?

Cardigan, pullover, cardigan, pullover, it is time I make a choice,
Pullovers, pullovers, pullover; styles galore.
Round neck, v-neck, scoop, and boat
“No need to fuss with me.  I come short, long, baggy, or lean.
And, many on Ravelry see me in stripe
I’m what you chose to take on a Friday night.”

Each has their advantage, a place in a wardrobe and in a knitter’s queue.
Each has their shortcomings, when the weather does not cooperate.
Cardigan, pullover it is always nice to have the option,
Look in your wardrobe to make that wise decision,
Cardigan, pullover, cardigan, pullover which shall I choose?
Cardigan, pullover, maybe I’ll knit one of each.