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.
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.
In keeping with the theme of “new possibilities” at this time of rebirth, aka retirement, I am excited to say there is more to report! Actually, a few new things. Odd as it may seem, I have never belonged to an established knitting group. I felt what little time I had for knitting during the child-rearing and employment years could best be spent with actual knitting rather than traveling to do the same. There are a few exceptions as I recall a year or two where a few of us colleagues met about 1x/month, rotated to each other’s homes and attempted to knit. Attempted, I say because we were so busy chatting about school life as school life doesn’t allow time for such chit chat, the knitting needles barely came out. And, then there were the sessions with the lovely neighbor who, to this day, I credit for my inspiration to knit. Her beautiful stockinette suits with picot raglan sleeves and straight skirts sent me into a love affair I still have today. Aside from these two experiences, it’s been a quiet existence creating my hand knits.
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.
TEN: Imperfections of the house are staring you in the face . . . at all times.
NINE: There IS time for exercise.
EIGHT: Coffee breaks are not alone but with your pooch who needs your ‘watching’.
SEVEN: You think there is more time than there is.
SIX: Even your own grooming needs self-direction.
FIVE: You can’t sleep in because your internal clock from years of work won’t stop.
FOUR: Hubby mentions to you that you are annoying.
THREE: There is no job description given to you of duties and responsibilities of your new position as retiree.
TWO: The house becomes LESS organized as you move from one activity to another.
AND ONE: All your friends have gone back to work.
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:
“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.
“Pack a Backpack”, a community effort in preparing students for school, ads on TV for back to school clothing shopping, family and friends posting their children’s first-days on Facebook, like it or not the excitement is in the air preparing for a new school year. Just as obvious are the schools with parking lots filled with vehicles as re-energized faculty and staff are in full swing doing their best in preparing for another year. Anticipation of possibilities were always such a big part of August for me.
Well, here it is August, newly retired, and nowhere near where I have always been. Life feels very different because of that. Good, as in exciting as I can fill my day the way I choose and bad, as in scary as what will I do with myself?
So, one way I am combatting those scary and unwanted feelings is by getting a good dose of fresh air every day. I do mean every day. Today’s pick of fun in the sun was a bike ride with hubby on a bike path neither one of us had ever been on before.
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.)
Toys – 1 an object for a child to play with, typically a model or miniature replica of something: [ as modifier ] : a toy car.
• an object, especially a gadget or machine, regarded as providing amusement for an adult: in 1914 the car was still a rich man’s toy.
• a person treated by another as a source of pleasure or amusement rather than with due seriousness: a man needed a friend, an ally, not an idol or a toy.
2 [ as modifier ] denoting a diminutive breed or variety of dog: a toy poodle.
The above is the definition of toys from the New Oxford American Dictionary as seen on MacBook OS X Yosemite, version 10.4.4. This post is “toying” around with the first definition and offering some thought as I ponder the concept.
As I begin this journey (retirement) into the unknown, I am allowing myself to meander freely around and about the house going here, then there, not with any great decisive purpose (just yet) and am secretly eavesdropping on my movements and feelings. So, between you and me, these are few of my observations on myself: