What I Wish I’d Known About Retirement – Your Invitation

I just celebrated two years of not getting up for work. I didn’t have solid plans for what I was going to do instead. My plans shifted like sands on a windy beach. I knew I would spend more time traveling and volunteering, but the rest of the time has been a lot of experimentation and a little bit of frustration. I’ve written quite a bit about my retirement revelations here on WordPress, so what’s knew? I didn’t realize, until recently, that I’m not as uniquely confused about retirement life as I thought. There are other women out there blogging about retirement transitions. Other women without kids and grandkids searching for their next in life. Other women dealing with the loss of their corporate identity.

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Quote Me – The Art of Conversation

IMG_4833 (1) conversation with Dad

Conversing with Dad

I was nominated by Britchy to participate in this quote challenge on the art of conversation. She knows I need help with the technical aspects of WordPress and what better way than to challenge me in a way that will require links and tags!! Also, in a time when conversations (i.e. effective communication) are more crucial than ever, I’m going to throw in a recommendation along with my quotes. Continue reading

The Hole View – Retirement Pressures

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The guy who cuts my grass broke a window on May 17th. Two weeks later, I still don’t have a firm schedule for its repair – although I did finally get a price quoted. In my retirement transition, I’ve been focused on this hole and angry. It’s a symbol of everything that is broken and that I’ve been waiting to get fixed. Now that I am retired, that which used to be a nuisance, sometimes becomes an obsession. I retired from a  career in power where I worried about the scope of outages, when the next hurricane might come, and a myriad of daily decisions and administrative matters. Now, my decisions are like this: Continue reading

Finding Purpose After Retirement

iris fieldIMG_0987Early retirement has been like walking this zig-zagged iris garden boardwalk. Lots of fun travel over here. Golf and art lessons over there. Short term volunteer assignments along the way. Thoughts of marketing some of Mom’s artwork (she loved painting irises). Blogging a lot, then not. Walking around enjoying the beauty, like these travelers, but not jumping off into any particular field. I’ve written about my retirement identity crisis recently. However, I’m turning the corner into some things that are motivating me like I haven’t been for a while. Continue reading

Retirement – Identity Struggles and Feelings

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The above was from an article written in 2013 when the thought of early retirement didn’t exist. I was fully immersed in a career that I loved, working for a company and with people I respected, and really doing well….until my Father died shortly after it was published and I became the primary caregiver for my Mother. I spent the next four years immersed in elder care, my job and nothing else….until I started considering early retirement. There is lots of advice on the financial aspects of retirement and how to spend your time,  but not that much about one’s shifting identity and the emotions involved. I think of retirement planning in terms of three F’s:  Finances, Fun and Feelings (MOSTLY feelings.) Continue reading

Writing From The Heart

 

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Painting by Judy Mackey

Creative Pension Payment:  Being able to write about anything

I’ve always been a writer. When I was 12, I wrote a short story.  I even typed up the manuscript, but my Dad got transferred to Japan that summer and it was misplaced in the packing.  In middle school and high school I filled journals with poetry and teenaged revelations.  In college I wrote all the time (my BA is in Communications.) At work I wrote contracts, white papers and occasional articles for company publications. And then I went to graduate school…. It was exhausting after a while. Continue reading

Watercolor Lessons

Artistic Pension Payment:  Realizing the Capacity to be Creative

My Mother was an excellent artist.  She was also a stunningly beautiful model, gourmet cook/entertainer, and excelled at gardening and interior decorating.  The perfect 70’s Mom.  Her clients, art students and friends asked if I shared my Mother’s artistic abilities. Uh, hell no!  A daughter’s perception of her own Mother’s perfection.

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Model Mom Head Shot

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Glam Mom Entertaining

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Eggs Trapped in a Berndes Pan

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Artistic Pension Payment:  A Lesson in Cooking

My Mother was an excellent cook.  I have many of her fancy pans and other cooking paraphernalia that she considered essential.  However, I was always too busy working and usually single, so I tended to assemble food items rather than create meals.  One of my fancy cooking items was an 8 inch Berndes saute pan.  After listening to a cooking show on NPR, I attempted to fry/steam the perfect egg, later to be laid upon a decorative smear of low-fat plain yogurt and sprinkled with Herbs de Provence. Continue reading