Thursday, December 27, 2012

Looking to 2013.......

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. While Christmas is not over, the big day and those celebrations are past.  We managed to have a wonderful Christmas and surpassed my goals of Having a $500 Christmas. I'll share our downsized, comfortable Christmas experience later.  A real photo of my sons pickled veggies is below (we ended up with one too many and this one is without the ribbons, tags and trimmings.  All in all a wonderful time was had by all.

Today I ventured out briefly with some of my Christmas goodies. I got the books below at Barnes and Noble. A frugal fail, because I then looked at the prices on Amazon with free shipping and they were half of what they were at B/N. Still deciding on what to do here. I also hit the local quilt store and got a few fabrics to make place mats and cloth napkins. I'll save the rest of my "gift shopping" for the new year. Unfortunately taking pictures in unnatural light affects the colors-the top fabric is pink!!



This week, along with much of the blogosphere,  I'm concentrated on goals and plans for the next months, if not for all of 2013.  I try to think in general goals, or at least general areas rather than coming up with a huge list. These then, are the goals for my 2013 retirement lifestyle.

Obviously my big immediate goal is to decide my location and lifestyle as I leave this house in the next few months (we hope). Much of my time will be spent on lifestyle comparisons, travel opportunities, access to family an other considerations. I will share with my readers my intention to consider a third option (besides Dallas and Denver) and that is to move further  south here in Texas (near the water if its affordable, in hill country if not). I'll share more about this later as well.

I want to do some rethinking on this blog.  I've been sporadic in posting. While posting too regularly is not my style, I want to keep an even keel. I also want to make most of my articles relevant to either fixed income retirement (which of course includes a wide variety of incomes), or to single retirement. I've been meaning to write more about issues that affect singles in retirement, and I intend to increase that focus in the new year. I've been looking at monetizing this blog, as well.

My travel goals are pretty simple. Again, I hope to take two long road trips, and one day or weekend trip a month, at minimum. I prefer to be mainly at home with a couple long breaks rather than the alternative.  One long road trip will be the gulf trip that never got planned this past summer. I'm considering a second, really long, away from home trip. That one would mean driving across to California, up the coast and in to Seattle. I would then head east towards the Dakotas. Unfortunately there's no easy way all the way south after that. I'm still exploring my options here. The other choice is a really long train trip.

I have definitely did not meet my fitness goals for the past year, so I'm still working on ways to be fit in extreme temperatures with a permanently bum knee (and an unwillingness to swim in cold weather, even inside-it's illogical, I know). I'm cobbling together a plan-seated exercises, summer swimming..........

I hope to take my sewing and craft biz to the next level-and keep it part time. I've changed my attitude and the way I work, and have looked at alternative outlets. I've mainly stopped making little things (other than table top related items) and concentrated on making a large variety of sizes. My decision to make what I like has worked out well, in terms of business. I still take custom orders (I have two now) but most of my sales are items I made and then display. I also do a great deal of charity sewing, part of my volunteer effort. First though, I need to have a recovery day-my poor sewing room is showng the effects of Christmas sewing in the extreme. Let's just call this the "before".

Which leads me to the personal enrichment category, for lack of a better phrase. One of my goals post downsizing is to have more time for volunteering. I continue to work best on short term specific projects rather than once a week commitments, but I leave my time free to be able to help as needed, when it's really needed. One of the regular goals I'm still working on from last year is regular prayer and meditation-at least an hour daily. Many folks asked me last year about my path in this area. I have not reached the plane of three times daily prayer/meditation. I slowly built a schedule, and I cannot tel you how much that time enriches my day (and how much I miss it if it is not done).  While I appreciate the "God in the sunset" approach, I personally need structured, one on one quiet time. I hope to explore some new socialization alternatives and take a single course each semester.

Finally (and I've touched on this previously), I'm looking to become more self sufficient. Fear not, I have no intention of becoming a doomsday prepper. However, the world has changed. I feel the need to be prepared for any one of short term and long term crises from a temporary money crunch to a tornado.  These preparations will include stocking up for emergencies, fine tuning finances, and learning new skills (the most fun part).

There you have it. As with most folks, goals and priorities will change.  At least I have a place to start. I've made a very few monthly goals for January to get me started. Hopefully by sharing them, others will have some motivational ideas for me!

 Meanwhile, this morning was another example of the joys of retirement. The cold spell has finally hit Dallas. My cold weather routine is to get up, let the dogs out, grab my cold caffeine and climb back in bed with a book or my laptop. I may get up half an hour later. On the other hand, yesterday it was almost eleven (and it was hunger that drove me out of my cocoon). By the same token, tonight I may read until two or three. Tomorrow, I plan to force myself to walk the mall-with an afternoon movie as my reward. I'll hit the grocery store and do any errands and be home before dark.........and remain at home while the rest of the word crowds the roads over the weekend.

Oh, and this is what happens when you have a beagle in the house and you are sitting at the kitchen table frosting cookies....


  1. Happy new year, and thank you for sharing your journey through his blog.I learn a lot from you, and I like your style! I can tend to be too structured, and too busy--and seeing how your prioritize and enjoy retirement is helping me to plan mine!

    I love hearing about your road trip plans.. and about your quilting.

    I hope your move happens in the nicest possible fashion...

    I'll also be enjoying the upcoming weekend at HOME!

  2. I would love hearing more about single retirement. Never married and hope to retire in 4 years. Just not sure I can, but I know I cannot continue with my stressful job much longer.

  3. I just wrote about single retirement. My problem is I am married so I had to depend on readers to add relevant comments. Retired as a single person is a topic that could use your perspective and insights. I hope you decide that is a direction for you to take.

    Speaking of moving, while Denver is a great city, do you think the extreme cold might be tough to adapt to?

  4. Barb, thank you for such a heartfelt share. Even though our retirement lifestyles approaches are different, I think we share the same passion to develop rich, meaningful lives.

    I was excited to see The Joy of Not Working among your book purchases. I credit this book for much of the joy I'm currently experience in early retirement. He weaves a good chunk of philosophy in and among his more practical advice, which I found very inspiring.

    I would love to hear back from you on what you thought of the book, particularly when you get to the Get-A-Life tree chapter.

  5. Thanks Tamara. What I was really looking for was "How to Retire Happy, Wild and Free" by the same guy. I had it once before and am not sure where it went.

  6. Bob, I think the could will be extremely difficult to adapt to.........which is why wish and wash...........In every other aspect its the winner, but oh, those winters.


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