As I mentioned yesterday, my physical move is coming into the home stretch. I'll spend the next few days packing and taking care of logistical issues. These include stopping my utilities, calling for bulk trash pickup, making my final medical appointments and picking up records, transferring prescriptions, forwarding the mail and the like. Lots of busy work involved.
What I have not written much about (although I have done a fair amount of research), is what retirement life will be like in Denver. I'm enjoying this part of my life immensely (although right now, this packing thing is about as fun as a hangnail). I expect exploring retirement in Denver to be an experience and a good one. Obviously the first month or so when I spend with my sister, the primary concentration will be on choosing an area to live in as well as a place to live. However, I'll also be looking for new connections and ways to expand my "retirement lifestyle" in my new home. I'll be doing much of this on my own. Both my sister and my brother (and his wife) still work mainly full time-leaving me the days to explore. Obviously, plans are made to be changed-and as many know, I abhor scheduling for the most part. That said, below are some of the activities I expect to become involved in:
Going to school. These classes will be regular college classes. While I appreciate the lifelong learning classes out there, after my experiences in college I have learned I LIKE being with twenty and occasionally thirty somethings. I don't particularly have a problem being the gray haired lady with jeans and a Vera Bradley bag instead of backpack. I want to learn to use my camera better in terms of photographing both art and things for sale. I would love to take a theater class on costume design. A continuing education class on writing might help this blog, my journal writing or other areas I want to pursue. I would REALLY like to take a sculpture or metals class.
Sewing and quilting for fun and profit. I am blessed that I enjoy the sewing and quilting process and don't consider it a chore. I realize that I am also blessed to make money from a hobby I enjoy. I do want to keep it at a level that still makes sewing enjoyable. I've been using my limited math skills (not exaggerating here) and graph paper to design my own quilts-again (I hope) for fun and profit. I also want to expand to free form painting and design on fabric. I'll certainly search out local quilters and hope to find a group similar to the one I am in now.
Doing some water aerobics. Although I enjoy walking alone, I will not be doing any strenuous exercise during the first couple of months in Denver (even though that may hamper my weight loss). I'll do seated exercise and look for a low level water aerobic exercise program. This will give me a chance to meet new people as well!
I'll be traveling-near, far, and even further. I'm going to allow myself to fully acclimate before heading into the mountains beyond Denver. The last time I drove up to Breckenridge ski resort, the air was so thin I was weak. Supposedly the rule for people who leave Denver is that it takes twice as much time as one was gone to acclimate to the altitude again. Once I feel comfortable there are many "day trips" into the mountains I plan to take. Further afield, there a weekend trips, and even farther away are those long road trips-one of which is planned in late spring. Looking to expand my horizons, I've checked out some group travel sites (but no cruises). If I can find a travel group that doesn't charge me an arm and leg in single supplements, I may well expand my travel options.
I'll be involved in church again (still researching this one), and looking for new volunteer opportunities-those church related and those not related. My search is on for a fairly large progressive church with lots of outreach involvement and at least a few social activities. I'll let you all know how that goes.
Socially, I've enjoyed my dinner and a movie group immensely,and if I can find similar Meetup in the Denver area I would be thrilled. I'll also be looking for a book group, so that at least once month I can read something other than mindless drivel or a police procedural. I plan, being me, to search out every fair and festival there is to find (with and without family)
Lifestyle wise, I'll continue to get up when the mood strikes (or the dogs demand) daily. I'll spend time on the patio, playing with the dogs, experimenting with new recipes, enjoying my home (where ever and whatever it is) .I'll redecorate, and explore patio gardening in a cooler clime. I I'll be helping my son choose his higher education options and working with him to expand his business. I'll be working to loose that 62 pounds within the constraints of less exercise. Last, but not least, I'll be spending time with family-as will my college student. My siblings are the type to get together every couple of weeks, be it watching the game, going to dinner or the movies or just hanging out. I'm looking forward to that more than I can say!
This retirement thing-it's pretty cool, really!!