Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Life in Denver-Will Retirement Be Different?

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!!

14 comments:

  1. I love your blog and have been lurking for quite some time; there is always something to learn. Having made an across the state move some years back I can understand the work you are doing now and the excitement of a new place. It will all come together. Here is a Denver question, though. You mentioned in this post about the air and having to adjust to the altitude. What tricks do you have in mind to do this? I know Denver is called the "Mile High City" and I do remember being there once for a conference but wonder what tricks are out there to adjust to the altitude.

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  2. Best wishes for a low-stress move and in finding the right place to live!

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  3. Juliana I know of absoutely no tricks. I do know I have to drink more often, but most of it is just plain time. YOur lungs and body need to adjust

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  4. I am so excited for you with regard to this new adventure, particularly the part about being closer to your siblings. That's going to yield an unending source of joy for you, I'm sure.

    I laughed when I read your reference to not wanting to be just around older folk. Yes, I do understand that! While the people in our lifelong learning program are certainly senior, many of them are funny and wise, and I really do enjoy them. I get my fill of young energy outside of my lifelong learning program, primarily via my running and hiking clubs, and one of my book clubs where the age span ranges from 20-somethings to 60-somethings.

    I may have mentioned before that the Denver/Boulder area is one we want to visit via a long term vacation rental. It has the two components I most enjoy - fantastic natural resources and big city cultural options.

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  5. I lived in Flagstaff- 2,000 ft higher then Danver.
    Your body needs to produce more blood to carry enough oxygen. Barb, you hit the key. You need to increase your water intake and remember your vitamins. It takes a full week for your bady to fully adapt.
    Olymipics stars come to high altitude to train- for it takes a week to get rid of the extra blood as well. A sort of legal blood doping :)
    Happy trails.
    Looking forward to seein you soon!

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  6. Thanks Janette, I intend to be very cautious. I do have a history of stroke (albeit five years ago) and plan to be extremely now key in terms of walking and the like the first couple weeks. I have all my vitamins, my aspirin, and I keep water by my bed. Also, I am driving which I think makes a difference.

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  7. Tamara, Denver absolutely has beautiful resources. It always amazies me, when I am driving and see those mountains.

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  8. Barb, it has been a while since my last visit and your life has completely changed.

    Congrats on selling the house and moving forward with your plans. I think this move will bring many positive changes to your life.

    We are still in a "holding pattern," but have had a few folks see the house lately. Hopefully we will be in your situation shortly. The "bigger" houses are finally beginning to sell in our area so we are still hopeful that ours will sell this season.

    Your plans for your new life sound familiar - it's just a new destination, with drier air!



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  9. Barb, I hope your move goes smoothly. I am so happy you decided to do this. I am sure you will be happier closer to your family.

    God bless.

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  10. We'll be making a very large and long move in the near future, so I've followed your process closely. We will be most fortunate if ours is as graceful and smooth as yours sounds.

    You and Denver will be a great match, but you have such a positive mindset you'd find the joy in most places.

    All the best in the next few days,
    mjh

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  11. Hi -- I have grown to love your blog and am avidly checking for updates, I hope you are just busy with your move and everything is going well for you! Best, Tess

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  12. Hi -- I have grown to love your blog, hopefully you are just busy moving and everything is going well -- I am avidly checking for updates, best of luck!

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