As I write this missive, I am sitting in my favorite blue chair, by the window. It is almost ten am and I have yet to fully dress or have a real breakfast. This to me is the very best part of retirement. While many of my days are more motivated than this, I am not a morning person and as such never do what others would consider constructive things before about ten (any earlier time is spent relaxing with breakfast, reading, doing the basic pick ups, plant watering and like that are part of morning home ownership). While I still use the large, notebook planner mentioned here, it has only monthly pages, notes and dividers. That's as far in the process as I need to go into in retirement. And as always, I never, ever schedule more than half a day. This gives me the perfect balance, and allows much spontaneity and downtime daily-very, very important in my life!
Today, I have nothing scheduled until one, when I have a book/knitting group until about four (today I'll be missing the happy hour afterwards). My morning is being spent looking out that window and writing, doing a morning meditation, choosing fabrics and paints for next projects, and finding contact information for all the folks coming to my house for dinner on the 29th. All (except the fabric choices) done while sitting in my chair with nothing more than a journal and address book in hand-and lots of distractions from people walking by and my dogs chilling in the sun. tomorrow is just the opposite. Tomorrow my main project is planning a class on organization for the women in the shelter, and making a list of Denver day trips.
As I briefly mentioned also in that previous post, I've been doing some work in retirement of a different nature-and I am loving it! While I mentioned that I have decided to keep my quilting passion for me, charity and family I was not specific on what that change was. Put simply, I hung out my virtual shingle in terms of being a virtual assistant-taking hourly work on an on call basis as I have time and energy. Much of my work has been web research and almost all of it has been on interesting topics, sometimes for people half way around the globe. Educational, challenging, and generally done while watching "The Following" or "True Detective". Today, I am researching of all things American companies that make jerky. Specifically, non beef jerky such as ostrich, deer, and buffalo. Who knew!!
Speaking of "True Detective", I don't care if you watch TV or not. Even if you only watch public television and the news, find a way to get this. Trust me on this one folks. Go to on demand, stream it, get it the day it's available. The finale crashed the HBO system, and with good reason. Woody and Matthew-gotta watch em. Again, who knew? And the music is written by T-bone Burnett. Need I say more?
I've gone more deeply into the researching of my Jackson Hole trip, with a heavy emphasis on Glamping. After some thought, camping in luxury while hearing the sounds of nature and seeing the stars sounds like a darned good idea. So instead of a five star resort, this will be my luxury trip.
I am an avid reader of my Mister Money Mustache site. I read it regularly, and while I disagree with some of his premises and absolutes (as an injured sixty year old woman I am not giving up my car to bike), overall his blog is truly inspiring even for those who don't want tor each for early retirement and independence. For that reason, I was both shocked and sorry to see that he is apparently being sued for a comment made not by him, but by a reader in a forum. He's received cease and desist letters delivered to his home (not public blog information, with good reason), and other threats against he and his wife. It sounds to me like this is a bunch of sabre rattling, but I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV. I can only hope he gets the support he needs and that this is resolved. Do not companies take into account the negative publicity in cases like these?
My friend Bob over at Satisfying Retirement has a blog post up about reasons that retirement may be less than satisfactory that you may want to read. Personally, most of the people I know who are unsatisfied fall into number one or two on his list. Folks that are passionate about, or seriously involved in their work, often to the exclusion of anything else have the hardest time adjusting to retirement. Many expect to have something else at the level again, and it rarely happens in retirement. My own perspective is that while it's a difficult journey, that may be for the best. Life is, after all, supposed to be about lots of different things at the same time-at least for most of us.
Finally, (and just a bit of a rant on my part here) part of my web research has been looking for frugal tips for a client to write and article. As I do so, I'm amazed at how unrealistic and glib some of the mainstream "frugal media" seem. I'm talking about the "latte, eating out, buying books, having cable, adjusting the temperature" factor. First, because these are easy targets. While there are those who overspend by doing all those things in excess, there are also people who do none of those things, or who do some of them (eating out at lunch, say) on rare occasions and when common sense dictates. Frugality, expense cutting, whatever you want to call it, is a serious of judgements and decisions-and frankly requires an evaluation of little expenses like the ones above as well as larger lifestyle choices.
My second objection is because there is a group of people out there, who have done all those things and would still like to look for ways to adjust expenses-and find no help in these kind of articles. Sometimes they are looking for short term lifestyle cuts (taking that cruise without increasing this years withdrawal amount for example). Sometimes it's a longer thing. Either way, at this level that can require more creativity.
I've mentioned before that when I first entered retirement I read piles of so called frugality and retirement books. The retirement books were mainly about investing. The frugality books mainly had the advice mentioned above-cook from scratch, use the library, no lattes. Those books were also heavy on children related frugality. There is one book that remains on my shelf and that is the Tightwad Gazette. Is it dated on occasion? You bet. Is it heavy on articles related to raising kids? Sometimes-although many of those articles relate to subjects at lartge. Most importantly though, it presents creative out of the box solutions for daily living that allow a person to have a rich life-an any stage. In my opinion, it's that kind of thinking (and attitude) that makes life more rich and rewarding.
Recently I've stepped out of the box more in a couple areas-for fun more than money, and I'll be sharing things soon. And now, I'm off to have my version of a Latte (not chocolate) while knitting and discussing books. A rewarding afternoon if I do say so!