Monday, November 23, 2015

Doing VS Planning in Retirement

For the past few weeks, I've been "organizing" and "planning" for my new year of retirement. I spent a fair amount of time looking at the past year (or two), deciding on what was important to me in retirement.  I wanted to make sure that I was spending my time and money where it mattered in terms of retirement value.

The good news result was that I identified four major areas, as I said elsewhere.  These included home/family, spiritual/volunteer, health, travel, and personal challenge (education, creativity and engagement). Yes, I'm still working on a better title for that last category!  I also made a rough list of projects I want to do, places I want to go, and more.

Now the organized amongst my readers would say this was a valuable task, worth doing, and on one level I suppose they are right. I've figured out where my limited budget should go, I identified more interests than you can count, and I am on track again to do some major traveling after spending a year and a half mainly adjusting to new house and home.

On the other hand,this was time spend planning, instead of time spent "doing". I appreciate a certain amount of organization. I also realize that it is valuable once a year at least to figure out where the money has gone and where I would like it to go.  It is not something I personally would choose to do on say, a monthly or weekly basis.  I prefer to just get up in the morning and "do", rather than plan the day. Certainly there are a few things in my life that I use to give it some structure-planning dinner the night before, using my out of the house activity commitments as a scheduling tool, and at least attempting to pray and exercise in the morning before I do anything else.

Now most of us are both planners and doers, don't get me wrong, it's just where the emphasis is in your retirement. I know one former blogger who plans their trips fairly minute by minute and it works for them. I tend to make sure I have a place to stay and the car is loaded and head out from there, knowing somehow I always manage to find plenty of things to do.

Since I've made those budget and time commitment adjustments, it's time to get back to the action of retirement.  While I'll be sharing what those goals are later, my stream of consciousness planning method has left me with a long list of projects.  I'm sure I'll come up with more. Meanwhile, I think I have plenty to keep me in retirement, now and in the new year, don't you agree?

I want to:
  • Make a rough plan of my gulf trip vacation (Colorado to Padre Island Texas along to coast to Mobile and then back up the Mississippi River to St Louis and home)
  • Same project for my train trip to California
  • Start on a room by room mission in my little house-cleaning and making a list of what I want to do or fix and what I need to buy, and choosing colors
  • Continue with my picture journalism (taking old family pictures, putting one on a page and writing everything I remember about the time and the picture)
  • Do at least four special things (one a week) for the Christmas holiday-including the trail of lights and at least one concert
  • Take one weekend exploration each month 
  • Actually use the fireplaces (inside and out) this year. My house is so well insulated that they are not a need, but I missed the ambiance last year.
  • Make a family recipe book for both my adult kids - I need to start gleaning recipes from other family members
  • Take at least one class when I am not traveling-this time on income inequality and the Wyeth family.
  • Do some basic genealogy research, starting with my daughters family medical history and moving on.
  • Make a quilt and a scarf for charity every month if possible.
  • Travel quarterly to Texas at least to visit family and friends
  • I have some quilt and sewing designs and I need to get them out of my head onto paper and then to PDF form-perhaps to sell, perhaps not
  • I want to design a web page for my son's little business, and help him come up with cold weather landscaping and odd job services.
  • I plan to start a second, creative blog both for sharing and selling, and showing how to's
  • I've decided to do the basics to become a cottage food seller and move my cookies and so on to the next level of selling cookie trays-seasonally only
  • I want to do some research on long term house sitting as a vacation tool-I'm not into trading homes.
  • I'm going to try and start a new meet up type group, either for crafting or a book group, depending
  • I've taken on the project of teaching slow cooker cooking skills to residential homeless women who are veterans. I also agreed to set up a lending closet (starting with clothing and the basics) for this new shelter
  • I've started experimenting with essential oils and natural products to make solid lotion bars, pain lotion bars and more.
  • I've taken a new idea under consideration-a blog about Denver on the Cheap or Colorado on the cheap - this would be a completely new idea and would require daily research. I also need to see if there would be an interest on a living cheap blog that is not family oriented.
  • As part of increasing my health, I'm learning to self massage as well as getting regular massages on an as needed bass.
  • I have had two E books in mind for a long time. One about living richly on a fixed income and another a DIY type of book. Time to stop talking and start doing.
  • I've really wanted to find an online class that helps me with my phone photography. 
  • I created a new, exercise routine to do indoors mainly for me, and I need to implement it (trying to do a half hour aerobics routine when you walk unevenly is difficult. The goal is to exercise without having the prominent side hurting afterwards)
 And there you have it, my early winter list of things to do. Add to this list my every day reading, relaxing, exercising and I think it makes for a full few months. I'm sure other things will come up, and whether all of this will be completed (or even started) before I begin to travel at the end of February is any one's guess.  One thing is for sure, now that I am ready for the doing, there is plenty to do!

And so it goes, this Monday in retirement!


  1. No that you have everything planned out you can move on to the next step.... Doing!!!

    Looking forward to seeing your new creative blog.

    God bless.

  2. For the 4th (unnamed) category, how about "Life long learner"?

  3. I've always wanted to go to Padre Island ... one of these days, one of these days. I have, however, given up on the crackling fires. For me it's too little ambience, and too much smoke inhalation. Finally, just a tip on those two books. I just published mine, "You Only Retire Once," and my advice would be, if you really want to get it done, rely a lot on what you've already written for your blog ... you've got some good stuff there!

  4. I enjoy your writings... and have a recommendation for you on photography. Check out Craftsy .... there is a class on mobile photography.

    I have dozens of their online classes - ready to watch when the time is available. Price is reasonable ($39 for this class) and you have access to the class(es) forever. It's addictive!
    Love your wish list - inspires me to do something similar - acutally - mine will be look quite a bit like yours!
    Best wishes for the end of the year.


Things I'm Enjoying This Monday-And A Couple Things That Are Frustrating Me!!

One of the many reasons I don't do serious (other than visiting family) travel during the summer is the chance to stay at home. Warm w...