Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What Are You Going to Do When You Retire?

I have been asked this question so many times in the last few months.  It was often asked with a puzzled tone-almost as if there is nothing to do after retirement.  Boy, do I have a totally different idea about retirement.  I have so many things that I want to do.  I don't know when I'll have time to do them all!

So, in an attempt to answer those inquiries, here goes:

  1. Travel. The first thing that I did was go on a 2 week vacation.  Don and I went to the Black Hills, to Yellowstone, to Salt Lake City, and to northern Idaho to visit a friend.  Pictures will soon be up on Facebook if you want to see the lovely sights.  This was a much needed time away to rest, rejuvenate, and feed the soul with nature's beauty.  I hope to do more as time and money allows.
  2. Set up my home office.  This is still a work in progress, but I am writing my blog in my new office.  I still have boxes to unpack but I'm taking it as it feels right.  Don and Dane helped me clean the room.  I am slowly moving things in.  For now I have music, light, a desk/chair, and my computer.  More to come in the next few days.  I am also taking on the title of Principal, Nielsen Consulting.  Don and I established Nielsen Consulting many years ago for his business with the idea that I would use it when I retired.  I am expecting that I will do some projects or consulting as time goes on; so I have set this up as my base.  
  3. Spend time with family and friends.  I have been "hanging out" with Dane and will soon be spending more time with my granddaughter.  She will be staying with me every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon for a couple of hours while my daughter-in-law goes to school.  My son will pick her up on his way home from work.  I am  looking forward to our time together.  Don and I also went to Winona, MN for the weekend with friends to experience the Great River Shakespeare Festival.  It was relaxing and a great time.  I loved the talent of the actors, the staging, and the opportunity to see Henry IV Part I and Midsummer Night's Dream.  I hope to see some of our Facebook friends this weekend as it is the end of the month and time for our monthly dinner.
  4. Digitize.  We have drawers full of slides that I want to capture digitally.  This will take some time and I am eager to get started.  I know that we have slides of our trip to Europe years ago and many others that I have forgotten about.  (I may also try to change some of our record albums to MP3 format.)  Once I get this project done, I will move to the next one.
  5. Scrap booking.  I want to print out slides and make some scrapbooks of our adventures.  I also have everything bought to make a scrapbook of our son's wedding once I get all of the pictures.  I have one in process on my family history that I want to finish.
  6. Genealogy. I am very interested in researching our family history.  One of the reasons that we went to Salt Lake City was to visit the Family History Center where they are the largest resource for genealogical study.  I actually met with someone who helped me get started and showed me how to access the information when I returned home.  I have also talked to several friends who have helped me with technological tools for organizing the information I find.  This will be a long-term project, and I can't wait to get started.
  7. Writing.  I want to write my family history for my children.  There are things that I experienced that no one else knows now that both of my parents are gone.  Stories that I was told, things that we did as a family, life in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s.  I also have wanted to write a book on parenting-not that I'm an expert, but I have some thoughts on it that I want to capture.  I also want to continue this blog to chronicle my journey.  I think it will be interesting to go back and read this in a few years.
  8. Photography.  Don has been an avid photographer for many years.  I have also developed an interest but have never had enough time.  I want to try my hand at this.  I also want to look into selling photos as Don has been interested in that for several years.  We have never done anything with it, but it would be interesting to explore.
  9. Painting.  I want to take an oil painting class.  I have always wanted to try this.  I have drawings that I have done in my house but have never tried painting.  I took some photographs on vacation that I may use for inspiration, and I saw gorgeous oil paintings at the Marine Art Museum in Winona that had such detail and beauty.  I may not be good at this but it should be fun!
  10. Learning.  I want to keep my mind stimulated.  I want to relearn Spanish and maybe try to learn French.  I want to go to the Nobel Conference at Gustavus Adolphus College (my alma mater) in the fall and try some Rhodes Scholar classes.  I want to waste the afternoon exploring the internet looking at items that interest me.
  11. Enjoy outdoors.  I want to ride my bike, take a walk, sit on our deck, watch the birds and animals in our yard.  (I have already seen 3 foxes.)  After being cooped up in an office for many years, it is a pleasure to see the daylight and enjoy outdoors.
  12. Cook.  I haven't enjoyed cooking in the last few years but that wasn't always true.  I have always loved to bake and do enjoy cooking when I have time.  I have started doing some cooking and expect to do more in the fall when it gets cooler and the fall harvest arrives.  Apples, pumpkins, soups, stews-YUM!  I can't wait!
  13. Read.  This is one of my favorite things to do, and I have already started this one.  I love sitting down with a cup of coffee and a good book.  It relaxes me!  My kindle makes this so easy, and I can carry it with me wherever I go.
  14. Movies.  I have a lot of movies that I want to see-both in the theater and on Netflix.  I thoroughly enjoy losing myself in someone's story.  This will be more for entertainment in the winter in front of the fireplace when the weather is inclement and I want to cuddle at home.
  15. De-clutter.  I want to take my time and clean out my closets and de-clutter my house.  We will always have too much "stuff", but I think that I can get rid of some things.  I've never had time for this with the hours that I worked.  Now I will, but I will never enjoy cleaning a lot.  So, I will take it slow and try to make steady progress.  It will be nice to be able to actually finish something!  I rarely had that closure at work.  I'm looking forward to it.

You can probably see why it was always hard for me to answer the question when it was asked of me.  I think that I will be doing a lot in my retirement.  In fact, I will probably have trouble getting to everything that I want to do, but I'm up for the challenge!  It will be joyful and exciting!  I can't wait.

Have you found your joy today?

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