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Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Retirement Game: Six Month Check-In

I looked at the calendar on Friday and realized that it is six months since I retired! Boy, does time fly! I thought I might be due for a check-in to see if I was really making the most of things!
Well, I think the report is pretty good. First up, my new "job." Since the first of the year I've made a commitment to go to the gym and sweat every weekday. I've been doing spinning, eliptical, a weights and abs class for old people called Silver Sneakers. (So far, all the old(er) people have been in Florida, so it's like having a personal trainer who periodically kills me and I love her for it!). Today I did Zumba.
I've lost a little weight. Not so much as I'd like, given that I have to get a dress for Kevin and Molly's wedding in June and I've been so regular at the gym. But things fit better than they did before so I think it's shifting around. And the weight part is somewhat dependent on the cooking. Which I've been into!
This week it was pound cake and crackers (and cookies my art sale, but I don't plan on eating many of those!) The cake was for a dinner with our Japanese friends so they ate most of it. Crackers are practice for our next wine tasting. I'm also doing well with pot pie and pot roast! The goal for April is macaron making with Kate.
I'd probably do better on the food end if that Fabulous Baker Boy Rick wasn't making such terrific bread. He makes a lot and being the good soul he is, he shares!
On the art front, I have taken several classes. I learned gelli-printing and made a fun angel placque with Kari McKnight Holbrook.
Jacqueline Sullivan taught us amazing techniques for journal-making.
And, at the end of the month, I'll take fellow blogger Joanne Huffman's writing with art class. I also did two sales with another this weekend. (If you're in the area and are interested, let me know -- It's March 15 -- Beware the Ides of March!)
I made some Christmas cards and valentines and canvases, painted some papers and just have had fun playing.
And, I've been plugging away on the art room, trying to get things better organized, purging magazines and such. That's an ongoing project, as is the basement. But I'm pleased to say the Christmas corner looks better than last year, but no photo for that one! Just art supplies!
As for travel, not as much as I expected. But then, it's winter once the cottage closes, I tend to stick close to home. I did enjoy Cleveland with the cousins in October, celebrating my cousin's birthday...
...Nashville...
 
... and then on to Laurel, Mississippi to see Kevin in December...
...and Massachusetts with a stop in London, Ontario this month. (The Shaker post is still in draft form but coming soon!)
I've had time to read -- 10 books, so far in 2014, but a few more before that. Maybe I'll even get Chopsticks and String going again! And I've had time to volunteer for the MSU Friends of Theatre board and work on the upcoming fundraising gala. And of course, there is often a Cork Poppers gig in the offing!
Christmas came and went with a big power failure in our city. I didn't lose power and was pleased to be there for those who did. And somehow I've managed to survive our longest, snowiest and coldest winter in my memory.
But here's the good news. I haven't been sick. I spent all of last year pretty darned sick and pretty scared of the implications of all that. But since I retired, I have only had one incident -- and that was a sinus infection -- nothing to do with my other problems. It's the kind of thing that in the past would have developed into pneumonia, but I kept it at bay and in a week was back at my "job," spinning. And I've been indescribably happy.
What haven't I done? Well, not too many movies, and the house could use more work. And I still haven't redesigned the blog, though I think that'll happen soon. I can't seem to make enough time in every day to do all I want and still putter and loaf! But theoretically, summer will return and I'll be back at the lake where puttering, loafing and relaxing are required activities.
But every single day I wake up and I'm grateful. I haven't for even a half-second said "Why did I do that?" I haven't worried. I've said farewell to dear friends who have left this world and I've shed tears. I've been worried about people who are sick and those I love who struggle at times. But I've never once shed tears about leaving or had anxiety about not working.
Because you see, really, I am working. It's just called retirement! So, a toast -- to all the retirees -- I'm following in your footsteps and I'm loving it!

35 comments:

Joanne Huffman said...

What fun to see my Smitten Dust photo in your blog! I knew your retirement would be full of activities, but I'm almost exhausted at reading how busy you have been. I'm really looking forward to seeing you in a couple of weeks!

Anonymous said...

Your decision to retire was clearly a good one! You are certainly filling up the hours!
- Bonnie k

Beth Leintz said...

I'd say you're winning the retirement game! Love to,see all the wonderful things that are keeping you busy and happy!

Anne Jeffries said...

Retirement! It's the best phase of life. All the wisdom accumulated. And endless choices. Love it.

Mae Travels said...

I didn't know going to the gym was a job! Thanks for telling me. And have you tried yoga? That's what I like ... also zumba.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I am so glad that the first 6 months of retirement have been so wonderful. I think the best part is the fact that you have been so healthy. What a relief. Retirement clearly suits you well. :) And way to go on getting to the gym as often as you are. I think sometimes the scale is not the best indicator as you are likely gaining muscle. It's great that clothes are fitting better, that is my gauge of how I am doing!

2 of the sets of aunts and uncles that I visited in Florida are retire (and half of the other 2 couples have retired while their spouses are still working) and retirement certainly suits them well. They all commented on how they easily stay 'busy' but that it's a different kind of busy compared to their working lives.

Beth said...

Sounds like your really have been making the most of your retirement. I did the first year of mine, but the past two years has been all about the Granddaughter. I Love your Art and all the other creative endeavors that you have been pursuing. Keep on keeping on!
Hugs,
Beth

Becca said...

I love seeing all the things you're doing, and I think your evident happiness has contributed to your improved health! What a wonderful summer you'll have, being able to be at the cottage as much as you like :)

Willow said...

You have a smile that lights up a room.
You look so darn cute in that photo with your hubby.
Loving that angel plaque , I wouldn't be surprised if you were a bit of an angel yourself :))

julianne said...

This is wonderful! I envy your go gettedness and ability to be productive in your artful ways. Congratulations.

Julue

Anonymous said...

So wonderful to read your retirement update, especially the part about your good health! It's fantastic that you are enjoying all your various activities - sounds like you have the perfect mix of good "work" (the gym, the theater - however you want to define work) and creative time and just plain fun! Looking forward to seeing you soon.

~ Pat K.

Shelia said...

Honey, you've got retirement down! Who needs to work? :) Look at all of the cool stuff you're doing. Kudos to you for working out each day - I'm on the lazy side when it comes to that! You look so pretty and happy and I'm glad for you!
Be a sweetie,
Shelia;)

must love junk said...

It sounds like you're really enjoying retirement! Good for you! :)
Susan

Introverted Art said...

6 months already?! I think you are doing an awesome job Jeanie, really taking advantage of all the time you now have for yourself after years of work :)

Introverted Art said...

6 months already?! I think you are doing an awesome job Jeanie, really taking advantage of all the time you now have for yourself after years of work :)

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

Wow, Jeanie! Good for you! You're doing a great job at this retirement thing. I admire your stamina at the gym -- even Zumba Gold (for seniors) is NOT easy! I so like the fact that you're working hard at the gym and with pleasure -- good food, friends and family and fun hobbies. Isn't it interesting -- and wonderful -- how your health has improved since retiring?

Jeanie said...

I think you could be the poster child for a positive retirement. Your joy in the life you now have is reflected in your smile and in your health.

Angelsdoor * Penny said...

Hi Jeanie,
I think the best news here is how your health has improved since retirement.
You sure know how to fill your days, good for you! I love your art projects..
Enjoy Jeanie!
fondly,
Penny

Marilyn said...

I am thoroughly happy for you!
How I would love taking that macaron class with you too. And that loaf of bread, my goodness does it look good. So happy you are hanging out at the gym and you won't regret it. Plus art too, good for you. Can't wait to hear about the loafing at the cabin this summer. But for now keep warm and watch for signs of Spring.

Tracy said...

WOW, Jeanie! 6 months already...really?! Seems just like yesterday you were sharing the good news! Good for you for doing the gym-thing! I like movement, but confess gym equipment kind of bores me a little. Maybe if I had a gym gal-pal to go with... LOVE your yellow sneakers! Ooo...such fun with your baking! I made macarons once--total flop--literally, they all collapsed when I too 'em out of the oven. Been too spooked to try again...LOL! Will look foward to your macaron adventures. LOVE pot pie! It was a staple dinner growing up, and I make on similar to my Mom's now--a taste of home. :o) Rick's bread is beautiful--now that is bread! Fun with all your art. And now you have more time for stoking those creative fires! So glad retirement has been such a good thing for you, my friend... And you know, you have the BEST smile--it's just so happy! :o) Happy Days ((HUGS))

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

hi Jeanie! You look wonderful! What fun you've had, and don't worry. Keep up a healthy and fun lifestyle of walking or any other fun exercise, and you will feel good. That's the goal! And retirement? WHAT FUN!!!!!

Jenny Woolf said...

I am so impressed, it's wonderful you're making so much of your retirement. I'm particularly impressed at that once a day to the gym ... I am now forcing myself along 2 days a week and boy it's hard! I do hate it. But like you I like the effect. For me the flab is shifting into slightly better configuriation, but then I'm also doing the 5=2 diet. :D

Linda Jo said...

You are doing great!!! And I love you gym shoes! Want to see more of your art!

Barb said...

Oh, Jeanie - I had no doubt! It's hard to believe it's already 6 months. I knew that you'd keep your body and your mind busy feeding your spirit. Those birdhouses are fabulous - so playful and colorful. Keep enjoying your days, Jeanie - and please keep smiling. Stay well!

gigihawaii said...

Keep doing what you are doing, because you are obviously content and happy. Beautiful photos!

Retired English Teacher said...

This was so happy, positive, and upbeat, I just wanted to jump up and do the happy dance for you. I like having the check-in. I love that you are doing all you love, staying active, and staying healthy. Here's to you and your retirement. Cheers!

Jacqueline~Cabin and Cottage said...

My goodness! You make me wonder what I do with all my time! This is a very excellent six months report! Carry on!

Arti said...

Congrats! Looks like your'e the winner in this retirement game, Jeanie. I'm sure while you miss some of the attractions of the work world, you're successfully diverted to a fantastic array of activities and experiences. Love this wonderful post!

Tamara said...

Well done Jeanie - 6 months of purposeful and intentional living. Admirable. I really like to retirement role model you are becoming. I wish you a very happy next 6 months..

The French Hutch said...

Retirement clearly agrees with you Jeanie, you look fabulous. I think you should be the new poster girl for retirement! You are very wise to spend time for yourself. Getting to the gym is a good thing and I’m sure listening. Love the angel plaque and that big smile. I’m getting my less than three months retired husband to read this post! Good for you.............

paris parfait said...

You are amazing, with all you've accomplished in such a short time! Well done, you! You should be proud, Jeanie. xx

Arti said...

Just sent the link of your post to Bellezza of Dolce Bellezza. Just thought your six-month achievement and rich experiences could encourage her who sounds quite apprehensive about her own retirement in the not so distant future. Actually, I've sent your link when it was first posted to another person who has retired recently. You're a motivator!

Bellezza said...

What an exciting and encouraging post filled with the richness of your life! It gives me great hope, as I look forward to retirement with a bit of apprehension. I want to do some of the lovely things you've shared here, such as baking (though I'll never make as nice a loaf of bread as pictured with your husband), and Bible study, and while I probably won't go to a gym I would like to walk outside. It will be a new chapter, and of course, there's always something to look forward to in possibility. (Thanks for visiting me again, I've added you to my blogroll as I find your blog so interesting.)

Anonymous said...

Jeane, you put me to shame. You have accomplished more in 6 months than I have in 6 years! I am so happy for you that your health has improved so much and that you and Rick are doing so much together. I am finally getting my sewing room into a sort of order and so can get a little more creative. I am looking forward to seeing you in June. Kitty

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

You have earned your years, you are now living after having made your living, and you deserve every moment of it, Jeanie! CHEERS!

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