My ‘try new’ diary, page 1

As I’ve said before, retirees, ‘new’ doesn’t have to be life-changing.

Just a little something to inject interest and anticipation into each day.

So, I’ll use a few photos each week to share times when I ‘tried new’.

#1

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I tried three versions of this Algerian/Moroccan flatbread called msemmen. I’ll revisit this recipe often…easy, unique, and open to all kinds of variations.


#2

What’s new about this? This was a first time I took photos at this location on the outskirts of Oregon State University at this time of year at this time of day. I’d have included a shot of one of our alpaca friends, but they were less than forthcoming during our walk.


#3

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Remember…nothing life-changing. I have to say, pasta-makers have really turned the corner on making alternative options toothsome and tasty–no more of that gritty whole-wheat stuff they cranked out even three years ago.

Okay, send along your moments of ‘trying new’.

Retirement Stepping Stone 14: The company of dogs…not at all a bad thing.

When retirement came in November of 2016, there was immediate benefit: I had seemingly endless hours to spend with Boo, our six-year-old shelter pet.

It was a time when morning walks morphed from ‘pre-work checklist item’ to ‘mid-morning luxury’. And baking under his watchful eye? More proof that this new chapter was right for me.

While the rest of life took unexpected turns, Boo provided certainty, loyalty and lots of laughs.

And when my wife would come home from work, there we would be…often with fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies or cranberry scones awaiting us all in the kitchen.


Note: I retired for twelve months and learned plenty. I’ll aim to post at least one stepping stone per week. Each of these lessons or impressions from that year off will constitute a mini-chapter of my book-in-progress.


Along with my book-in-progress, I’m also looking at setting up an online community.
If you’re interested… [Honest! I’m scaling back my ‘shiny objects’ list!]


Yes, keep me updated!

 

A promise: Your email address will be used to inform you of the status of the book and community and will not be shared.

 

Retirement Stepping Stone 13: Celebrate your new chapter.

We should celebrate our new chapter whenever we get the chance.

Granted, some folks may have been ‘retired’ without their consent, but I guess I’m hoping those people will see the opportunities to steer their lives in a different direction.

Maybe it’s having the time to take a morning or afternoon walk, cruise the public library after a coffee with friends downtown, or pick up the grandkids from school, should their son or daughter be over-scheduled at work.

Whatever it is, open up to the possibilities your new chapter offers.

This evening, we were blessed with this once-a-year celebration of my ‘lighter schedule’.


Note: I retired for twelve months and learned plenty. I’ll be posting at least one stepping stone per week. Each of these lessons or impressions from that year off will constitute a mini-chapter of my book-in-progress.


Along with my book-in-progress, I’m also looking at setting up an online community.
If you’re interested… [Honest! I’m scaling back my ‘shiny objects’ list!]


Yes, keep me updated!

 

A promise: Your email address will be used to inform you of the status of the book and community and will not be shared.

 

Retirement Pondering Points: On self-deception and Dairy Queen

retirement pondering barbary-ape

  1. I think the higher powers of nutrition should give us a few ‘brownie’ [unfortunate word choice] points for at least sauntering by and pricing the rainbow chard, even if the ultimate destination is the ice cream section.
  2. We have flights [samplers] for wine, flights for beer, why not flights of Dairy Queen Blizzards?

My Retirement Book: The upside of grandkids…

Retirement upside of grandkids

Your arms are tired from holding the newspaper upright for minutes on end. And those weeds didn’t hoe themselves. And the dog was pulling like it was the first mile of the Iditarod.

Time for the loving grandkids to step up…


Today’s post is an excerpt from a draft of my mind-bending book on retirement.
[Okay, slight exaggeration.]
I’m also looking at setting up an online community.
If you’re interested…


Yes, keep me updated!

 

A promise: Your email address will be used to inform you of the status of the book and community and will not be shared.

Retirement Stepping Stone 12: Savoring memories is not living in the past.

 

 

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With my extra time, I found myself reflecting on ‘good times’.

I occasionally wondered if that was counterproductive to staying in the here and now.

With time, though, I decided that if savoring the past evokes a smile or a sense of gratitude, then have at it.

Think about it…I could relive laying a post-Thanksgiving siege with beloved cousins to San Francisco’s Playland.

Or I could take a quick glance at today’s cable news.

And so, retirees, join me in a few of my recent replays

–breakfast visits with one of my ‘hall of fame’ students, long after his year in my classroom.

–sitting back as fourth-graders G and W reorganize my class library.

–relishing those years of teaching when I looked forward to the excitement of Monday morning. [No Sunday blues in sight.] And the ensuing gratitude for the principal who saw teaching as an art that you perform with your heart. [Thank you, Bernice.]

–A glistening 75-degree Friday evening in May, 1965…Valley Center Merchants vs. Toro Park at the latter’s rural Little League field. Lightly attended [i.e. no mouthy fans]. Not a care in the world as the first pitch is thrown.

–Strolling the paved pathways along Lake Louise with my wife, after Sunday brunch at the Chateau.

So, retirees, give it a shot. Call up your own magic moments and enjoy.


Note: I retired for twelve months and learned plenty. I’ll be posting at least one stepping stone per week. Each of these lessons or impressions from that year off will constitute a mini-chapter of my book-in-progress.


Along with my book-in-progress, I’m also looking at setting up an online community.
If you’re interested… [Honest! I’m scaling back my ‘shiny objects’ list!]


Yes, keep me updated!

 

A promise: Your email address will be used to inform you of the status of the book and community and will not be shared.

 

Retirement Stepping Stone 11: I found a productive new workspace.

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I loved my ‘mobile office’ sessions–those times when I packed up my  notebooks, laptop, etc.,  drove to a favorite  location, and worked on projects.

If you’re a creator/writer/maker/designer/idea person, try this out.

Here are a few advantages over the typical coffee shop setting: 1. You’re creating your own ‘bubble of focus’. 2. You save money by bringing your own coffee and food. [There’s a good chance your own coffee and food is better than what you buy anyway.].  3. You can choose silence or provide your own music. 4. Distractions? The solution is a five-minute drive to your next preferred location. 5. You can spread out your stuff without concern for trespassing onto other customers’ tables.


Note: I retired for twelve months and learned plenty. I’ll be posting my impressions and lessons–I’ll call them ‘stepping stones‘–as a friend, not an advisor, and certainly not as an expert. Quite the opposite, in fact.


Along with my book-in-progress, I’m also looking at setting up an online community.
If you’re interested… [Honest! I’m scaling back my ‘shiny objects’ list!]


Yes, keep me updated!

A promise: Your email address will be used to inform you of the status of the book and community and will not be shared.

 

Self-Interview: How did retirement surprise you?

Word Art retirement surprises

My previous post listed ten questions I would like to ask retirees.

Question 2: Tell me something surprising about retirement.

I was surprised that it wasn’t easy working for myself. I was too lenient. I allowed myself to drift from one ‘great idea’ to the next without sinking my teeth into any one of them.

I guess I figured that with all the extra time, anything was possible.

I’ve written before about the shiny object syndrome .

I initially entered retirement with a ‘prove myself’ attitude and that too was frittered away by distraction and resistance. A year passed and I hadn’t completed nearly as many projects as I’d hoped to.

Other surprises? I didn’t read nearly as much as I expected to. But I also didn’t watch much TV. Even as I write this, I’m wondering…’what did I do with all that time?’.

More surprises in later posts. Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

Retirement Pondering Point: Six thoughts on reading obituaries

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  1. I read them only to the point where you’re inspired to do something special or different with my day.
  2. I try to find at least one thing the obituary’s subject did that might reassure you? [ex: feel good that you accomplished something similar]
  3. If they do weigh me down on a given day, I just move on. There’s no reason to force it.
  4. “Obits have next to nothing to do with death and, in fact, absolutely everything to do with the life.” New York Times obituary writer Margalit Fox.
  5. “…a good obit illuminates not just one particular individual’s story but also the broader idea of all that is possible in life.”  STEPHANIE ZACHAREK May 4, 2017. http://time.com/4766634/the-art-of-obit-a-life-in-800-words/
  6. Quote from Austin Kleon about reading obituaries: “Reading them is a way for me to think about death while also keeping it at arm’s length.”  Austin Kleon Show Your Work