A gift for a retired friend

Today is her birthday. I’m showcasing her work over the years and am looking forward to sitting down and have her provide background and art tips as we both click through the images.

Here is the page: https://retiredguys.net/superb-artwork-on-display-here/

Side benefit: Inspiration to keep plowing forward on my various projects.

Glad someone’s checking on me…

Yep, thank God for email connections. Question: If I don’t respond to this, will the U.N. (or, more precisely, the ‘United Nations Organization’) assume I’m dead? I’d better clear that up.

I’m also wondering if someone with ‘Oliver’ in the email address really IS all that interested in my welfare.

But hold on now…he’s with the United Nations, so of course he’s concerned.

What makes Oliver think I might be splayed across the recliner with some air fryer infomercial blaring at me? Have I given off a ‘near-death’ vibe lately?

But really, how DARE Google question the validity of this message…

It’s not as if anyone would send anything illegitimate via the Internet, would they?

Life draining away?

Face it, it’s not like the sands of the hourglass ever reverse their course…

And as I bungled my way through the tedium, the frustration of untangling earbud wires, I realized there are times when the sands tumble at exponential rates.

— When you’re in a line at the grocery store and your ice cream is melting and there you are without your emergency spoon, and the customer in front of you: 

  • decides to write a check after the scanning of the last of the 58 items.
  • strikes up a conversation with the extra-chatty, oblivious cashier starved for human contact beyond ‘Paper or plastic or your own tattered festering cloth bag or leave it in the basket or ‘I’m sorry, we don’t deliver when you buy it in the store’.
  • fumbles endlessly through the debit card process.
  • questions the pricing of an item.
  • trots out a raft of coupons.
  • fails miserably at remembering the phone number associated with the store’s loyalty club membership
  • finds a tear in the bag of an item, thus sending some poor newbie out among the aisles, who is then waylaid by two other customers en route to the unblemished bag of Brussels sprouts, and really…frozen Brussels sprouts? Shouldn’t the store just be giving those away?

— When you’re waiting for the gas station attendant to come take your order [Yes, I live in Oregon.] or for that same gas station attendant to return to your car, remove the nozzle and ask, with a wince, if you want a receipt.

— When you’re waiting for your phone to start up.

— When you’re waiting for your phone to update.

— When you’re waiting for your phone to give you directions to the nearest donut shop in a previously unvisited town. [Hey! Don’t judge me till you waddled a mile in my shoes.]

— When you’re untangling earbud wires. [Yes, that was list item #1, still not done.]

Okay, I’m sure I’m leaving out dozens from this list [Feel free to share them.], but for now…




Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay 

Why this photo? The phone is put aside. Ditto with the remote. But the steaming drink [sniff, sniff…is that a hint of brandy?] is begging for your attention.

Need more affirmation of your downshift? Let’s consult a six-year-old boy [and his tiger].

Want more suggestions?

Check out usnews.com’s The Art of Doing Nothing in Retirement . Warning: While the suggestions are solid, the sensory assault of the ads might be annoying and send you back to the ever-wise Calvin.

To spare you of the onslaught, here are the first three points:

  • Let go of the guilt.
  • There will be a period of adjustment.
  • Welcome the lower stress levels

Retiree question: Returning to full time work? Yes or no.

This kind of work doesn’t look all that bad, actually. Immediate knowledge of results, after all.

Today’s question…

Would you consider going back to a full time job?

Hmmm…I’d say only if I had to, but really, at my age, I kind of think that jobs are better occupied by folks who have a family to feed. I wouldn’t feel right taking a job away from them. I’ve been told that, while that’s a noble idea, if no one else is interested in the job, then you should feel no qualms about taking it.
And of course, in these pandemic times, I can’t think anyone would want someone in the ‘vulnerable age range’ roaming the halls.
But really, I have to say, I love the slow mornings and the relaxed dog walks and the Sunday evenings without the dreaded ‘Monday cloud’ hanging over me. 

Buddy isn’t phased in the least by my discussions with myself. As long as his meals arrive on time, I could stage an entire convention

What really interests me: Interviewing retirees

Q and A imprinted in wood

Continuing my persistent effort at ‘trying new’…

Since I’ve retired, I’ve always been interested in how other folks in their next chapter are adjusting to and enjoying this new stage.

I penned out a long list of questions I’d like to ask others. Here’s a sampling.

  1. What new things do you most want to do?
  2. What old things do you most want to revisit now that you probably have more time?
  3. What do you want to be on guard against? [i.e. bad habits, etc.]
  4. Is there anything you would want to teach others to do?
  5. What has surprised you about yourself since you retired?

Let me know if you’d like to either send text answers or opt for a quick audio interview.

Retiree interviews. Excerpt 1

I’m going to be interviewing retirees with a list of questions I recently brainstormed.

I decided before I talked to others, it might be a good idea to talk to myself, in the comfort of my own home–and sparing the neighbors already creeped out by my backyard soliloquies.

Today’s question…

Do you have a mantra for your life as a retiree?

I would say “Every day’s a snow day” is the closest I get to a mantra.
When I was teaching, snow days were rare, but so valued.–an entire 24 free hours in front of me and it spurred me to try something new, something that would set the day apart from a workday. It could have been a trudge through the snow with my wife to the nearby coffee shop to sit back and watch the falling snow through the massive picture windows. Or it could have been ‘popcorn for lunch’. It all worked for me. So, ‘every day’s a snow day’ is a good way to kick off each retirement morning.

Buddy isn’t phased in the least by my discussions with myself. As long as his meals arrive on time, I could stage an entire convention

Linking to inspiration

As part of my AOK Writing project, I’m creating a slide-based tutorial on fashioning your own inspirational message for those needing a little support and, using bit.ly, including the shortened/memorable URL in any handwritten note. There’s also no reason you can’t create a short inspirational video instead of a static message. Hmmm…

[Note: my tutorial includes the step of publishing a Google Slide to the web; there’s no reason you couldn’t just post your message on your blog and ‘bit.ly-ize’ your post. I just chose the other route to make the link more exclusive.]

The steps:

  1. Create a PDF/PNG/JPEG poster of support or inspiration. I used Canva.
  2. Place it on a  blog page.
  3. Create a bit.ly link to it and include the link in your handwritten letter/note.

Here is a 90-second video showing my steps that included Canva, Google Slides [optional], and bit.ly.

Here is the link to the completed project. http://bit.ly/tryagain2

Keep trying new stuff!

Further participation in loveforourelders.org

note to an elder

This is another note written as a participant in the Love for Our Elders site.

For more details on the free Act of Kindness mini-course, click over to my Invent With Words site.

Short version: I call it a course, but it’s more my curation of the different projects out there and facilitation of a group of interested writers. I provide short video tours, tips, templates, suggestions [for those interested] for more creative alternatives to letters and notes.