Photo-a-Day 7: End Your Day With Laughter

boy laughing with book on his knee
Especially if it’s been ‘one of those days’.

The other night in bed, I read a news clipping [yes, on real newsprint!] about decluttering.

Good info and a relevant story.

But I foolishly scanned the flip side–a depressing rundown of Russia’s increasing influence in American politics.

When I finished, I turned out the light and settled in under the covers.

My eyes closed…and opened.

I was churning, unsettled.

I knew what I had to do.

Flick on the light and read from Jim Gaffigan’s book, Food: A Love Story.

Excerpt:

“Eating fries without salt feels like a sacrifice. What am I, a pioneer? When I have to eat unsalted fries, I often feel like I should be a contestant on Survivor, or something.”

Okay, now I was ready to sleep.

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL!

Retirement Stepping Stone 18: Sadness can intervene.

solitary man with cane watching sunset

During my year, I lost a relative and our beloved dog.

No fun…just when I was settling in a bit to my new chapter.

How to deal with sadness?

Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings blog reviews Michael Rosen’s Sad Book

The book’s and the review’s main points really hit home.

From Popova: Rosen welcomes the layers of grief, each unmasking a different shade of sadness — sadness that sneaks up on you mid-stride in the street; sadness that lurks as a backdrop to the happiest of moments…

From the author: Really I’m sad but pretending I’m happy.
I’m doing this because I think people won’t like me if I look sad.

Take a look. We’re all in this living drama together.


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 in my book-in-progress. [Yes, that’s one of my unfinished projects. ;->]

The above links are not affiliate links.


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.

 

Sharing Your Retirement With a New Family Member [10 Reasons Why]

Tried to adopt last August but that one didn’t work out.

DUF [Dog Under Foot] showed up at a Senior Dog Rescue of Oregon pet adoption event two days ago. We were there only to accompany friends in their search, as we had postponed our search…until we looked into this seven-year-old’s eyes.

So, why not share retirement years with a guy like DUF? [Note: Official name not determined till my wife comes home from work.]

I could prattle on forever about a dog’s benefits, but I’ll let U.S. News do that for me.


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 17: Retirement has become a state of mind.

solitary man relaxing against tree
Retirement affords us times that often yield fun ‘aha!’ moments.

I found that even though I returned to 30+ hours of work at a local school, I didn’t want to lose the retirement experience.

And so, the minute I head home on Friday afternoon, I’m retired. It’s that simple. I even announce it as I walk through the front door. [I guess that makes it official.]

Interesting discovery: I tend to hang onto the possibility of fun and freedom and new experiences deeper into Sunday evenings than during my traditional work years.

Take a look at this article on the retirement state of mind.



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 16: Project overload…too many interests, too little time, and…

too little discipline.

puzzle-693870_1280

I started tons of projects, finished few. [I’ve written before about the ‘shiny object syndrome’.]

These projects are still alive–some just a little beyond life support–and I even posted a pared-down list of them in my computer room. At this point, that constant reminder of ‘unfinished’ is probably counterproductive, but I just keep thinking if I keep those projects in my consciousness, I’ll get back to them.
Misguided, perhaps, but I’ll keep them up through 2018 and see what happens.

***
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 in my book-in-progress. [Yes, that’s one of my unfinished projects. ;->]

 


I’m also looking at setting up an online community.
If you’re interested… [Honest! I am 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 15: ‘Time’s-a-wasting’ vs. ‘slow-down-and-savor’

stopwatch deadline-2636259_640

I had earlier quoted my friend who noted that we were ‘in our fourth quarter.’

Kind of makes you want to squeeze in a whole lotta livin’.

Welcome to the ‘time’s-a-wastin’ vs. ‘slow down-and-savor’ tug-of war.

If I slow down, won’t I miss out on opportunities to squeeze in a little extra living?

Won’t a leisurely pace eat up too many of these increasingly valuable minutes and hours?

Trust me, there are times when the clock is ticking a little louder and I get itchier to travel, take risks, try new things.

But doesn’t haste and hurry sap quality from these remaining moments?

As I wrangled over this little paradox, I thought I would look around for other views on daily living as a retiree.


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

 

 

sea-3213735_1280

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.

legs-434918_1280

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.