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~Monday~   Today is six months to the day of my retirement on October 13, 2014, and I've taken this opportunity to assess myself on how I'm adjusting to it.

Overall, I must say that 9 out of 10 voices in my head agreed that I am "consistently exceeding requirements," to put it in corporate assessment jargon.

Before I get to a line-by-line report on how I'm faring specifically against my "retirement to-do list," here are some general observations:

  • The thing I love the absolute most is being able to, when I go to bed—usually between midnight and 2AM—look at the time on my clock, add 8 hours to it, and set my alarm for that.

  • The biggest surprise, I guess, was finding out that just because you have time to do something, it doesn't mean you're going to want to do it. Specifically, this applies to cleaning house and other things that I just don't enjoy doing. It's easy to convince yourself when you're working that you're just putting those things off because you're too busy.

  • Another thing that I didn't anticipate was Amazon Prime going on sale, and my signing up for it for $72 for the year. Those of you who know me, know I'm the type that likes to get my money's worth from things, so I've been going gangbusters watching movies and TV shows with my subscription. Those include:

  • I was always open to doing some freelance editing in retirement, but I had hoped to not do any from October 14 until the first of the (2015) year. However, the department I left needed some help until they could hire 3 or 4 new people to replace me and a couple of other people who left around the same time I did, so after a two-week break, I started freelancing on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I didn't work for most of the month of December, though. Some observations about freelancing:

    • For the most part, the agreement is to do strictly editing (i.e., no meetings or projects), and all from home, both of which make a surprisingly incredible difference.

    • Having 4-day weekends all the time, with a day off between the 2 days I freelance, is amazing. Having every Monday of my life off is the absolute best.

    • The weekly paycheck is sweet gravy atop of my twice-monthly retirement checks.

And here's my appraisal of the items in my anticipatory blog entry that I posted a month or so before retiring:

  • Emotional/intellectual activity

    • Continue to meet monthly with my Mostly Social Book Club

    • Continue to meet monthly with my Salon group

    • Continue my volunteer work as a member of the board of directors of Manbites Dog Theater
      • I am still on the board, and I have attended every monthly meeting that has been called since I retired.

    • Continue my volunteer work as a member of the board of directors of my townhouse's homeowners' association
      • I am still on the board, and I have attended every monthly meeting that has been called since I retired.

    • Continue my weekly line-dancing and two-stepping night (for as long as my knees will permit)
      • Our dance nights have been reduced from every Wednesday night to the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month, and I'm still dancing.

    • Participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, which is the month of November)
      • I did not do this. Even though I had more than one reminder on my Google calendar about it, I didn’t realize until it was the 3rd of the month that I’d missed the start. I’m sliding this out to next November.

    • Write for at least two hours a day
      • I would say that, on average, I have met this goal. It’s not two hours every day, but averaging it out across many days it's at least two hours. I’m satisfied with the time I’ve spent writing.
      • I started a “Great Retirement Coffee Shop Tour,” which consisted of visiting various coffee shops (new ones, whenever possible) around the city and spending a few hours there doing a combination of drinking coffee, people-watching, and writing. Here is a sampling of some of the ones I’ve visited, along with some observations about some of them:
        • Monday, 03/23/15, Café de los Muertos, Hargett Street, Raleigh
        • Monday, 02/02/15, LucetteGrace, 235 S Salisbury St
        • Tuesday, December 23, 2014, Third Place, 5 Points
        • Monday, 01/12/15, Benelux, Cameron Village, Raleigh (Steve & Kita, formerly of Mordecai)
          About 15 tables inside. can get full. eye candy. WiFi pw = beneluxcoffee
        • Tuesday, 12/16/14, Night Kitchen Bakehouse & Cafe, Seaboard Station (10 W. Franklin St.)
          I was not impressed with this place. My coffee could have been hotter. I asked for a medium, but got a small. And it was in a to-go cup even though I was eating in. I thought they were going to warm my bagel, because they “took it to the back,” but when I picked it up to eat, it was cold. The butter they gave me to put on myself was hard as a rock, and I didn’t get a knife or a napkin in my to-go bag. All of the other people eating in got mugs and baskets for their food. Guest wi-fi won’t be available until some time in January. Fortunately I was able to squat on a nearby business’s guest wi-fi. The young lady serving me was not as friendly or talkative as I would have expected in a place that was just open, trying to get established, and presumably understands the importance of repeat customers to the success of a business. I’m predicting a “short run” with this place, unless my encounter was unique. I certainly like Brew, just around the corner, much better. The only thing that this place has over that one is the parking.
        • Wednesday, 11/19/14, Upper Crust Pie & Bakery, Lafayette Village, Raleigh
        • Wednesday, 11/19/14, Jubala Village Coffee, Lafayette Village, Raleigh
        • Friday, 11/17/14, Panera Bread, Crossroads Plaza, Cary
        • Wednesday, 11/05/14, Sola Coffee Cafe, Lead Mine Road, Raleigh
          90 minutes of WiFi with purchase, Counter Culture coffee, Toast bar, great food, small beer selection, draws a churchy crowd, occasionally hosts musicians.
        • Monday, 11/03/14, The Morning Times, Downtown, Raleigh
        • Sunday, 11/02/14, Bruegger’s Bagels, Mission Valley, Raleigh
        • Wednesday, 10/29/14, Brew, Seaboard Station, Raleigh

    • Create greetings cards
      • I have not done this, but I think about it a lot, and I still want to do it!

    • Write an entry for McSweeney's and submit it
      • I have not done this; in fact, I’d forgotten about it until doing this update. I still want to do it.

    • Create a personal YouTube video pun channel and create more video puns, like this one
      • I did a couple of these, and I enjoyed it. It’s a little more work than I want it to be, so I want to work on my production process, and pick it back up.
      • I do have several ideas for them saved in a Google doc, so it’s just a matter of producing them.

    • Create a DIY: calendar journal on 3x5 index cards
      • I am doing a variation on this.
      • I bought the 3x5 cards, but had trouble fitting them in an existing index card holder, and didn’t want to spend a lot of money on a new one, couldn’t find one at a thrift shop, and just decided that I wasn’t going to let the 3x5 card aspect of this idea bog me down.
      • To that end, I have an entry for every day since my birthday and retirement day (October 13), but I’m doing it in a Google doc instead of on 3x5 cards.

    • Socialize on Facebook
      • If you’ve gotten to this blog entry update from Facebook, then you know that I am excelling at this one!

    • Do crossword puzzles
      • Bob bought me a 10-minute crossword puzzle-a-day 2015 calendar, and I’m doing them religiously. So far, however, I’ve not been able to do one in 10 minutes or fewer. I’d like to meet whomever decided on that time limit and ask them, “What were you thinking?”
      • I’ve fallen behind a couple of days now and then, but I’ve always caught up, and I’m currently caught up.

    • Participate in Lumosity's Human Cognition Project for at least 15 minutes a day
      • The one thing I wanted to do on this site is work on my short-term memory.
      • I keep forgetting to do it.

    • Read lots of books (lying in my hammock on my deck, whenever the weather is agreeable)

    • Spend more time with Bob and Frances and Vincent
      • I have so done this, and I so love it.
      • My favorite thing is sitting on Bob's screened-in porch during the day, alternately writing and watching his dedication to—and love of working in—his yard, and having Frances and Vincent nearby to love on.

    • Actually get 8 hours of sleep regularly
      • This might be my very favorite thing about retirement to-date.
      • It is such a gift to be able to get 8 hours sleep regularly.

  • Physical activity

    • Go to the gym (or do some other equivalent exercise) 1-1.5 hours 5-6 days a week (Quit laughing. I can dream!)
      • I'm happy to report that I have met this goal!
      • I currently weigh 20 pounds fewer than I did when I retired.

    • Maybe, slowly, start riding my bike again—in the fall, assuming it finally cools down
      • I have not done this, and I'm not sure I ever will, although I haven't totally ruled it out.
      • There are two things that are causing me to hesitate on this one—one probably not so valid and the other one valid:
        • I’m concerned about getting a flat tire while I’m out, even though I know how to change one, but even so, with Bob being retired, too, he could almost always be counted on to come rescue me if it happened, or I could just ride when I know he would be. Bottom line: This fear is lame at best and just an excuse at worst.
        • I’ve had two surgeries on my left knee, and bike-riding does aggravate it to some extent, which I know from doing the stationary bike at the gym.

  • Computer/online

    • Get one of my printers working
      • I haven't done this yet.

    • Restore original OS to old workstation or wipe it clean, and take it to the electronics recycle center
      • I haven't done this yet.

    • Dispose of my old Think Pad
      • I haven't done this yet.

    • Unpack the "My Documents" folder on my new workstation
      • I haven't done this yet.

    • Sync my iTunes account to the cloud
      • I'm not going to do this.

    • Configure my iPod to sync for only certain music
      • I have done this.

    • Scan in all my found writing
      • I haven't done this yet.

    • Go through online (and printed) pictures and organize them
      • I haven't done this yet.

    • Move all MDT agendas and minutes to Google drive
      • I haven't done this yet.

    • Update my identity inventory
      • I have done this.

    • Move my "professional portfolio" to my WordPress site
      • I've done some of this.

    • Complete the conversion of my personal website to WordPress
      • I've done some of this.

    • Pick an app as a feed reader and set up some feeds
      • I'm not going to do this.

  • Around the house

    • Cook more at home
      • This is definitely happening, and it's a significant contributing factor to my weight loss.

    • Go through 2 cassette tapes to see if there's anything to save from them
      • I haven't done this yet.

    • Go through 5 VHS tapes to see what I want to keep
      • I haven't done this yet.

    • Hang up my master's degree diploma
      • My friend Joe did this for me before I retired!

    • Organize all of my MBTI materials into one 3-ring binder
      • I haven't done this yet.

    • Paint my guest bedroom, and maybe my master bedroom
      • This probably won't get done unless someone voluteers to help me do it.

    • Replace quarter-rounds in my downstairs bathroom
      • I haven't done this yet.

    • Clean out and organize kitchen cabinets
      • I have done this!

    • Clean out and organize guest room closet
      • I have done this!

    • Clean out and organize master bedroom closet
      • I haven't done this yet.

    • Clean out and organize linen closet
      • I haven't done this yet.

    • Clean out and organize entrance hall closet
      • I haven't done this yet.

    • Clean out and organize filing cabinet
      • I haven't done this yet.

    • Clean out and organize storage shed

  • Travel

    • Considering a month-long RV trip around the U.S., visiting various people that Bob and I know
      • Bob and I "scoped" this project and it ended up "way out of scope" with a 6,000- to 7,000-mile trip.
      • We've decided to do one trip for now, and that'll be the first half of May, traveling up to Michigan for him to visit, and me to meet, several of his 13 siblings.

Tags:

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
e_musings
Apr. 14th, 2015 12:26 pm (UTC)
Dang, you are one organized human being!

Re: bike riding: I like the idea of it, but after breaking my elbow while trying out a bike for rental, I've grown wary of those two wheeled elbow breakers...plus, it's not a weight bearing exercise.

Is Western PA on your way to Michigan? AND BTW, we'll be in your neck o'the woods the 13th and 14th. If you are anywhere close on your way, I'll meet up! (I am blatantly displaying my geographical ignorance, lol)
dailyafirmation
Apr. 14th, 2015 01:20 pm (UTC)
I'm only considering biking, because I still have my bike from the AIDS ride I did in 2003, and I lost a ton of weight when I was training for that! :-)

However, I know that 12 years and two knee surgeries later, and not riding at a training pace working my way up to 100-mile days, I'm not going to lose weight like I did back then. It interests me more from a being outside perspective, as I get most of my exercise at the gym. (As you know.) :-)

We are planning to be back on the 13th, so I can meet you here in Raleigh! I'm looking forward to it!

Edited at 2015-04-14 01:21 pm (UTC)
(Anonymous)
Apr. 14th, 2015 06:26 pm (UTC)
I am so dissappointed with how you were not thorough in your entry!! LOL

Loved the update and feedback. Sounds like retirement life fits you well!!!
dailyafirmation
Apr. 14th, 2015 06:59 pm (UTC)
Ha! Thank, Heloisa!
It only took me 5 hours to write that update, but hey, it's writing, so it counts toward my 2-hour-per-day writing goal!

Thanks for reading and for your comment!
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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