Hello again, I’m so happy to be back for Donna’s ‘Sundays at Six’! I’m Debbie from ‘Deb’s World.’ I’ve enjoyed being a guest at Donna’s blog throughout the year. I also had a blast featuring her in my ‘People of Interest’ series. She is a generous soul and someone I now call a friend, despite having never met in person (yet).
Holiday Greetings to you all from the Land Down Under!
For this ‘Sundays at Six’ series, I thought I’d take a reflective look at my summary of how 2017, my first year of retirement, has panned out. I know I wrote enthusiastically back in March about how much I was enjoying myself. Now that I have a full year under my belt, I thought I’d use this opportunity to give you a further update.
This post came about from my ‘Annual Report’ to former colleagues, at our recent Christmas Party/Reunion. We have managed to stay in contact and have had numerous get-togethers during the year, even though we all live different lives now and some live out of town. We are like family.
At our Christmas lunch we were each given five minutes to present our Annual Report – updating everyone on family/pets, highs/lows, and plans for 2018. This was a great way of sharing our news with everyone at the same time. We then did Secret Santa!
It is fitting for me to share that this time last year (December 2016) we were all made redundant from our teaching jobs in the State’s Prison system. It was a hard time. We celebrated our successes of over 20 years of good work and tried to look forward to an uncertain future. I know I was in a bad place at the time, but here I am bright and sparkly 12 months after to share that I’m in a very good place now. It’s here that Donna can insert her wise words – “I told you so!” (From Donna – “It’s true…I did mention this!”)
Summary from my Annual Report:
.Our family increased with the official addition of a new son-in-law following our youngest daughter’s wedding in Fiji. A definite high point of the year!
LOTS of it! I calculated that this year I have spent 170 days away from home traveling whether on my own or with my husband. That’s an incredible 24+ weeks of travel!! I’ve even managed to blog about a lot of our travels.
• We spent time in Tasmania, the Flinders Ranges and South Australia, Fiji, Melbourne, Canberra, Murwillumbah, Nowra, Brisbane and New Zealand. (There’s a song I can sing here called “I’ve been everywhere man, I’ve been everywhere,” but I’ll refrain for the moment).
• We loved celebrating with our three daughters and their partners all together in Fiji in October! Thoughts on a Destination Wedding from the Mother of the Bride
Running: I managed to run a bit more regularly and did the Mother’s Day Run in Canberra and the Run Melbourne 6km event. I’ve got so much more time now that I’m not working (said no-one ever)!
Having time to spend on my blog and interacting with other amazing people around the world. I’ve used my blog as a way of using my brain, learning new skills, technology and staying up to date. I had business cards made saying I was a Blogger and gave each of my colleagues a card. Losing my identity after being made redundant was something I suffered with a great deal, this was my fun way of being someone again!
• The slow decline of my father. He has Parkinson’s Disease and it’s awful seeing him slowly fade away. It has been good being able to visit my mother more often and to see dad in his aged care facility, without worrying about leave forms and time-frames (so that bit’s a high).
• Our daughter’s cat, of a great age, suddenly disappeared and hasn’t returned. We won’t be replacing Luna Aphrodite.
• I’ve missed the daily contact with my colleagues.
• There are not enough hours in the day anymore!
Plans for 2018
More travel to see our daughter who lives in the UK but we know we can’t keep up the pace we set in 2017!
So that’s my update. As you can see, I have made the most of my time. I haven’t even mentioned things like our involvement in Rotary Youth Exchange programs, my reading, community involvement, photography or other daily occurrences.
Wishing you all happy and safe holiday season wherever and however you spend it. Looking forward to a new year just as exciting as this year and continuing my blogging connections with you all. Thanks again Donna for having me over.