A to Z Challenge: Day Four – “D”

‘D’ is for ‘Decide. Then DO It’

In her recent Guest Post, Lynn (from Encore Voyage), reminds us that many ‘soon to be retirees’ fear having nothing to do once they quit working full time.

I am here to say that the water is fine on the other side of the retirement bridge. There is MUCH to see and do…but retirement is also what you make it. Although sleeping in late can be wonderful, and just hanging out with no particular plans can be great for the soul….too much of a good thing can turn sour very quickly. In retirement, it is easy to get into the trap of putting things off for later.

Decide. Then DO It. With an endless array of options, there is much to choose from.

I’ve previously mentioned that one of my goals for taking part in this “A to Z Challenge” is to show an example of what a typical month for a retiree might look like. Here’s what my calendar says that I did (or attended) last month:

8 published blog posts (4 Guest Posts and 4 Regular Posts)
8 5-K walks with my walking groups
6 days in Singapore (+3 more days in Singapore in February)
4 volunteer dog walking sessions at the SPCA
3 Nights of family sleeping over (grandchildren rock)
3 Euchre Sessions at The Legion
2 days in Vancouver (+ 1.5 days in April)
2 Newcomers’ Meetings (1 general meeting, 1 Board Meeting)
1 Doctor’s Visit
1 Dinner and Movie with Book Club
1 Music Concert (Colin James)
1 St. Patrick’s Day Party (Thanks, Pat & Kevin)
1 Yoga Workshop (but zero yoga classes….I seriously need to change that this month)
1 WordPress Meet Up (So cool….I will definitely write more about this)
0 Trips to the Gym. Due to our travel, I had canceled my March Gym Membership. Please see photo below….I made it back there today!

Do It
I’m back!!

I also did several things not recorded on my calendar. I read 3 books  (Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, A Wrinkle in Time and Empress of the Night). I worked on the website/social media for our Newcomers’ Club and spent quality time in coffee shops with Richard/friends. I grocery shopped, ate, slept, did self-care….you get the idea.

Most of the activities that I listed above are drop-in. That allows me the perfect balance to have both structure to my weeks, and flexibility.

The cool thing about retirement is that no two days need to look the same, nor do the weeks or months. Tonight I am off with a friend to a local “Ladies Auction.” Here, a group of women get together monthly and auction off gently used items to each other. This event allows participants the chance to declutter (but perhaps reclutter) and keep the money that their auction items bring in. Participants are also encouraged to contribute to a large basket that is then raffled off. All proceeds from this raffle go to  Forward House, a local non-profit organization that supports adults with mental health challenges.

I look forward to discovering what adventures April will bring. I hope that you will continue to join me. Please stay tuned!

48 Replies to “A to Z Challenge: Day Four – “D””

  1. Donna – Love your summary of what a Month of Retirement looks like! It’s been an idea brewing in my head for a post as well… based on a few folks doing their Monthly Meet-up over Coffee (brew and coffee – didn’t even realize the pun until I typed it!). I’m going to have to do this for April… since this month for me is about living my retirement lifestyle 100%. (OK, in addition to reading all the A to Z posts.)

    Like

    1. Hi, Pat – I would love to read what your month of April looks like. I greatly enjoy the “Monthly Meet-Up Over Coffee” posts. Put together they brilliantly illustrate an endless array of retirement activities and options!
      BTW – Fabulous Pun!

      Like

  2. As always a enjoyable read with my morning ☕️! I agree just Do! You may try something that you like and incorporate into you retirement life…..us tried a free class on pickle ball five years ago and 😍.

    Like

    1. Hi, Georgia – You make a great point. There are usually tons of ‘free’ introductory classes and activities to sample. That’s how I got into both yoga and euchre in retirement…both were brand new to me and both have stuck (at least so far)! Thanks for continuing to read and comment, Georgia. Your friendship and support is greatly appreciated.

      Like

  3. Good message here. One I need to get into the habit of. I just recently quit my job at Michaels but still have my transcription work in the morning. I’ve Decided to get more crafting accomplished but need to DO it and not just talk about it. Of course the A to Z takes up a lot of time now!

    Like

    1. Hi, Janet – I agree that getting stated doing something is usually the hardest part. Once we decide, and actually do it, I believe it gets much easier. You are right about the A to Z Challenge taking up extra time. (I am actually writing this at my gym, after my workout!!) I am also finding it incredibly energizing. I am already learning to write and publish much more quickly (aka ‘on the fly’). It was a huge risk for me to take…but so far, no one has said anything unkind!

      Like

  4. My days are a mix of planned and spontaneous, with no two ever alike, but they are generally fulfilling. Once in a while life gets a bit kaddywonkers and that is when I take a step back to evaluate and restore balance. It is easy to get caught up in being busy and loose sight of purpose and fulfillment. Love your “Ladies Auction” night. That sounds like fun!

    Like

    1. Hi, Suzanne – ‘Kaddywonkers’ is such a great word. I can’t wait to use it myself (I am confident that I will have plenty of opportunities). You are right that balance is key. I will try to post pics from the Ladies Auction tonight. It usually is a blast!

      Like

  5. DECIDE! That’s the thing … while allowing for the unexpected which always rears its head. There’s so much one can do, it sometimes becomes a juggling act. And allowing time for plain and simple R & R .. Thanks Donna, April has hardly begun and already it’s busy! Have a great rest of April – TS Eliot writes in The Wastelands about April being the cruellest month ..

    Like

    1. Hi, Susan – True about TS Ellliot’s quote. On the other hand, the English word “April” comes from the Latin verb “Aperire,” meaning “to open”. I am currently enjoying all of the “openings” surrounding me…including the beginnings of this “A to Z Challenge”. I look forward to reading “Daimon or Daemon”!

      Like

  6. Hi Donna – I totally agreed with your advice to Decide and Do. Thanks for sharing your summary of your month. The local Ladies Auction event sounds like fun and environmentally-friendly. Enjoy! A good E word 🙂

    Like

    1. Hi, Molly – I believe that the people who most fear ‘having nothing to do in retirement’ are the ones who are currently working full-time. The retired and semi-retired folks that I know each have full and varied days….and wonder how in the heck they ever had time to work full-time! Thanks so much for continuing to stop by!

      Like

      1. I did have a temporary job for a few months near the beginning, then I kept checking the library and information job sites for a while – but I knew I was really only pretending!

        Like

  7. Hi Donna,
    I enjoyed your list of your March activities. If that doesn’t convince the fence-sitters that they can safely leap, they’re not ready to be convinced.
    And for the rest of us who have already leaped, that list gives some new ideas – always appreciated, although I’m probably going to wait until after this Challenge is finished. It’s kinda time-consuming, isn’t it 🙂

    Like

    1. Hi, Karen – ‘A to Z’ is definitely time-consuming..but it is equally energizing! For my entire life. I have diligently avoided doing things at the last minute. For this challenge, I have boxed myself in to 26-days of last minute pressure. The good news is that I am surviving (at least so far)….and I am learning incredible new shortcuts along the way!

      Like

  8. I love how retirement has given my life such flexibility but I do agree with your encouragement to DO! It’s easy to get buried in the weeds (my current weedy swamp of paper purging has wrapped its tendrils around my free time) and forget that there is so much to do “out there” in the real world. Your post has inspired me to get out from under these piles of paper and decide to do something a lot more fun!

    Like

    1. Hi, Janis – I agree with you how one ‘worthy activity’ can “wrap its tendrils around our free time.” (I LOVE that expression!) The irony that I am living with right now is focusing on adventure…while attempting to blog about said adventures each day! (One of these activities can seriously thwart the other). The silver lining is that I am learning that I can let go of ‘overthinking,’ ‘overwriting’ and ‘overediting’…and the world won’t end (and WordPress won’t send me an eviction notice). Great lessons learned!

      Like

  9. Hi Donna I’m keen to read your adventures in retirement and what your days look like. I struggle sometimes to feel settled and then I turn to blogging more than perhaps I want or need to. However, when I read my Virtual Coffee Catch Up I realise how much I am fitting into my life. It is all about putting things into perspective and enjoying the moment.
    Don’t forget to link up to Midlife Share the Love Party it is still open xx

    Like

    1. Hi, Sue – We really do need that IRL meet-up to chat together about the joys and challenges of this stage of life. My most sincere apologies for missing this week’s #MLSTL Link-Up. My current focus on getting out and experiencing diverse adventures (and finding the time to write and publish about them before the day is up) is keeping me hopping. I promise to be back again soon!

      Like

      1. Oh I need to take a leaf out of your book Donna and go on daily adventures. I didn’t do the AtoZ last year and am struggling to keep on top of it again this year. It stretches my writing and thoughts but in a perverse way I’m loving it. Yes an IRL meetup must be planned! Have a great adventure today and just link up to #MLSTL when you can. No pressure. xx

        Like

      2. Thanks, Sue – I greatly appreciate your support and understanding. I only want to participate in linkups when I know I can do my fair share of reading/sharing/commenting. I promise to be back soon!

        Like

  10. I like the idea of the “Ladies Auction”. What a great way to declutter. You are a busy lady, Donna! Retirement sounds very exciting through your eyes. 🙂

    Like

    1. Hi, Liesbet – I just returned from the ‘Ladies Auction’. It was a fun night and I was able to rehome a few items that I was no longer using. I also picked up a brand new slow cooker for $5.00. I love my slow cooker and have often borrowed a second one for holidays, company, etc. Our raffle made a significant chunk of change for charity…so the evening was a win-win-win!

      Like

  11. My generation most likely will not be able to retire. I’m looking at working until I keel over but I guess I can’t complain too much. From what I’ve heard, those who have interests outside of work before they retire will do very well in retirement. Those who do nothing but work are likely to have a rough transition.

    Like

    1. Nice to meet you at ‘A to Z’. I appreciate your comment. I understand that both aging, and retirement are denied to many and I am grateful to be able to experience both. I sincerely wish that retirement remains an option for your generation. I look forward to stopping by your site shortly.

      Like

    1. Hi, Debbie – Thank you for your kind words. I am trying not to wake up each morning moaning “What am I going to write about today?”. The adventure + pressure to post combo has really helped me to get out there and ‘do.’ Today it is quite rainy, but I will ‘suit up’ and join one of my walking groups. Without this challenge, I may have remained curled up by the fire!

      Like

  12. It was interesting to read your summary of the month of March. I had been drafting something similar for how my March had come together – largely because it was a whole lot of what I hadn’t planned. Sometimes that happens 🙂

    Doing is good. One of our catchphrases at work was to have a bias for action. I find it serves me well in retirement too 🙂

    Like

    1. Hi, Joanne – I love the catchphrase ‘bias for action’…and it is very fitting for this challenge as well. I look forward to reading your summary of your March activities. Sometimes the unplanned is the most powerful. I greatly appreciate you stopping by and commenting.

      Like

  13. HI Donna
    You are so busy. It’s wonderful.
    In the 3 months, I’ve been retired, I’ve never been bored. I have so many things to do and many more plans for the future.
    I read Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand last year. Loved that book.
    Laura

    Like

    1. Hi, Laura – I love finding like-minded individuals in this corner of the blogosphere. I agree that there is lots to do…both now and in the future. I am glad that you enjoyed MPLS. I found it to be such a sweet, relaxing book…perfect to read at bedtime. It’s been described as “romance for wrinkles”! 🙂

      Like

  14. Donna, Rob and I went to that Colin James concert, too. I didn’t see you there, but I’m not surprised — the place was packed.

    Lots happened in March for me too. My list is different but just as long.

    Jude

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s