Saturday, February 27, 2010

We walked to our neighborhood cafe for breakfast this morning. As we waited for our omelets, I told Art about some wisdom I'd gotten about retirement from Kittie, a woman who follows my blog. Here's what she told me last week about the transition into retirement:

"There's a feeling of euphoria followed by a bit of a slump. I think it has to do with having too much free time. Most of my friends drifted, some longer than others. Before retirement, I really asked friends ahead of me what to expect. All said what I wrote above but added that long term goals kicked one back in gear faster. So, my hub and I selected joint goals and individual goals. This worked."

I reviewed my goals to date with Art. (1) Take a mediation class to see if I might want to be a volunteer or paid mediator with the court system, perhaps working in small claims or family law. (2) Take a three-weekend course in teaching English as a second language to see if I might want to do that for a time in Central America during the winter. (3) Take a Women Build course through Habitat for Humanity and then work on at least one house somewhere in the United States. (4) Learn the software at the massage clinic I have an ownership interest in.

The learning opportunities are relatively short-term goals to help me decide what I want to invest further energy in. Most important to me is to be useful. And - at the base of it all - to be healthy and fit enough so that I can pursue the long-term goals. Plus do all the traveling we have in mind.

I asked Art if he had any long-term goals. He said he hadn't thought about it, that recuperation from his hand surgery is taking most of his energy right now. But he did say - to my great surprise - that he'd like to take the class with me on teaching English as a second language. Just when you think you know someone!

We agreed that physical fitness is key. For now, we're doing a lot of walking. But we're also discussing how we want to get our strength training in - gym? bowflex at home? senior center? community rec center? - and our aerobic exercise - gym? walking daily up the steepest hill in the county? treadmill at home? Art says until the cast comes off his left arm (that will be on March 16) he doesn't want to make any commitments. I can live with that. I told him I'm thinking about going to the gym every evening, and that as I'm getting ready to leave I'll ask him if he wants to go, and he can decide. It will depend on the energy he has remaining at the end of the day. I'll do 15 minutes of treadmill or elliptical trainer, and strength training sometimes. This is just a temporary thing until we develop a more structured, supervised plan.

There are 79 more workdays until June 25.

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