Retirement

Thought I would write a short post about retirement – leastways – my thoughts on the subject!

This is the life!

Retirement – why do some of us embrace it while others tend to either shy away from it or look at it as some unwanted plague? Truth be told, I was somewhat astonished when I learned I wasn’t able to dodge the bullet one more time as I had done so many times before. But that was way back when (1995 to be exact). But, I swallowed my pride, began sending out resumes, and subsequently acquired another job albeit an underwriting job for which I was more than over-qualified. But, it was a job and it helped to put food on the table and a roof over our head and so I accepted it and began my new career, if you will. But, alas, the cards were not with me that year because nine months later (no my wife did not have another baby) my underwriting job was going away too as that company also decided to down-size and yup, you got it – last in – first out. I was only 55, and a few months away from being 56.

How did we handle it? We took it as a sign and decided to down-size ourselves and we haven’t looked back since.  Why? Because the skills we had learned up to that point in our lives were no different than what would come to be known as our retirement skills as we moved forward in our new roles as retirees. Let’s face it – being free from the constraints of the daily 9-5 daily routine allows one to also be free to use whatever combination of life experiences, skills, talents, and personality we have already been through. Also, if applied correctly, these past experiences and so forth enable us to utilize the expertise gained over our working career that will create an existence in retirement designed to satisfy us.     

Is it easy? Not particularly. Some embrace retirement from day one while others seem consumed with all types of difficulties. Take it from me adjustment to this new lifestyle is not without its problems. We all have to learn to work and make compromises.  What matters is how we look at our expectations as we move forward and learn to make adjustments be they around finances, time, health issues or whatever. Retirement involves many of the trials we experienced during our working years – trials such as adversity, heartache, disappointments, as well as failures.

But, hey….it can be done! This past December (just last month) we have been retired 23 years and still are loving it!

Quiet Time – Good Habit to Follow

The quietness of mornings!

One of the things I believe we must do daily is to set aside a particular – “Quiet” – time for ourselves. A time when we have anywhere from an hour to an hour and one-half of “just me” time. No disruptions, no noise, no telephone interruptions, just an hour or so I have for myself. I am trying to get accustomed to making this time around 5:00 AM or 5:30 AM in the morning as at that time, it is quiet outside and with my wife sleeping in the next room, I am in complete solitude. While some people may say this sounds crazy – I personally think it is rather peaceful being alone with one’s thoughts at this hour of the day. I find it quite refreshing or should I say rejuvenating. This early time of the day to just sit with one’s thoughts reflecting, writing, or just simply sitting there in the quiet can be so mentally rewarding.

 But not everyone likes to give up or shall I say spend the first hour or hour and one-half of their day alone with their thoughts. While  my knowledge on this subject is rather limited, it would not surprise me were someone to tell me that most successful people carve out or put aside a minimum of ten to fifteen minutes of every day to allow themselves what one would call “quiet time.” And these little ten or fifteen-minute periods of time can be taken at any time of the day. Meditation, yoga, tai chi, a short ten-minute walk outside in nature, even a ten-minute soak in the tub or if you really want to get wild about it – lock yourself in the bathroom for ten or fifteen minutes.

Even if you don’t allow the hour or hour and one-half every morning like I do, just spending these short ten to fifteen minute periods can and should become a vital part of your daily ritual as I am a true believer that they will assist you in life. Think about it for a minute. What can these short breaks do for you? This alone time enables us to balance much of the noise (television, radio, CD’s, our smart phones, the computer) that we allow to infiltrate much of our day.

Getting back to me – just sitting alone quietly first thing in the morning before I do anything else – yes, even before I start writing or making that first cup of coffee, somehow makes me feel like my day will be more manageable. I do not know how some people just pop out of bed and seem to be going a “mile a minute” before they even head out the door to start their actual work day. True, we retirees do not head off to work like we used to but for many of us our daily schedule has become so full that we wonder sometimes how we even had time to work.  I have found that taking a few minutes just for me – keeps me balanced and ready for whatever comes my way throughout the rest of the day.

Quiet time does not necessarily have to happen during the morning either. One does not have to set aside one particular ten-minute period a day. Most evenings I spend ten minutes or so (usually waiting for my wife to put my eye drops in before retiring for the evening) just sort of relaxing, allowing several thoughts to flow through my mind, usually consisting of what all I accomplished during the day. It is a good calming feeling and one that enables me to ease off into slumber land shortly after the lights are turned off for the evening. Relaxing like this and letting go is a perfect way to gently fall asleep without the worries about what tomorrow might bring. After all, chances are you accomplished all you set out to do today and if not, well, tomorrow is just another day. One day at a time.

Until next time!

Good-Bye 2019

Well, the year 2019 is coming to an end. We’ve had some ups, some downs, and some in-betweens. Was 2019 better than 2018? Will 2020 be better than 2019? Only time will tell.

The true question here is: “Have we learned from our experiences? It was Heraclitus, a Greek Philosopher who once said: “The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change!” No matter what one wants to change, be it a simple task or habit or an attempt to change the world, to make either of these changes – one has to change himself or herself first.

How many of us, at this time of the year (a few days before New Year’s Day) say:  “I am going to make some New Year’s Resolutions to change certain things I want to change.” I know I am one of them. But over the years I have learned several things, one of which is that, like the kid in the candy store, what I see before me may be bigger than what my stomach could handle – without getting one large bellyache. Same holds true when making New Year’s Resolutions.

We need to start small. Why do I say that? Because, let’s take me for example: I have several things that I would like to change in 2020.

One: I would like to lose weight and get back to what, in my opinion, is a reasonable weight, not that I am obese or anything (I only want to lose 7 pounds).

Two: I would like to spend more time creating and writing pieces for not only what I like to call my Daily Morning Facebook Quips, but actually follow a schedule designed to create and post articles on the following sites:

https://lakelandmusings.wordpress.com/

http://community.retirement-online.com/profile/IrwinLengel

with the occasional article being posted to

Three: I would like to get back to my daily habit of stretching first thing when I wake, walking at least two miles a day, and incorporate some strength-training exercises into my weekly routine.

Four: I would like to write a third e-book but this time give it more time and devotion along with more of me being put into the book than I put into the first two books which were written as more of a spur-of-the-moment challenge than something I personally wanted to do.

Let me just stop myself here and point out an observation which is that: None of these four items seem overly unachievable.

Number one – Seems easy enough – watch what I eat and stay away from the foods I know aren’t good for me.

Number two – Take a look at where my time is being spent at the moment and give something else up that I am doing to provide time to do the creating and writing I want to do.

Number three – Get my lazy butt out of bed, do my stretching exercises, go for that walk and choose a time several days a week to lift those dumbbells to strengthen those muscles that have been neglected over the years.

Number four – Choose a time of the day, preferably every day, or what works with regards other household/social/familial duties and lock myself away and begin writing.

Easy peasy. Right? Not as easy as it appears to be. The older we get, the easier it seems to be to fall out of habits we have been accustomed to doing and harder to get started again doing the things that are (a) good for us and (b) make us enjoy getting up every day.

Which brings me full circle to my opening comments: “The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change!” but, as was also mentioned – No matter what one wants to change, be it a simple task or habit or an attempt to change the world, to make either of these changes – one has to change himself or herself first.

Looking at the clock on the wall and noting that there are only about 60 hours left in the year 2019, I had best get busy setting up the schedule I intend to follow and see if 2020 will be my year of change. What about you? What changes will you be making?

Instead of my usual closing – Until next time! – let me just say: “Until Next Year!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

2020

SNOOZE BUTTON!

Time waits for no man!

I recently read a quote that sort of gave me that kick in the ass that some of us need every now and then to get motivated and write that article or post we have been putting off for quite a while.

The quote went something like this:

“Our snooze button does not have the power to delay the sun from rising in the morning. Time simply does not wait for anyone. Ted Robbins, Time Management Master Time Management and Boost Your Success 

Fact is this saying applies whether we are still in school, still working, or enjoying our life in retirement.

I keep wondering what my problem is and why I do not sit down at my computer to write that weekly blog post I keep telling myself is important. For some reason, making the bed, doing the dishes, taking out the trash, paying the bills, filing receipts, and all these type things ad nauseum easily take the place of our sitting on our butts at the computer or in a chair with pen/pencil and tablet writing.

It would appear that we forget the number one rule of those of us that want to “write,” and that is we must actually take the time to write. While I keep a daily journal of sorts, basically it is a compilation of notes of things I plan on doing on such and such a day, how I feel, whether or not we got to see our children, and what I usually end up calling “unimportant stuff.” True it is writing but it is not the type of writing I thought I would be doing when I set up this blog site.

No, what I had in mind when I set up this site was to share with everyone – funny stuff, educational stuff, philosophical stuff, and so forth.

There seems to be no rhyme nor reason to what it is that I write about. Part of me says: “Hey, what’s wrong with that – you are doing what you want to do and writing that which satisfies your itch to write.” But then my conscience asks the question: “But is that enough?” Shouldn’t you have a niche, a brand, something that would keep people coming back for more?

Hence the reference to the quote mentioned at the beginning of this post – mainly the part that says: “Time simply does not wait for anyone.”  I mean, in a few days, I will be turning 79, you would think I should have it all together by this time in my life!

Perhaps one does not need a niche, brand, or something to keep people coming back for more. Perhaps it is my writing in and of itself (hopefully the content of same is what people enjoy) that will keep people coming back for more.

This post is becoming a lesson in writing with me being both the student and the teacher it would seem. Why do I say that? Well to begin with, having said that, the only other obstacle I need to overcome is that of being consistent.

How does this come into play? Well, for one thing – if I were more consistent, chances are those reading my rants and raves would have something to look forward to every week. Even more so if I tied it to a specific day as I have seen other bloggers do (post an article every Sunday evening for instance). In doing so, those that do get some enjoyment out of the dribble I write about, will know to look for my latest rant each and every Sunday evening.

I am beginning to be glad I had this conversation with myself. Now all I need to do is come up with content (preferably something readers will enjoy or something I enjoy writing about) and then be consistent in posting on a certain day be it weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or what have you.

I knew there was a reason I like that joke about talking to oneself because that seems to be the only time those of us that do talk to ourselves have an intelligent conversation.

I am posting this today but am shooting for Sunday nights in the future to begin posting weekly. If I don’t follow through, please feel free to give me a swift kick in the you know what to get me motivated and doing what I love doing…..WRITE!

With that I will bid you adieu and be back Sunday evening.

Master, Where Are You

Didn’t know exactly what I wanted to say this week so as I walked into my office, Yoda caught my eye and well, the following Drabble is what resulted. Hope you enjoy it!

My Muse!

As I walked into the room, my eyes immediately began searching, both high and low, as though searching for clues to some dark secret mystery. It was here just yesterday – where could it have gone? Who could have possibly moved it? Why? Everyone has a muse – something/someone that provides inspiration. How else does one find purpose in setting at the desk, pen in hand, or fingers poised above the keyboard ready to share the knowledge accumulated. What were those familiar words once shared with me: “Always pass on what you have learned!”

Master, where are you?