This time last year, I was counting down to retirement in hours, and had recently started blogging. I had great aspirations, and as I look back at what they were, I’m doing well on some of my goals… not so well on others.
Here’s the list of things I hoped to accomplish when I wrote my first post, with some notes on my progress:
Helping to maximize our assets/financial planning – I’ve done lots of research on these things. We’re going to hold off on taking Social Security for a bit, and we are looking now for a place to buy our retirement home. We do plan to do some part-time work once my beloved retires to keep financing trips and other fun stuff.
- Focusing on our health – My beloved and I have been eating an anti-inflammatory diet, and successfully completed the 24-Day Challenge – twice. We lost quite a bit of weight, did lots of walking and some great kayaking last Summer, and can’t wait for warmer weather so we can be outside more this year. (There’s always room for improvement on our exercise plans.)
- Finding ways to give more back – This is one where, sadly, I’ve fallen down on the job. As I’m cleaning out my house, I’ve been making donations, and I’ve added activities surrounding my grandchildren to the things I support, but I haven’t been giving my time the way I’d hoped to. I plan to do better in the coming year.
- Undertaking the search for a new home – We’ve narrowed down our retirement home search to three towns, and have been looking in those areas. We’re also starting to get our current home in shape to sell. By the end of the Summer, we hope to be getting close…
- Planning affordable future adventures – This is an unending process. We’re currently looking at the best way to use some airline miles, and at some cruises.
- More quality family time – I have been pretty successful here. I was able to spend quality time with my Mom before she passed away, and I’ve had lots of great time with my sister – even some time with cousins and nieces, And of course, some time with my kids and grandkids. I was thrilled to be able to do some Thanksgiving and Christmas baking with my firstborn this year – on weekdays!
One thing I left off my original list was enjoying and expanding my hobbies. I did successfully start my blog, and I have been archiving old photos regularly. I really want to get back into my family tree a bit, and I’m hoping to buy a new digital SLR camera so I can learn to take better photos – the various photo challenges I’ve tried have inspired me. I’d also like to do some more writing, and have started that in the form of loose outlines and snippets. Who knows what will come of that, but it will be fun finding out!
I’m looking forward to the time when my beloved is also retired and we get a new rhythm going with our daily activities, so we can make regular obligations to non-profit work and enjoy a variety of other hobbies and fun stuff.
For now, picture me cleaning out closets, gussying up my flower gardens, and repainting a few rooms – in between real estate searches and discussions with Social Security… we’re moving toward being a fully retired couple, and I can’t wait!