It has been an exciting journey of jewelry design and lifestyle changes.
I was asked, “What are you going to do once you retire”? I really didn’t have a concrete plan. After 40 years of examining 18-20 patients a day, asking, “which is better one or two”? of having a routine that didn’t detour very often, I didn’t want to say exactly how I was going to spend my time. Clean my closets, work in the garden, take photography lessons, travel more, walk more, design jewelry, write, take more classes. Some of the thoughts that were floating in my head. After talking to some of my long-time, retired patients and friends, some gave me various suggestions: expand your hobby, get a part-time job, volunteer, travel, do nothing. I have done a combination of all the above.
I finally changed the time on my clocks and watches from ten minutes fast to the correct time. I turned off the alarm on my bedside clock. Some retired friends said that every day was Saturday. I didn’t want to take that mindset as I like the idea that I can make a plan or not. l enjoy being spontaneous. Do Saturday chores during the week or not.
I got a chance to read the newspapers and magazines that I had accumulated, read some books, enjoyed my house. I chopped tree branches, trimmed vines, planted flowers. Listening to music helped keep me focused and motivated. Scrolled and posted a lot more on social media. I also wanted to see how my spending would be once I stopped getting a paycheck every two weeks. I realized that with some adjustments, I could live on less and maintain my lifestyle. I started cooking from some of the recipes I had saved online and from tv. I entertained a bit more, enjoyed preparing meals, decorating the table with fresh flowers, candles and a creative tablescape. Elicited diverse topic conversations from my guests.
I still sit on the Optometry Alumni Board, write and edit articles, submit photographs for my National organization. Some days I can just sit and watch the neighborhood cats chill on the hillside behind my house. I can watch the squirrels maneuver and flit from tree to tree in my backyard. I have time to reflect on the good times and memories I enjoy with people I love. This has been my life for the first six months of retirement. I am anticipating the next few months and years, taking one step, one day at a time. I’m choosing to pursue my happiness through creative endeavors.