Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Boomer Looks Back on Retirement: Year One

I have completed a full year of retirement.    It's been a good year.  

I didn't have any big goals for my retirement years.   Just wanted to get back to doing things just because I wanted to.   I wanted to avoid the "have to do's".  What I've discovered is that  the "want to do's" come with their own "have to do's".    That has been my biggest discovery.

What does this mean, you ask?

I wanted to do a little volunteer work and I figured doing something at Grace's school made some sense.  So I started doing a little this and that for the music department.  Then I was asked to join the board.  Hmm, not what I had in mind, but okay.  After all,  I had plenty of time, which many people do not.  Two meetings later I was asked to be the "chair in training" in order to take over in 2011/12.  This I didn't want to do.  Could have, should have said no.  But, I said yes.  After all, I had plenty of time, which many people do not. (My rationalization for everything involving volunteer activity.)   One of the big fundraisers is an auction/party event.   I signed up to get the volunteers for the event.  Asking people I don't know to give up time for a charity event was definitely a "have to do".  It reminded me a little too much of work.  Admittedly I did not enjoy it.    But I wanted to get involved and the have to do's came along with it.    Plus, I met a lot of new people at the school who can hopefully help in the future and that's really want I wanted to do.

I wanted to take piano lessons.   Started slowly doing a trial run with a teacher who came to my home.  Wasn't working for me, so I stepped back and found a new teacher.  I've been at it a couple of months.  But you know what comes with piano lessons?   Piano practice.  Yes I "have to" practice.  Admittedly, I do not enjoy practicing.  But I wanted to learn piano so practice I must.  And my Darling Daughter has actually said she'd do a duet with me.  This I definitely want to do.

I wanted to lose weight and get in better shape overall.  And I've done it...lost 20 lbs. and dropped a couple of sizes.  Feel pretty good too.  But you know what?  I "have to" exercise.   Admittedly, I do not enjoy exercising, even after doing it for a year.    And changing how I eat has been tough.  I want to eat my Hershey bars and popcorn and pasta in vast quantities.   But this is a "want to do" that had to be modified.   I change it up now and then and that helps.    A little bike-riding, cross-country skiing, hiking.   A little piece of pie for breakfast!   But it is mostly the daily grind of treadmill and lifting weights, a bowl of cereal and sandwich for lunch.  (Thank goodness for my Light Chips!)   If I want to hold on to my gains, exercise and watching what I eat is what I have to do.  My price to pay.   I got to wear my slinky black dress to our fundraiser event.  I really wanted to do that.

So much from moving from a "have to do" to a "want to do" life.  No such thing.  But the rewards of these "have to do's" feel pretty good so I'll be adding to my list in Retirement Year 2.  I'm thinking some dance lessons with my Hubby.   Totally a want to do!

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