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Enjoying small new accomplishments in retirement

musicmommusicmom 2436 replies89 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
I love reading in the Parent Cafe but haven't posted much.

I retired this past July after 41 years in healthcare.
Loved LOVED my job for many years and then didnt the last few. Changing workplace, changing me. DH had two years of serious illness that fortunately has been teated successfully.
It was clearly time.
We're savers, NOT wealthy but should be fine.

I'm a planner by nature. Probably my science brain and had compiled a bunch of activities to pursue.

What I'm finding so interesting is how much I'm enjoying the small unexpected successes that came out of nowhere.

In previous life, I killed every plant, bush or tree I touched. Now I've rooted sticks my friends have donated, buy flowers on Etsy, trained my Clematis to climb my mailbox post I visit my flower beds every morning with my coffee in hand. I even like weeding.

We downsized to a tiny 2BR house in a lake community.
Good bones, needs some TLC.
The second tiny bath was missing about 10 trim tiles.
Spent hours and hours scouting for a color match of the 1940ish pale pink pieces, online and in stores
DH was incredulous when I told him I was going to install the missing tile myself.
A stop at home depot for supplies and several YouTube videos later, the tile is cemented and grouted. Not perfect but pretty darn good.

We bought two small kyacks without ever having kyacked before. Im sure we were a sight for the neighbors to see at first. But we improved quickly and had a blast
all summer.

Had a few ladies from the old neighborhood to lunch and to see the new house.
I'm a seriously not a chef.
Went online and pulled a few recipes for healthy summer salads and sides and fancy cocktails.
Got lots of compliments that sounded sincere on everything!

Cant wait to find more things I might actually be good at!

Anyone else want to share?
Hopefully you wont mind if i pilfer some more ideas to try.








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Replies to: Enjoying small new accomplishments in retirement

  • HImomHImom 34332 replies391 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I’m continuing to run a nonprofit I started and am now more involved as an officer of a national organization. I plan trips and we have a lot of fun.

    I’m still learning how to post things on our website. It’s a process. I need to start sending out a newsletter too. I did it for awhile but need to relearn.

    So far, H does most of the home maintenance but I surprise both of us by being the one who spots what we need at the home improvement and hardware stores.
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  • FallGirlFallGirl 8045 replies27 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I'm not retired (yet) but I love this thread! I love reading all of these posts.

    Thanks @musicmom !
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 7274 replies56 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I’m a “retired” stay at home mom. Does that count?

    Gardening and baking have been my two big turn arounds. I’m loving spending time in my garden - we have a fairly prolific veggie and herb garden that is still going strong, and I’ve added a dozen trees and shrubs, two dozen perennials, and 70 bulbs that I’m hoping will bloom in the spring. I also did an inexpensive clean up of my yucky cement patio that actually looks beautiful; and repainted a rusty metal that now is gorgeous and a “destination” in the garden. My next project is a mural on a defunct, outdoor, metal exhaust hanging over the patio.

    I’ve also been baking desserts and baguettes from scratch. Lots of fun successes.

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  • IgloooIglooo 8180 replies211 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited September 23
    I've been retired for a few years now. I am done with fixing the house. All the repairs I put off have been taken care of and I lost interest in that. I found cooking instead. Never in my wildest dream I would do cooking. I had a bumper crop of peaches from my yard, only three trees but they ripe all at the same time. It forced me to do something with it. Learned to can it. It was very very good. This weekend, I went to the farmer's market and bought more peaches. The second batch is ready. That got me thinking about preserving. So I am now doing confit with beef brisket. It is time consuming. We will see how it turns out.
    edited September 23
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  • one+twoone+two 116 replies6 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I'm not retired although am thinking / planning for it hopefully soon. But I am an empty nester this year after sending twins to college (+older a college junior). I now have evenings and weekends open that previously were filled to the brim with watching and volunteering with kid activities. It's like a mini retirement.

    Years ago I inherited several boxes of beads -- both plastic and 1960s era Swarovski crystal -- from a "crafty" great aunt. They've been sitting in my basement. I've pulled them out and am researching and experimenting with making jewelry, ornaments, beaded bags, etc. I'm a crafter at heart myself so it's been fun. I feel no pressure and have undone a number of things after spending an hour or two on them. Ideal goal is to build a stockpile to sell at craft fairs after real retirement.

    I also bought a set of round plastic knitting looms at a thrift store and have made one scarf and am working on a second. The yarn clearance rack at Michael's is my go to spot. Sometime I can use a 50% off coupon too.
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  • IgloooIglooo 8180 replies211 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Adding bargain shopping to my list. When I was working I never had time to shop for sale items. It was rare their sale schedule and my schedule line up.
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  • musicmommusicmom 2436 replies89 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Wow!
    I knew I would find alot of talented DIY folks here.
    The Cafe posters never disappoint.
    Love the varied list of specialties so far. Quite inspiring.
    Happy to see that there are other women that find house repair/remodeling "fun". Or at least rewarding and ultimately easier and cheaper than finding a pro to do it.

    @busyparent, the 19 weeks will fly by.

    Yes, please, all SAHM and "almost" retirees are welcome to jump in.
    It's just that I would have had nothing to post here BEFORE I retired. It had been one foot in front of another for a long time while still working.
    My successes then were occassionally cleaning house, grocery shopping, paying bills, etc

    Congrats to everyone filling their days with more enriching activities!
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  • musicmommusicmom 2436 replies89 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @iglooo- I'm with you on bargain shopping. It does take time to save.
    I'm mostly still shopping online but now can search out coupons or comparison shop more.
    I love Rakuten. (no connection)
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  • TatinGTatinG 6441 replies113 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I've been working on my tennis game. I think it's really good for keeping the hand-eye coordination going and keeping leg, back and arm muscles strong. It's also necessarily a social game.
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  • abasketabasket 19349 replies860 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    +1 to @FallGirl 's mention of how entertaining and fun it is to read this thread. :)

    Retirement is probably a couple years away for me - and even then I think I want to work part time....BUT I feel I planted the seeds for retirement activities when our last child was in high school in prep for all kids being out of the house (avoiding that word I hate - "empty" nest).

    So I appreciate reading this thread for "hope" that retirement can be a good thing - admittedly, my mind isn't "there" in seeing that other word I kind of hate "retirement" as being a good thing. :)

    Kudos to everyone who continues to grow, change and especially do good in the world. :)
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  • inthegardeninthegarden 1173 replies23 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited September 23
    This is very uplifting! In the throes of a cold that's given me terrible insomnia/ennui at the moment...all your good stories are helping me see beyond it.

    I'm artsy, and kind of searching for my "medium" to get more serious about once daughter leaves for college in under two years. Right now I paint scenic backdrops/sets for local school theater productions as a volunteer. I do one or two musicals per years....usually spend a couple of months on each one. Have loved doing it, but I've kind of lost some of the creative magic that drove me. And it's physically demanding at age 62 to climb up and down the ladder umpteen times per day, ragging textures and shadows to ancient trees or castle walls fifteen feet up while balancing a paint can! The part I dread is the dismantling/painting over of the scenes I spent so many hours to create. But I love being part of a bigger project and seeing the kids' excitment. I don't know ot any other art project would seem as compelling to me. I like to think of trying to do some plein air painting (a la Monet :) ! ). Full disclosure: I'm strictly an amateur. At this point, anyway!
    edited September 23
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  • kelsmomkelsmom 15587 replies99 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I left my job 2 weeks ago, and I want to return to work at some point ... but not yet. I am considering getting a data analytics certification at the local community college. I think I would like that kind of work.

    If I never return to work, we'll be okay financially - it's not the difference between being rich & being poor. I just think I still want to work at some point in the next few years. We'll see.

    In the meantime, I am decompressing from a thoroughly overwhelming job. I work out and walk daily, and I do a couple things around the house each day. I have been reading, doing crosswords and other newspaper puzzles, and catching up on sleep ... yes, I have been napping, and I am not ashamed to admit it. I have been cooking dinner & eating it at a normal dinner hour. I am no longer out of the house early/home late.

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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34149 replies378 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Congrats, @musicmom. Your delight shines through! There's a special happiness from reinventing ourselves, every once in a while. Or re-discovering what we can do.

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  • musicmommusicmom 2436 replies89 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @lookingforward-
    Thanks! I think you're seeing me
    well......its like I almost cant
    contain my glee over my
    small self discoveries!

    I am amazed at some of the major plans of some posters. Maybe I'll get into some more challenging projects down the road.
    No more paid employment for me though. My poor brain is sucked dry and I wouldn't have the patience to be a civil employee at this stage.

    I'm not sure exactly what data analytics is but it sounds interesting, and challenging.
    Good for you. @kelsmom.



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  • VaBluebirdVaBluebird 3280 replies229 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited September 23
    I am pleased for you and all of you who are so successful in retirement. I am enjoying mine but I'm nowhere near as busy or productive as you all are.
    I read a LOT. I belong to two book clubs. I belong to the League of Women Voters. It's actually nice to just accomplish day to day chores without resenting using up a "day off" to do so. I've enjoyed getting more organized, too.
    edited September 23
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  • shellfellshellfell 3337 replies11 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I spent this weekend with a friend I only see every few years. She's been retired a few years now, and the number of activities/hobbies she's involved in had me exhausted. She bakes, sews, does photography, paints artisitically, does other crafts. She started all these things while she was still working, but now she has more time for them. I feel like a slacker when I hear all that she's doing, but she was impressed that I could manage downsizing and decluttering.
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