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Well, are you ready?  Almost ready?  Kind of ready?  Not really ready?  Definitely not ready?

I am at the almost ready stage.  The last five years we have been really working on being at the almost ready stage.  Nothing scares me more than not being ready.  Are you kidding me?  If health care, IRAs, 401Ks, Medicare, and Medicaid doesn’t scare you, then maybe thinking about what you will fill your days with should!

I don’t want to go to work now as it is.  But, I have to fill my days with something, right?  Yes, I have a hobby.  Yes, I like to be outdoors.  No, I don’t watch that much mind numbing television either.  No, I don’t have an unlimited supply of money put away, yet.

What I have been doing is working on diversifying what money I do have and making sure that I have a job until I am ready to retire.  Reading, learning and asking questions about what I do need to do are part of the planning to get to Retirement.  I also nurture myself with a hobby and reading.

The climate I live in allows for many opportunities to take advantage of – indoors and outdoors.  Four seasons make that part of Retirement easy.  There is nothing better than to be able to do so many things all year round.  Winter will be the biggest challenge because, unfortunately or fortunately, the means won’t be there and I really don’t have a desire to leave this beautiful state.

A rocking chair is still an option for part of my Retirement.  Working part-time may be an option for some of it too.  I do not want to limit what I will or will not do when I retire. Never say NEVER.  I am old enough to know that there are things I have never done and may never get to do but I will never say I never want to do them.  Now that was a mouthful!

Take the challenge and think about how long you want to wait to Retire.  Think about what you may or may not need to do in order to do that.  Think about what you want to do when you Retire.  Do you want to move or do you want to start that hobby you have been dying to spend more than a few hours a week on or do you want to travel?

I know that when I am ready to Retire I will have lots to do.  I will be ready to take on that big garden, quilt more often and read when I want.  What do you want to do…………

Fridays

What do you think of when you think of Fridays?  It use to mean the weekend for many and probably still does.  For many of us, though, Fridays do not have the same meaning.  The world has definitely evolved into 24 hour mess.  Why do I say mess?  Because you use to have to make sure all your shopping and errands were done during the week.  Now it means getting it done on the weekends.

Fridays were a time to wear casual and tidy up at work for Monday’s business.  It meant planning for the evening of fun with friends or make sure relatives were home so that you could take a leisurely drive on Sunday to visit.

We often think of Fridays as a closing of the week.  Having done our job we could feel good about enjoying a couple well deserved days off.  I think of Fridays as another day because my Friday is Wednesday!  Yes, it is nice having a couple days off during the week to go to the bank, post office, and vet.  These places are rarely open on the weekend.

Many people work weekends.  We are there to serve those that have weekends off.  I am not complaining, mind you.   My choice is to work some weekends.  It is why we have a mess.  We want everything available to us 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.

Remember when you had to make sure you had enough milk in the house for the weekend?  Did you get all your errands done during the week so you didn’t have to take time off of work?  Did you use your lunch hour to go to the bank, post office, vet clinic, or grocery store?

The grocery store, if we were lucky, was open when you got off of work – if you were off by 5:30.   The bank’s drive through was open til 6 – on a Friday – if you needed their services.  What about the post office?  The vet probably doesn’t have office hours after noon on Friday.

All the things we take for granted when we want to have things at our disposal.  Forget your son or daughter’s birthday gift for a party?  You can stop at many stores and get what you need whenever you need it – before work, during lunch, after work, after supper, or in the middle of the night!  Don’t forget a gallon of milk!

I would love to see this country go back to the “good ol’ days” to take back our weekends!  Fridays may never be the same again.  I am not the same either.  I have the same things to do as you on the weekends.  I run my errands on my lunch hour, before work or yes, on the weekend when I have a day off.  I may have to go to the convenience store to grab a gallon of milk because I didn’t get it done during the week.

What do Fridays mean to you?  Bring on the weekend and I will see you when I am working!!

 

Winter

We planted, gathered, and played all summer

Ahhh, Winter, how long will your visit be?  I know it officially starts on December 21st and ends in March.  It seems longer than our Spring and Summer put together!  This Winter had a later start, which we were all thankful for.  I should say most of us were thankful.  The skiers and snowmobilers love it when that first blanket falls.

Winter is a time for rest.  We planted, gathered, and played all summer.   When I think of Winter, I think of all the things that I need to do inside to nurture myself.  I read, work on hobbies, celebrate holidays, organize, downsize, and get my house in order.

Winter is an amazing time for all of us.  We take the time to reflect on the year that has passed.  We plan for the new year to come.  I know that many times we think we are going to change that which we didn’t from the year before.

There was a time when we thought that maybe we should have gone to Arizona – warm weather, no snow or bitter cold.  When you have lived your life with four distinct seasons, could you really enjoy the fall and Winter holidays without the falling leaves and snow?  I know that I would certainly miss the first snowfall, the crunch of the snow beneath my feet, the tracks of animals, snow storms that make you stay home, and the wind howling against the house.snowflake

The smell and crispness ofthe air, after the first snowfall, makes Winter worth it.  I always have to call or text my daughter when I see the first snowflake – It’s snowing!  I know that it has rubbed off on the granddaughter because she enjoys that first snow like her grandma!

Take time this winter to nurture yourself.  Take up a hobby that can only be done in Winter.  Read that book you thought you would read this summer when you were busy planting and mowing.  Clean out your closets.  Get rid of the clutter.  Get your house in order so you can really enjoy next summer and plan for next Winter.

Holidays

What is your favorite Holiday?  Mine use to be Christmas, believe it or not.  I still enjoy Christmas, just not like I use to.  Holidays have become more of a chore than an enjoyment to me.  Maybe it’s because of my J.O.B.  I think mostly it’s because I just find that sometimes simpler means more.

I use to make Halloween a big deal.  Poor Thanksgiving gets the short end of the stick, always.  The summer Holidays are great, obviously because of the weather.

The older I get the more things seem to get out of hand with all the decorating and planning.  I like easy.  Asking others to bring part of the meal, supplying paper plates, and making the main dish are great for large get togethers.  What does that mean to me?  It means less work for everyone – dishes are the biggest issue.  It also means more time together – playing games, visiting, doing.

My family enjoys games and talking.  We enjoy hanging out.  The more the merrier!  It may be just watching and listening for some or it may be participating to the fullest for others!  We argue, we laugh, we have fun.

I am thinking that summer time Holidays are going to be my favorite.  They were last year.  We are able to bring more families together when we can be outside.  We love having the extra space outside.  Grilling, playing basketball and yard games, fishing and swimming – the simple enjoyments of summer.

We all have different Holidays that we love.  We have different Holidays that we have made special because of life’s changes.  What Holiday do you love or now love because of life’s changes?  Remember, it’s about family.

Traveling

UGH!!  Today I had to Travel.  My first hour sucked!  The wind blew across the road and other drivers just don’t get how to drive safely.  I was a nervous wreck by the time I got to the rest stop to use the bathroom.  I just wanted to cry….well, I kind of had tears in my eyes when I called my husband.

Maybe I just was just mad because I have to Travel.  Maybe I was tired, frustrated, irritated, and upset.  I have to Travel.  We all do.  This all boils down to making a decision to move to a place that we can retire to.  I am there but my husband isn’t, yet.

When I called him, he reminded me of our goal.  Yes, stay positive, I know.  It will be worth it.  We aren’t doing this because we want to Travel back and forth to see each other.

Traveling should mean taking mini vacations, long weeks in the sun, and taking grandkids to a theme park.  I know many of my friends and relatives Travel to take care of their parents, grandparents and grandkids.  That is the best traveling.

I know when he Travels home, it is a way better trip.  Why?  Because he is coming home.  Coming home to spend time with me, the kids, grandkids, parents, and others that are here.  Don’t get me wrong, I get to spend time with him when I Travel to see him, but it’s different.  This is home.  He is Traveling home.

I Travel to my job, to get groceries and gas, to visit friends and relatives, to shop and so many other things.  I don’t mind driving, really.  It is a chance to think, dream, talk to myself, figure things out that have been troubling me, and best of all — jam to the music.

How do you like to Travel?  Just get in the car and go, with or without a destination?  I like having some kind of destination.  Traveling can get you where you want to go – it can also take you places that you thought didn’t exist.

 

 

Cousins

Does your circle include your Cousins?  How far out do you keep in touch – first, second, third?  With all the social media available to us we have access to so much information.  I personally am in touch with so many generations and layers of Cousins, I forget where they are on the family tree!

The family tree and its branches and roots go very deep.  I think that in order to understand who your Cousins are, you need to follow strings from your parents to tie them all together.  I have Cousins that are from my paternal grandfather’s (great uncle) brothers and sisters that I have never seen and if I did, I was so little I wouldn’t know them from the next person!  I do, however, keep in touch with a few others on that fantastic website Facebook.  That, my friends, is a great way to tie those strings together if your parents are no longer with you.  We may not have seen each other for a long time, but our hearts are connected.

I absolutely love seeing my family tree spreading out.  Marriages and babies all came from two people who started something that they could never have guessed would be so big.

First Cousins have a special bond.  We use to see first Cousins on a yearly basis.  Now with our children growing and having their own children it certainly gets harder.  Now, sad to say, we tend to see each other at funerals.  They were the first people you got to spend time with on many holidays, camping trips, graduations, weddings, and funerals.  Your friends didn’t get to go to your family functions. Second Cousins were always older and had more in common with your parents.  As you got older, they are the ones that you can now relate to and learn more about the strings that tie you together.

Going through pictures with my parents this fall, I was amazed at some of the pictures they had of my favorite great uncle.  Really, they are pictures that would be appreciated by his children.  I know my paternal grandmother had given them but now I think they need to go back to my second Cousins.

Memories play an important part in keeping our strings tied to each other and when we get together now, as adults, how much more fun it is to reminisce about those times!!