Finding the Right Amount of Structure in Retirement

Having a set structure is something many people struggle with after leaving full-time work for a life of their own making. Because I had basically created my own schedule at work for the past several years, I was surprised that dealing with a lack of a workplace structure would be a problem for me. At first, I over-organized my life. I created a fairly rigid weekly schedule with certain days/times to do certain things. I was determined not to feel like I was drifting through my days with no sense of accountability. But with all the structure I'd created, I…

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Like an Unexpected Storm, Retirement Can Challenge Us in Unexpected Ways

Last week our local weather service projected that our area would experience from one to five inches of snow. We ended up with about a foot of wet snow throughout our county. Trees and power lines were down throughout our area. We lost part of our tall, Moon Glow Juniper hedge. I tried to save some of them by knocking off some of the extra snow with a heavy, industrial broom. Unwisely, I stood on a plastic chair while it was snowing to reach some of the juniper branches. It only took an instant to fall and bang up my…

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Rediscovering Life After Retirement

I now take time to sit down and enjoy breakfast with my husband each morning. When I was teaching, we only sat down and ate breakfast together on weekends and during scheduled breaks. Now it is a simple ritual, a simple joy. Sometimes we even linger after eating and watch birds from our dining window feasting on seeds we'd left for them. When I take our dog for a walk around a nearby pond, I want to take in everything I see - the water, the ducks on the pond, the winding paths, the contrasting colors and various textures that…

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Discovering the Freedom to Take Care of Myself!

A lot of what I’ve read about successful aging addresses the need for exercise.  From what I’ve read, exercise can improve our mood, help us maintain a healthy body weight, improve cardiovascular function, and help keep our brains healthy. That all sounds great, but as a pragmatic optimist, I realize there are no guarantees about the future. I also realize that no matter what I do, I am still going to experience many of the typical signs of aging such as slowing down, feeling more aches and pains, having some hearing loss, and changes in my vision, among other physical…

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