Thursday, 22 October 2015

A Look Backwards or a Glimpse Forward

Sometimes I actually do read my blog. Usually, I am drilling for hidden nuggets of wisdom or, in other words, looking for some *%^** inspiration!  I ran across one post on my early planning for retirement. I had just attended a workshop on wills and estate planning and learned a few things about life in the process.  Now, since this session was about "death & taxes" that might seem a little unexpected - but planning for any momentous occasion generally applies many of the same principles!

One of the most challenging issues facing me was knowing how much is enough when it comes to planning.  I rattle around in my own head a lot - it is a familiar space and I am used to the twists and turns that have developed over the years - however, it seemed like I was roaming in circles on this question of retirement.  Conversation with self: "So, if I age in place how long will that last and does that mean keeping the house or buying a condo and when should that happen - before I get frail and lose my grip but not too soon so I can still enjoy sleepovers with my grandkids and leisurely visits with my more adult friends and family and then what about nursing homes and do I have enough money for them and ....."  Round and round - if I go this way then that will happen; if I don't go that way then this will happen.

If I walked away with anything that night it was this:  You don't need to plan for 10 or 20 years.  You only need to look about 5 years down the road!  Simple thinking really but it was like someone stepped in and opened up the hidden exit I had been rolling past on each subsequent circuit in my mind and - PING - I popped out like a bingo ball - Under the O - OH!

Five years?

"I can do five years," I said to myself two years ago.  "Why, I will still be a 60-ish person in five years," I muttered smugly. Nodding my head sagely, I noted I will still be travelling; still hosting family and friends; still walking the neighborhood and still living in my house!  "That wasn't so hard." I laughed at my fear. "There are a few details to be ironed out, of course, but what a relief to take on only one chunk of the journey." I sighed with a huff and sauntered off into the sunset of 2013.

Well, here is where I zigged instead of zagged. Although I did retire it was one year earlier, I actually sold the house, changed the neighbourhood, made new friends, took up painting and got my first story published. Those must have been the "few details" that needed to be worked out!

There is a lesson here somewhere. I think it has something to do with being open to opportunity, willing to go with the flow, fearless (well, not really fearless, but still able to stand!) when facing change and crazy enough to try something new, no matter what the original plan. I admire many people in my life: sisters, daughters, friends. But, for this moment, I humbly applaud me - not to beg accolades from my peers but to encourage you, too, to stand up and applaud yourself along the way of becoming you. Your opinion is the one that matters!

Here's to the next FIVE years!

AND Story #2 accepted and ready to be pre-ordered on Amazon!

Voices from the Valleys - Stories & Poems about Life in BC's Interior


  1. I was never good at long term projection. It could come and bite me in the arse, but I figure I can go with that flow. I never thought this stage of life could be so sweet. Thanks goodness!

    1. Thanks for your comment, Barb. This stage is sweet! I planned and planned buy had a tough time to make it happen! Could have used that "bite on my arse" many a time! :)

  2. I love your insight about planning for the next five years, rather than forever. I am still working but planning to retire in a year or two, and I have been driving myself crazy trying to plan every detail about where we will move to, and what kind of house. The next five years -- well that is much more manageable. Thanks.


    1. Small bites. Besides, you never really arrive at any place along the continuum. It is just a shift in the horizon! Thanks for your comment!


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