Tag Archives: spare time

What I’m doing in Retirement

Ok so it took me all morning to write this.  So that is one of the things I am doing in retirement but I am trying to stay away from the computer as much as possible.  The weather has been so cold and rainy this spring in Vancouver I regret not going to Costa Rica where my brother has been spending the winter. I kept thinking it would warm up soon and it did not. I had a two week March break from my teaching gig and so I tried to make the most of it with some local mini adventures. For me an adventure often involves meeting new people. So, I have met quite a few interesting new people over the past week. The first group of people I met were at the Meet-Up Group for Women 55+. There are four of these groups in Vancouver who meet at different locations. I was delighted to meet a retired Richmond school French teacher who was originally from Quebec City so we had several points on intersection as I learned French as a child, am now teaching English as a second language and I also lived in Montreal. Another woman I met was a retired surgeon. When there was a pause in the conversation, I threw out the question “ are all very well established women in Vancouver who have lived and worked here for many years.. why are we all now having to seek out friends through a Meetup Group?” Well that launched a lively conversation. Some of the comments were around the lack of time to socialize when working. IMG_4144

The second francophone I met this week was at one of the French language Meetups and she was from Oromocto New Brunswick. Since I grew up in Saint John we had a lot in common and we had both worked in Ottawa. I talked to here about my conflict between wanting to work at my teaching gig and go south to Costa Rica or Mexico. She remined me that I have a sense of adventure that I have not been tapping into that staffing of the teaching job is not my responsibility! I felt so inspired after talking to her. I also had long interesting chats in the French language Meetup with a young man from Spain who kept try to switch me to speaking Spanish and an older man who told me about his experience work in one of the “stans” in Central Asia. I began to wonder if my tribe is the Francophone tribe in Vancouver.

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The third Meetup I did was the Sketching Group who met at the Vancouver Art Gallery. I once again encountered another charming person, this time a young lady from Vancouver who is living in Halifax. She was in town to complete her book of sketches of Vancouver which is a follow up to her book of sketches of Halifax. We chatted at length on the culture of Vancouver vs Halifax. Then we set to work to do some sketching around the Gallery.

Then yesterday I went to a move at the Vancouver International Film Festival Theater which I think is the new “go to” place for seniors in Vancouver. The gentleman who plonked himself down beside me was very well informed about the arts and fashion community as I discovered at the end of the movie about a Belgian fashion designer Dires. I also went to another movie at the Film Festival this week called “C’est La vie” which is the funniest movie I have seen ages.

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The only downside to the week was a yoga class I went to that was Level 2. I hadn’t read the fine print in the class description. $ 14 for the class and $ 5.00 for parking made this an expensive mistake. I managed a few walks but am still wearing my down parka and toque and I see many others dressed the same way. So I will add a few photos of my walks around Vancouver. The cherry trees are starting to blossom, but my cherry tree pics are from last year.

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A review of books about retirement.

Ok lets start by reading about it.

Here is a list of books recommended by another blogger Pat Doyle.  You can click on the link to open the link in Amazon.com or other sites where I found the book.

Designing Your Life.by Bill Burnett & Dave Evans., 4 star.   Based on the Design Thinking approach but geared more towards finding your right career.  It can be reapplied to retirement life as it’s actually very similar to how I approached new life design in retirement, being a product designer myself!  I also liked this book as did the Retirement Wisdom reviewers.  When the book finally arrived after about a month I found I liked it the best of all the books I read.  ♥♥♥♥♥

Don’t Retire, Rewire! by Jeri Sedlar and Rick Miners.  ♥♥♥♥♥ A “how-to” on defining satisfaction drivers , separating skills and strengths (with examples), examples of others “accomplishments”, and a how-to guide for working through what in your work life was satisfied by your drivers and how to brainstorm possibilities.  Introduces interesting concept of 4 types of work: work for a wage, work for a fee, work for free, work for me.  I also liked this book.  I liked the categories of what you get out of work and how you can replicate the same “hierarchy of needs” outside of the work environment.  However I would add a Fun Factor to their list.  Right, many people don’t have fun at work so there are some value adds to retirement that you don’t get out of work.

The Happiness Project (Revised Edition): Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun   This is my personal favourite although it’s not about retirement specifically.  The website has five 21 day projects that can take you over the hump while you are figuring out what you want to do with the rest of your life.♥♥♥♥♥

The Joy of Retirement IMG_1487 (2015_11_20 04_23_36 UTC)by David C. Borchard.  5 star –  Lots of how-to for defining who you want to be in retirement and the lifestyle that will help you be that person.  Big sections on roles, talents, and values in defining your vision statement. Love the fact he does not assume where you will be on the continuum of working versus traditional leisure-based retirement. Combines easy to use tools as well as insightful examples of practical next steps.  Pat says she wishes she had read it sooner in her journey.  Borchard also offers his assessments on-line for $ 35 US.  I think the tests are included in the books so it would be cheaper to buy the book.  I tired the tests and found they were targeted at career planning more than retirement planning. According to the tests my Passion Distribution is Right Brain Creator and Left Brain Organizer which explains why I am doing a blog. I didn’t find the book or the tests as helpful as some of the books below.♥♥♥♥♥

I ran out of interest in reading about retirement after 3 books so the remaining books are as reviewed by Pat.

How to Retire Happy, Wild and Free.  by Ernie J Zelinski . 5 star – An easy-to-read conversational style.  Introduces the possibilities “get a life tree”; real people case studies (as opposed to all professional, CEO types),  focus on “leisure” (not work) so unique in that!♥♥♥♥♥

65 Things to Do When You Retire is in fact 65 interesting essays about retirement from all kinds of people, on all kinds of topics, many very inspiring. edited by Mark Evans Chimsky.  ♥♥♥♥

What Color Is Your Parachute? for Retirement, Second Edition: Planning a Prosperous, Healthy, and Happy Future Some stuff on finances, but lots on health and happiness. Great background on core values, theory and application of happiness (positive psychology), and practical how-to especially on self reflection and life portfolio.  ♥♥♥♥

Now What? Know who you are , Get what you want. By Laura Berman Fortgang.  Easy style, how-to-process!   Focus is on second career or what did you always want to do so you will be happy, but process can be reapplied to new retirement life situation (or even divorce)  Lots of exercises done as answering questions, but good, insightful questions versus generic “how do you feel about this?”♥♥♥♥

Creating Your Best Life: The Ultimate Life List Guide by Caroline Adams Miller and Dr Michael Frisch –  helpful in creating your “life list” beyond traditional bucket lists with “things to accomplish” or “ways to live” thinking.♥♥♥♥

Second-Act Careers: 50+ Ways to Profit from Your Passions During Semi-Retirement by Nancy Collamer. An in-depth look at part-time income stream possibilities with lots of resource connections (to get more information). Great for possibilities exploration.  Second half on self-reflection not as good as other books, but there.♥♥♥♥

The Couple’s Retirement Puzzle: 10 Must-Have Conversations for Creating an Amazing New Life Together by Roberta K. Taylor and Dorian Mintzer.  3 star but is unique in that it talks about transitioning as a duo in life.  Covers all the big domains.♥♥♥

Here is another highly recommended book by Ken Blanchard and Morton Shaevitz Refire! Don’t Retire: Make the Rest of Your Life the Best of Your Life reviewed by the website Retirement Wisdom.  Blanchard is a well known best selling author on many management topics. I have booked a download from the Vancouver Public Library e-books.  The Retirement Wisdom website also has a list of recommended retirement books.