Tag: Retirement

Leave Your Legacy

Leave Your Legacy

An interpretation of Maslow's hierarchy of needs, represented as a pyramid with the more basic needs at the bottom
photo credit Wikipedia

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theorizes there are a number of steps or stages to a person’s development.  Represented as a triangle you would start with the basics needs at the bottom and move to the more developed stages at the top.  For more info you can check out here.

Sometimes I believe I haven’t progressed much along that path. Oh I certainly have the basic Physiological needs met (food and water etc.). I have the
security and Safety needs met of body, both personal and family, so while my pension is small I seem to have enough to live on.  So far at least.  It’s level 3 that sometimes gives me pause, the Love/Belonging stage.

If you’ve read any of my previous posts, particularly some on my early retirement, you’d know I had (or have) some issues regarding my previous place of employ and the terms under which I left.  Those issues revolved primarily around my disappointment up to and including the time of my early retirement.  In part it was a disappointment or sadness that ended with my perception of the quick good-byes from my fellow employees, where it seemed to me they were just anxious to get it over with and get back to work.  It felt (almost) like my 38 years of service meant nothing.  Hurry, give Dwayne his cake, his retirement card, and a token “see you soon” and we can continue on with our day.  I was deeply hurt.

But I digress.  My point was that in that setting, my workplace, I had  at one point felt that they were my family, extended but family nonetheless.  That perception was quickly and effectively quashed.  I rapidly felt alone, without my “family”, cast adrift into the retirement sea with no history.  Probably one of the biggest components of my life, that of my job,  all of a sudden meant nothing.

I continue to work at resolving those emotions however, to get past the hurt.

During my tenure there I tried not to be one who lived to work, rather I worked to live.  The job was just a means to an end.  Sure I tried to enjoy it and connect with others but in the end it was just my job.  Perhaps that was one of the reasons my advancement felt limited, it may have been that my credo was more obvious than I thought and I wasn’t seen as a team player.  Who knows.  At any rate I tried to place the importance and emphasis in my life on things outside my job.  I tried to focus my energy and enjoyment on my home and my family.

In this, my family, I feel more blessed.  My wife often reminds me that the challenges I faced in my job, the tribulations in my career and the sacrifices I gave during my working life, weren’t for nothing.  The life tools and the basis for growth that we gave our children was worth so much more.  We provided more than a roof, and food on the table, we gave them the grounding and tools to build their own happy and fulfilling lives.

If there’s anything you should leave your children it’s a path, a means to follow in your footsteps.  Give them guidance and support, and copious amounts of love.  In that I hope I’ve succeeded.  In fact it’s been said to me a number of times, particularly by my nephew among others, “I want to raise my kids just like you did”.  We are held up as a positive example, as role models and mentors, as parents to emulate.

So perhaps I have passed part of level 3.  The friends I have may be few but I think they are true friends.  They love us and can be counted on in a time of need to support us.  I feel gratitude that I have the family I do, that our children have the love and caring in their lives, to grow and mature as healthy adults.  I can hope for no less while they raise their own children.

“Mothers tell your children ‘Be quick, you must be strong.
Life is full of wonder and love is never wrong.’
Remember how they taught you; how much of it was fear.
Refuse to hand it down: The legacy stops here.”
-Melissa Etheridge

Tis Bittersweet, This First day of Retirement

Tis Bittersweet, This First day of Retirement

Hmmm, what to write.  Whether ’tis nobler…..wait, that line’s been taken.

I’ve been pondering much of my day what to post or if to post, this day being the first day of the rest of my life so to speak.  It’s the first official day of my retirement, early retirement if it matters.  I tried to come up with something profound to write, something with some teeth in it, but alas it was not to be.  So I just wrote this.

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Don’t I feel Dumb!

Don’t I feel Dumb!

About a week or 10 days ago I went into the bank to sign some papers for a safety deposit box.  I had a box prior to this in another financial institution but my long range plan is to move most of my financial stuff into one place.  So I signed the  papers, got the keys, and came home.  After that it’s a blur.

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On the Road again

On the Road again

source http://www.miss-thrifty.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/travelling-salesman.jpg
Travelling salesman

I’m soon to be on the road again. I feel like a traveling salesman, and to think at one point I aspired to a role like that. Now, maybe not so much.

I have been approached recently too, to see if I’d be interested in taking on a sales position since I’ve retired.  It would mean travel probably 2 or 3 days a week, living in hotels and eating restaurant food.  Boozing and schmoozing customers would be the norm, it would most likely tax my adapting skills to the max, and I’d probably be back into the stress mode. More here

Feeling their Presence

Feeling their Presence

I have often heard it said that when a spouse gets in your space after they retire it can cause stress. Although that is a frequent comment in articles regarding retirement it became personally understood, and appreciated as a fact after my wife had her wisdom tooth extracted and could not go to work for a week because of subsequent complications.  I could always feel her presence in the house and it was a new experience for me.

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Thanks for Writing Award, and Time Flies….But where does it fly to?

Thanks for Writing Award, and Time Flies….But where does it fly to?

The Thanks for Writing Award

The other day I was given the honor of sharing the “Thanks for Writing Award” by My Soulful Healing.  Needless to say it came as a bit of a surprise, a very pleasant surprise but a surprise nonetheless.  It’s just that I haven’t been on the blog scene for some time now, by writing any recent posts I mean, and I’m very! grateful I am still on someones mind.  I still need to find out how to fulfill this honor, or pass it on.  The sharing of the award has inspired me though and I’ll endeavor to improve my blog presence. Awards are a nice thing.

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The Essence of Spring

The Essence of Spring

The essence of spring is in the air and I fully intend to inhale it fully today and use it’s power to invigorate my soul.

Spring
My Angels

“When I admire the wonders of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator.”
– Mahatma Gandhi

We’ve finally had some sun for more than 2 days running now and it’s amazing the effect it has on life. People are out in drove, either just enjoying the weather or looking at new cars, perusing garden shops, or working in their yards readying them for the new season.  I plan to spend my day doing the latter, actually 2 of the latter, going to the garden store and readying my yard.  Gardening can be a catharsis.

I find the effort spent today will invigorate me, it will build optimism in me, it will inspire me.  Whether it’s the sun or the exercise, the communing with nature, or just the opportunity to wipe some tasks off my list, it generally builds my mood and assists me in looking at the good in life.
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Coming out of the Closet , Is it Time?

Coming out of the Closet , Is it Time?

Open book

I’ve been posting for about a year now and I wonder…Is it time to come out of the closet, to be an open book?  Before you jump to conclusions I should elaborate.

This morning before writing in my journal, after checking emails and having breakfast etc., etc., I watched one of the Ted Talks called Mena Trott on Blogs, where she discusses her perspective on blogging.  In her presentation she comments particularly on how blogging is a means for those who want to know you to learn about who you are, not only biographically but what kind of person you are and how you think.  This made me think, will those I know and love ever know that about me?

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Stop….and Smell the Roses

Stop….and Smell the Roses

Now I know the title sounds like one of my previous posts “Wake up and Smell the Roses” but it’s not just a replay, really.  Todays title is the actual saying, albeit punctuated differently, and it really has some merit.  It is also one of the credos I will try to follow over the next number of months.

I’m still struggling a bit with this retirement thing, the big “R”, and whether it’s early retirement or not the challenge for me is the same.  I see so many things I can do, so much I should do, that I overwhelm myself and in the end do very little of either.  What I need to do is chill, take a breath and a break, and don’t fuss over jobs that call out to be done, they’ll be there another day.  It’s all about the balance isn’t it?

Magnolia in bloom

Yesterday was a good example of a day spent in balance.  I worked for a short time in the yard, took a walk for my health, cleaned the bathrooms (don’t fall over), and posted to my blog.  When all was said and done I felt pretty good.  I don’t have any roses I can smell but I do have a lovely Magnolia tree blooming in my backyard.  Every year I look forward to seeing it in all it’s majesty, and stopping to gaze at it frequently brings me calm in a busy day.

In trying to bring order to my days I’m still thinking a master “to do”  list will be beneficial.  I can complete one or two items a day from the list and still feel a sense of accomplishment, while maintaining some personal time and an opportunity to reflect.  Exercise will fit into that schedule as well, or it should, and my day will end up being more well rounded.

I was planning on seeing Dad today and that’s one of a number of jobs/tasks that needed to be done.  I shouldn’t call it a j0b/task really,  because it is after all caring for my father and family time should not fall into that category.  Helping him should be done for love and compassion, not out of some sense of “have to”.  It was something that had to be done and git it done I did (how”s that for proper English?).  Trying to maximize my travelling time I did create a list of things to accomplish while out and I feel pretty successful in getting 90% of them done.  I went pretty steady but at this stage in my life I think “steady” is a relative term.

With this post wrapping up I think taking a brisk walk will round out my afternoon nicely.  I have our dinner planned, most of my chores have been completed and it’s an opportunity for a little “me” time.  Who knows, on my walk I may come across a few of the flowering beauties and truly Stop…..and smell the roses.

Maddy and Mom

Maddy and Mom

Not being as organized as I could be perhaps I did not make it to my journal this morning. I may write in it later but for now this will have to suffice.

After a quick breakfast and some endearing words to my wife I loaded up the truck and went off to help a friend disassemble an old tin shed. After taking it to it’s new location at the dump I returned home for lunch and to pack a couple days worth of clothes for a short trip to Kelowna. This is one of the blessings that an early retirement can afford you, spontaneous trips to see grandchildren.

Photo 2012-04-26 10 25 43 PM
Madden and Mom

We are off to see our new grandson, his Mommy and Daddy too of course, and I can’t wait to hold him in my arms. It’s amazing what kind of an impact a new baby can have on you, especially a grandchild. The yearning you feel for them when they are away from you is difficult to describe. I’ve often heard that exact thing said but until the occasion occurs in your family, and to your daughter, it doesn’t really sink in. He has just attached himself to our hearts and the pull that he generates over us is indescribable.

We will take over most of the night feedings while we are there, giving both parents an opportunity to catch up on their sleep. Until he sleeps a little longer during the night the frequent feedings will take their toll on Mom and Dad. It’s something we have all gone through but we want to be as supportive as possible and take as much of the strain off them as we can. They will also be able to go out on a date night, another experience that will take place less frequently and will be more appreciated. We are not doing this only for them as we have our ulterior motives as well. Any time we can spend with the baby will be time well spent.

“Time spent laughing is time well spent.”
J.C. Phillipps, Wink: The Ninja Who Wanted to be Noticed