For the prior two years I have been working an average of 32 hours per week, which consisted of one full 5-day week followed by a short week of only two or three work days. My off days were consecutive and connected to a weekend, which made for long work-free breaks. Mostly filled with errands with a bit of time squeezed in for my personal activities.
In April I began another major move towards full retirement. I worked out an agreement with my current employer to work a maximum of 20 hours per week, with the goal of normally working less. In April I worked around 90 hours, in May slightly over 60. As long as my health holds I plan to continue to this semi-retirement schedule, plenty of time off with enough work to supplement my retirement income.
Fortunately I have planned (somewhat) for the extra time off. Tomorrow I will have a morning off to work on Humans of Texas with a planned photo shoot at the Alamo. For the past two years I have struggled to make time to photograph people with time to talk and have brief, meaningful conversations with strangers. It actually is fun, especially on those occasions when my wife joins me. I am honing my photography skills along with garnering bits and pieces of life to incorporate into my writing. Tomorrow the plan is to have a “date” afternoon with my wife.
In August I will be leading a Senior Citizen Writing program (details to follow in another blog). It is planned as a 5 session program every other week morning program for seniors to explore their memories and experiences in a written form. As a side benefit I will be forced to think and write more. Not to mention free coffee and sweets. And perhaps become a teacher again.
Another new activity for me is a “summer project.” I will be working on a “Senior 411” directory for a non-profit organization that I have been associated with since 1979. It is a research project that I will be able to work from home in my shorts with Pandora Radio playing oldies in the background. This is actually the dream job my oldest son wants, to work from home in shorts. In fact, right now I am in shorts working on this blog.
A third new activity for me is painting. Last June I took an Intro to Painting class and found another creative activity to pursue. Twelve months later I have created almost 50 paintings and spent only a modest amount of money and given away a few as gifts to admirers (lol). This is fairly amazing and amusing since I still can’t draw a straight line. Ah, but this is painting now drawing.
How do you plan to spend your retirement? Most of us don’t have unlimited funds to travel widely or extravagantly so the average ‘Joe or Jane’ must find a variety of activities to engage the mind and body. I think I have found a few besides the usual hum drum of normal old folks at home.
Reactivating 65 and Alive is just another activity that allows me to think and ramble on without hestitation. Did I mention that I became a first-time grandparent last month? My plans can be modified if baby-sitting duty calls.