Moving forward with my plan required me to identify the things that really make me happy. So then I created another list. This list took much more time than I though. It was not very difficult to identify items for my list, but just how important the items were changed based on the day. It soon became apparent that the things that made me most happy made the people around me happy.

I could babysit young children just for the joy in their parent’s eyes. I could cook for one, two or much more just to hear the laughter and pleasure as they tried the dishes I prepared. I could go on a vacation and enjoy the look in my partners’ eyes as she saw things new and for the first time. I could take individuals to sites or exhibits and see them wonder in amazement. I had time to share with family and friends. I had time to give back and aid my community. Wow, was I happy in my retirement life.

Year One!

Well my first year of retirement life went like this. I purchased a new car, with the plan that it would be my last. I put 22000 miles on it in year one. If I keep this up I will need another car before I am 69 years old. I do not care. I have visited my sisters, my brother, my children, my grandchildren, and my great granddaughter. I went to my daughter’s birthday party in southern California (1200 miles). I spent special time with my oldest daughter and her children (780 miles). We went on a trip to see old friends and old places (660 miles). We spent weekends away from our home at some “Bed and Breakfast Inn” (980 miles). We went to the gold country in California and saw all of the old towns (540 miles). The trips just did not stop. Lucky for me gas reached more than $4.00 per gallon. $75.00 to fill the tank! Just like my grandfather I found myself saying “I remember when gas was $.39 (yes 39 cents) a gallon. Oh well I was having fun.

We planned two trips one to Italy and one to the northeastern United States including Canada. We also planned some smaller trips like a weekend in San Luis, San Francisco, Solvang, and Monterey. We were going to travel and enjoy each other before we were unable to travel. Our only limitation was the fact that my partner was still working and we could only schedule based on her accrued vacation time.

I was board during the day when she was at work so I took over some of the household tasks. I did laundry, I made dinner, I watered the plants, I fixed the bed, and I completed lots and lots of “honey dos”. I was a house husband! I found out just how much I loved to shop for food and how much I enjoyed cooking dinner. I discovered how much I did not like to clean dishes. Heck, I did not like washing pots, pans, silverware, the counter tops or the stove.

Well I had a plan. I was a house husband for most of the days going to the store, making dinner, and planning a take away lunch for Marti. Next I would become a daily shopper so that my food ingredients would always be fresh. In between these two items I would work on any “honey do’s” and write my little blog. I think my plan was good and my path was set. So my real retirement life started.