A big part of our retirement lifestyle vision is spending more time at our beach cottage. Hubby would like to spend 100% of our time here, so the “more time” is a compromise in his mind. I committed to doing a snowbird last year as responsibilities up north got into alignment, but life happened. So we are now embarked on our first 2-month snowbird visit in our fourth year of retirement.
You would think it would be easy. Simply lock the door and go. But, what about the mail, since I’ve heard horror stories about forwarding for short periods of time, and the Post Office will not hold for more than 4 weeks? What about random things being dropped off at the house? What about the indoor plants or the outside snow? In preparation, I ran scenarios and planned contingencies. And finally, we locked the door and left. (And, no the snow was not shoveled last month. So much for pre-arranging!)
We had the transmission on the pick-up truck blow up within the first 300 miles of the trip, turning a 14-hour drive into 44-hour excursion. Luckily, we found a great transmission place and a cheap hotel that took pets. Was this a bad sign for the snowbird adventure?
I knew that this trip would be about creating new routines and I wanted to focus on local friendship creation. These are two of the critical elements holding me back from me agreeing to move here full time. Those two things plus the connections I have up north, my sense of responsibility for my SIL, and my regular theater subscriptions. Not all of that is logical, but it’s real.
So how is it going?
I’ve committed to doing beach yoga 3 days a week and located a sunset yoga class to take, hopefully next week. I had hoped that regular yoga would help generate new friendships, but I’m not seeing that occur. It is great for my self-care though and committed means I’ve purchased the class passes (I hate to waste money).
I have reached out to people we’ve met on previous trips and had some nice lunch/ wine/ dinner & conversation experiences. Two are even “compatible couples”, and we’ve done repeated things with each. I am still needing to be the instigator on most connections.
We have done a few mini-adventures – some new restaurants, a food tour in St Pete, the big Sunday flea market, and a great day trip to Sarasota. I’m trying to be more spontaneous as well, so we did a visit to the Sunken Gardens (with one of the couples), a shuffleboard evening, and a bike ride to the local Kite Festival. My 101 New/Fun Things list has 21 things added to it!
So why am I feeling like it’s “not working”? Why do I feel that I’m not being a successful snowbird? Why am I reacting to the slightly negative “why are you only here for two months” critiquing comments? Yes, I’m feeling like I’m not doing enough; I’m not doing it “right”.
Less than a month left. Any thoughts on how to change those feelings to ones of accomplishment?
Picture Credit: my sunset picture at the beach.